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One of the secrets of modern life is knowing how to handle technology. Some call it "high tech with warm touch." Emails can be very challenging especially for people who havenít mastered some of the cardinal rules. Here goes:

Cardinal Rule #1: Theyíre written and read in a vacuum. Sarcasm rarely works unless accompanied by an emoticon. And even thenÖ

Cardinal Rule #2: The subject line is critically important. It must be provocative, hard-to-ignore, compelling.

Cardinal Rule #3: Theyíre as permanent as a stamped letter. Iím still thinking of a recent email that was breathtaking in its narcissism without any concern to how I, as the recipient, was feeling.

Cardinal Rule #4: People forget so always include the question before giving the answer.

Cardinal Rule #5: Too much information? When an email contains a lot of information, inform the reader at the top to save and read when time is available.

Cardinal Rule #6: Attitude counts and comes through in an email. Brusque, one-word responses might be easy for the writer but for the reader, ugh. I hate wondering if someone is angry, pissed off or just cryptic.

Cardinal Rule #7: When you mention a website address, include the link in your message so they can navigate to the site.

Cardinal Rule #8: Donít spam your database-of-present-and-future-contacts with stupid jokes and nonsensical information. Future employers are looking for evidence that youíre smart and can think for yourself.

Cardinal Rule #9: Donít react. To minor irritations, to clueless behavior, to dumb decisions by others. Donít send that email.

Cardinal Rule #10: Add a signature line to all of your emails which includes name, company, email address and phone number. Four lines, maximum. If you can, a dollop of color to your company name adds a little flair.



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