A site visitor writes:
What is the proper etiquette for an address block in an email? My boss is rather electronically illiterate and would like all letters sent by email to have a formal address block at the top. My coworkers and I feel this wastes space and looks strange.
Email is “electronic mail” — meaning it is not going to a physical address. Therefore negating the need for a formal address block as used on paper stationary.
Emails go to Email Addresses — Not Physical Addresses
Apparently there are still bosses that are “technochallenged.” Address blocks as used in formal off-line letters are not used at the top of emails. You are sending to the email address as noted in the To: field. That’s your email “address block”.
I also noticed that you noted “letters”. Let’s cover that because not all communications are best sent via email. There are communications where sending on business letterhead with an actual signature is recommended and therefore apropos. Two entirely different communication tools.
Not sure where your boss got the impression that address blocks should be included in email. Including an address block where one is not needed may cause the impression that we are not tech savvy. Although business email should be approached with a professional tone, some things simply do not apply to email as they would on off-line business letterhead. This is one of those issues.
You and your coworkers are correct. Now how to tell your boss!? Maybe send him/her to my article on Business Email Etiquette Basics so they are then aware of the issues that do need to be considered.
Have a question you would like to see me cover here on my blog? Let me know here!