Some tips on how to write better e-mail. Not only is it polite to follow these guidelines, it also makes it more likely that you'll get a response in a timely manner.
Write better subjects. If you want your e-mail to get answered, you should write a subject that is meaningful to the recipient, not the sender. "A good subject line would include enough information about the question so that the recipient can decide whether to read further or whether it's something they can't help with. For example, Question about generics, or even better, Question about covariant types in generics."
Use TO: and CC: properly. The general rule of thumb is that anyone you expect to take action on the e-mail should be in the TO field. Everyone else should be in the CC field.
Be judicious on who you send e-mail to. I've mentioned that e-mail is an exclusive means of communication. It's a nice idea to want to include everyone, but most people ignore broadcast e-mail. Worse yet, the more people you include, the less any individual feels "on the hook" and the less likely you are to get your request taken care of.
Don't add someone to the thread without explaining why. Raymond writes: "If you add me to an existing discussion, you have to say why. Do you have a specific question for me? Do you want my opinion on something? Are you just sharing a funny joke?". As I mentioned on my post about leaving good voicemails, this is important to let people know what you expect them to do without having to read the whole thread and guess on why we were added.
Leave a comment with any other good tips.