Email Inappropriate Content 6 Rules: How To Avoid It Best

The crucial email inappropriate content etiquette to write polite emails and avoid content and formatting mistakes.

What email inappropriate content etiquette is

Email inappropriate content etiquette is the set of rules to avoid the most common email content and formatting mistakes. Such rules include:

  • The topics to avoid in an email.
  • The most common formatting etiquette mistakes.

When you write an email, make sure that your content and formatting are appropriate to avoid upsetting the recipients.

Email inappropriate content: etiquette rules

email inappropriate content mistakes

1) Avoid controversial topics

Email is not the best medium to discuss controversial topics. Such as religion, politics, or any topic that risks being divisive. Instead, keep such topics for an in-person conversation.

Know your audience. Before sending any email, make sure that you adjust the content of your message to the recipients. Emails are easily misinterpreted and often shared. Thus, it is best to avoid humor, irony, and sarcasm, which could often be interpreted in multiple ways, especially over email.

2) Avoid too-personal topics

Similarly, avoid discussing personal topics over email. Such as health, money, family, relationship, and so on. Over email, personal topics may be misinterpreted or perceived as nosy or inappropriate.

3) Do not make negative remarks

Emails risk amplifying negative comments. In other words, recipients may misinterpret negative remarks or perceive them as more negative than they are.

Furthermore, emails are easy to forward and share, and we cannot control who is going to read them and how they are going to interpret them. Thus, to avoid any embarrassment, it is best to avoid making negative remarks over email.

4) Avoid not-safe-for-work content (NSFW)

Never write or attach content that is inappropriate for work. Even on personal emails, it is best to avoid such content. Avoid nudity, sex, profanity, or any form of discriminatory content.

email inappropriate formatting mistakes

5) Make your emails readable

Write emails that are easily readable by the recipients. Stick to classic fonts. Do not abuse text effects, such as color, bold, italics, or underline.

Write short sentences and paragraphs. Break every paragraph that is over 3 or 4 lines. Allow plenty of white space in the body of the email. 

6) Manage the tone of your email

All caps, emojis, GIFs, or exclamation marks can make your email vivid and entertaining. However, excessive use of them will make you look immature and unprofessional.

Writing ALL CAPS is equivalent to shouting. Thus, limit it to personal emails and use it sparingly. Emojis and exclamation marks risk making the writer look immature and professional. It is acceptable to use them sparingly, but limit them to 1 or 2 per email. 

Email inappropriate content: the worst etiquette mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst email content etiquette mistakes: 

  • 10/10. Including NSFW content.
  • 8/10. Making negative remarks.
  • 7/10. Discussing controversial topics over email.
  • 6/10. Using too many emojis or exclamation marks.


  • Medium is a powerful message: Pictures signal less power than words: