43 Questions About Email Answered

10 Nov 2023

43 Questions About Email Answered
43 Questions About Email Answered

In search of answers about all things email?

On the face of it, email is a form of digital communication. But in reality, email is so much more, as a tool that helps us stay organised and keep in contact with people we care about.

For businesses, email is a phenomenal driver of growth and sales offering a whopping $42 ROI for every $1 spent. 💰

So if there’s anything you’re unsure of about email, it’s definitely worth brushing up your skills! 

If you’re new here, welcome to EcoSend - the world’s first sustainable email platform. 

We’ve answered the most Googled questions about email below. But you can also find even more info over on the EcoSend digital marketing glossary.

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Cause' the EcoSend email information extravaganza is about to launch. ✉️ 🚀

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While we do our final checks be sure to grab some freebies! ⬇️

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🏗️ - Free Email Template Builder ➡️ https://ecosend.io/free-email-builder/

🧮 - Email Carbon Calculator ➡️ https://ecosend.io/carbon-calculator 

What Is An Email?

Electronic mail, more commonly known as email, is a method of sending and receiving messages between electronic devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets. 

How email works is that a mail server is needed to send, forward and store messages. By sending an email, this means that users don’t have to be online at the same time as their recipients for messages to be sent and received.

With over 300 billion emails sent each day, email remains one of the most common forms of digital communication.

While many people use email for personal use, email marketing is also a major growth strategy for businesses.

Who Invented Email? 

It is widely considered that Ray Tomlinson sent the first ever email in 1971. Previously, it had been possible to send messages between more than one recipient but only if the same computer was used. Therefore, with the development of the ARPANET system, email could be sent electronically between users on different hosts.

Ray Tomlinson also made email as we know it now possible through inventing the use of the @ sign to separate usernames from the name of their machine. This is something that is still in use today with how email addresses are structured.

A member of the Internet Hall of Fame, Ray is cited as someone who “brought about a complete revolution, fundamentally changing the way people communicate.”

When Was The First Email Sent? 

The first email was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. 

Some other key moments in the history of email include:

1972 - Larry Robots created the first email management program capable of forwarding and responding to email messages. 

1989 - Email software Lotus Notes was released selling 35,000 copies. 

1993 - AOL Mail launched as a free web-based email service. Best known for its ‘You’ve got mail!’ jingle, AOL would grow to 9 million subscribers by 1997, making it the world's largest email provider at the time. 

1996 - Internet Mail by Microsoft is released, and is later renamed Outlook. Hotmail was also released in the same year.

1998 - Hotmail is purchased by Microsoft for $400,000,000. 

2003 - The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 is a law passed in the United States setting the first national standards for email communication. 

2023 - EcoSend launched as the world’s first sustainable email marketing platform. 

How Many People Use Email? 

As of 2023, email has around 4.3 million users. However, user numbers are expected to jump to 4.7 billion by 2026.

The high number of users coupled with users checking their emails an average of 15 times a day makes email an extremely effective form of marketing. 

What Is An Email Address?

An email address creates a designation for which electronic mail will arrive. 

All email addresses are unique, meaning they must be inputted correctly for an email message to arrive.

Components of an email address include the local part (before the @ sign) and the email domain, which follows the @ sign. 

Senders (such as email marketers) add email addresses to a list which allows them to send mass campaigns through email marketing automation.

However, as an email user, giving out your email address can also be for personal use, similar to sharing an address or phone number. 

How To Create A New Email Address

When you sign up to any web-based email service or email marketing platform, you will be given the option to create an email address.

Personal email providers (i.e. Gmail or Outlook) allow you to only customise the local section of your email address, meaning your email address will be localpartgoeshere@gmail.com.

However, email marketing platforms generally allow you to customise both the local and domain aspects of your email address. For example, hello@yourcompanyname.com

So long as that email address does not already exist, you can create any email address you like. However, special characters are not usually permitted in email addresses. 

What Makes A Good Email Address? 

The answer can depend on whether the email address is for personal or business use. 

Generally, a good rule of thumb is to keep email addresses short and sweet as well as memorable. 

We can often be required to give our email address out in person or even over the phone. So not only does a short length help, but so too does avoiding any crazy words or spellings. 

If an email address is for professional or business use, then further rules apply to ensure the right impression is made to employers or clients. For instance, using a real name within the address. 

Companies can also create several email addresses to direct email to different departments, i.e. ‘hello@emailadress.com’ for general enquiries, and ‘customersevice@emailaddress.com’ for customer service related mail.

Are Email Addresses Case Sensitive?

No, email addresses are not typically case sensitive. However, it is always a safe bet to type out email addresses in lowercase. This is because some host servers impose rules relating to RFC 5322, which is an internet standard surrounding the format of emails. 

Can Email Addresses Have Spaces? 

No. Similar to a URL, spaces are not permitted within email addresses. If a space is typed anywhere within an email address, then the message cannot be sent.

However, full stops (i.e. ‘.’) can be used within an email address to break up information. For instance, johnsmith@emailprovider.com could be written as john.smith@emailprovider.com. 

That said, full stops in an email address can make the address less memorable and more prone to being misspelt. 

How To Delete An Email Account

The email account deletion process will vary depending on your email provider. However, typically the option to delete your email can be found in tabs relating to settings or account.

In Gmail, users must go to the ‘Data & Privacy’ tab to access the ability to delete their account. 

What you need to do before deleting an email account: 

  • Make sure you’ve saved any important emails, files or contact information 

  • Consider if the address is used for any platform logins - you will need to change your email in advance

  • Checked linked accounts or logins (i.e. Gmail logins) to various online services or software so that you don’t lose account access

  • Where applicable, notify any personal contacts that your email address is changing and give them your updated contact information

  • Review the terms and conditions to ensure you understand whether the account deletion is permanent or whether your account can be reactivated. 

How To Write An Email 

The approach to writing an email will vary depending on who you are contacting along with the purpose of the email.

There needs to be a consideration of the subject line, introduction, body copy and closing phrase. Each aspect should be tailored to the recipient.

Another aspect to consider is tone, since the tone of an email will dictate the structure of the overall email. 

If you’re new to writing emails, why not practice first? Sending some test emails to a friend or colleague can help you gain confidence with sending regular emails, or email marketing for your business. 

How To Reply To An Email 

The function of replying to an email is normally contained within an arrow icon. If you hover over the arrow, it should say ‘reply’. 

In terms of what you might say in an email reply, the content should sufficiently answer any points within the original email sent to you. 

For instance, if someone asks you a series of questions about your products or services, check back as you write the reply to ensure these points are being properly addressed.

Always read through your email reply before sending to check it makes sense, is free from errors, and also does a good enough job of answering any questions or points that have been put to you. 

How To End An Email

The end of an email message should include a farewell message (known as a sign-off) along with the sender’s name. 

Examples of email sign-offs include: 

  • Many thanks

  • Kind regards

  • Warm regards

  • Sincerely

  • Talk soon

  • Have a great weekend

  • I appreciate your help

These sign-offs vary in tone and formality, so consider which approach would be most appropriate. 

How To Delete An Email 

To delete an email you are currently viewing, this can normally be performed with a single click of the trash can icon which sits just above the message content.

Within your main mail inbox, it’s possible to select either a single email or the entire list of emails on the page and again hit the trash can icon to delete these. 

You can also filter messages (i.e. by sender) by typing in keywords in the ‘search mail’ box. Doing so makes it easier to delete bulk messages. 

How To Recall An Email In Outlook

Message recall is a feature in Outlook which allows users to retrieve messages they have sent, so long as recipients are yet to open that message. This can be handy if there was a typo in the email, or if the sender forgot to include an attachment.

To access this feature in Outlook open the message you want to recall.

Click Actions > Recall This Message.

A box will then appear, and you can choose to delete unread copies of the message, or delete unread copies of the message and also replace that message with a new message. 

How To Block An Address In Outlook 

In Outlook, head to settings. 

Then, click Mail > Accounts > Block or Allow. There, you will find an option to block a sender. Add the email address of the account you wish to block and hit save. 

Can Emails Be Blocked? 

Yes. While the steps to blocking an email vary depending on the platform you use, it is always possible to prevent further communication from any email address.

If the email you wish to block is marketing related, then as per the CAN-SPAM Act, senders must provide an option for recipients to unsubscribe from receiving future messages. 

What Is BCC In Email?

BCC is an acronym for blind carbon copy

When a sender uses BCC, it means only they can see the full list of recipients. Doing so makes that email more secure in terms of data protection.

What Does CC Mean In Email?

CC is an acronym for carbon copy.

When a sender uses CC, multiple recipients can be included within the message. However, any recipients included will be visible to all recipients. 

Therefore, CC should only be used for internal communication, whereby the ability for recipients to view other email addresses would not be a breach of privacy.

If there is a need to protect the visibility of email addresses from other recipients, the sender should use BCC instead. 

What Does Re On Email Mean? 

Re is a Latin word which means ‘in the matter of’. Therefore, when someone uses re in an email, the words which follow denote the topic or theme of the content.

For example, if one of the EcoSend team sent an email with the subject line re: EcoSend newsletter, the contents of that email would relate somehow to the EcoSend newsletter. 

Speaking of which, are you signed up for the EcoSend newsletter

What’s The Difference Between IMAP And POP3?

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol and Pop3 stands for Post Office Protocol 3. 

Both IMAP and POP3 are email protocols which are used to retrieve emails from a server.

However, where they differ is that IMAP is more advanced, as it allows users to access their emails from multiple devices. On the other hand, POP3 is better for accessing emails from a single device. 

How To Save An Email As A PDF

To save an email as a PDF, you actually need to open up the options to print the email. Once you do so, there will be an option to save the email as a PDF. Even if you don’t intend on printing the email, you can still use the print function to save the file.

If you do so and go to your downloads (or wherever you choose to save the PDF) you will be able to view, open or edit that PDF. 

How To Attach A Photo To An Email

When creating an email, there is normally an image icon which will say ‘Insert photo’ when you hover your mouse over it. 

Click on this icon and select the image you’d like to add to your email. Alternatively, you can add the image as an attachment by clicking the paperclip icon. 

How To Send Videos Via Email

Due most video content having a large file size, it is normally easier to send videos by email via a link, such as a YouTube link. However, if you compress the video file so that it is under 25mb, you may be able to add it as an attachment within the email. 

Also, you can use a service such as WeTransfer to send emails via video. How WeTransfer works is that you’ll need to upload the video onto their website. You’ll also add the recipient information. WeTransfer will allow for the recipient to download the file. 

How To Send Signed Documents By Email 

There’s the old school way or the modern way, so the choice is yours. 

Traditionally, documents were printed out, signed, scanned and then the file could be emailed back to wherever it needed to go. 

However, it is now possible to digitally sign documents using an electronic signature app which you can integrate with most email providers. This produces a prompt for users to sign documents so that the signature can be saved on the document.

Technically, if you have software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, then you could also import the file and sign it using a digital pen tool. 

Can You Email Large Files?

Most email providers have a file size limit of 25mb. If the file cannot be compressed, then it may be easier to send the file via Dropbox or a similar sharing platform.

It’s also good to know that every email sent produces up to 26g of CO2. Large attachments are associated with higher carbon footprints compared with plain text messages. 

Do Emails Take Up Space? 

Yes, every email requires storage space. Emails with attachments or large threads will take up more space than simplistic plain text emails. 

It’s good to get into the habit of deleting emails with a large file size, unopened emails and other emails you no longer need. 

How To Write A Formal Email

The most important thing to get right when writing a formal email is the tone. 

Examples of who may be classified as a ‘formal’ audience include an employer, a business contact or an official organisation such as HMRC (for those in the United States, that could be the IRS). 

First of all, always use a professional email address for formal emails. Ideally, this should contain your name. 

Keep the subject line short and specific to the issue. 

Start your email with a courteous yet professional greeting, such as Dear [recipient name] or if you want to get real old school here, to whom it may concern. Usually though, you would always include the first and last name of the person you are contacting within the greeting.

Within the first line of the email, describe why you are writing to the person mentioning the topic or issue that the rest of the email pertains to. 

Next, explain the topic in greater detail. Usually, the third person is used for formal writing.

If applicable, add any requests or next steps that are needed from the recipient.

Conclude the email with a professional sign-off, and also include your name and contact information. 

How To Reply To A Job Offer Email 

Start with a professional greeting, addressing the sender by their name. 

Thank the sender for their job offer, and express that you would be delighted to accept their offer. 

Before signing off, it is also a good idea to add a line such as:

If you require anything further from me before my official start date please feel free to let me know.

While not strictly required, such gestures can demonstrate that you are a proactive employee. 

How To Add Email To iPhone

There are two main ways of viewing your emails on your iPhone. One is to use the Mail app, or you can download the application of your email provider i.e. Gmail or Outlook. 

To use Apple’s own mail app, complete the following steps:

Go to Settings > Mail > Accounts > Other > Add Mail Account

Fill in the requested information such as your name, email address and the password for your email address. If this has been successful, your mailbox should start to sync and you will see all your existing emails fill your inbox. 

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the art of sending emails to customers with the aim of nurturing leads, improving customer engagement and ultimately boosting sales. 

To do email marketing, companies need to build a list of subscribers. From there, campaigns can be sent using email marketing automation. Types of email campaigns include newsletters, welcome emails, milestone emails, holiday emails and abandoned cart emails. 

EcoSend is an example of an email marketing platform. Check out our Features page to discover the tools included with a subscription to help you best connect with your customers through email. 

How To Create A Business Email 

Business email addresses contain professional details, and are usually created through an email marketing platform so that the domain of the email can be customised. 

In line with modern data requirements such as GDPR and the CAN-SPAM Act 2003, business emails must be set up with legitimate sender information. As well as the name and company, the email address should also have a physical address attached. 

What Is An Email Domain?

An email domain is the information which appears in an email address after the @ sign.

So for instance, sendername@gmail.com

Businesses often have custom email domains which reflect the name of the business. This makes the communication appear both legitimate and more professional compared with generic email domains. 

How Long Should Email Subject Lines Be? 

Technically, subject lines can be up to 988 characters in length. But due to truncation on mobile, the optimal subject line has found to be 60 characters or less. 

Various subject line character length testers exist. But if in doubt, the shorter the better is always preferred. So if the subject line can be rephrased or words can be removed, then it is likely the subject line is too long. 

What Is Email Cleansing? 

Email cleansing is the first step of your campaign’s skincare routine.

Or email cleansing (also known as email scrubbing) is also a term given to the act of removing inactive contacts from your subscriber list. 

When an email list is clean, it is also referred to as being a healthy list. That’s because only active contacts who regularly open your emails are being contacted. 

To cleanse your email list, send engagement campaigns to any subscriber who hasn’t opened a single email in the last 6 months. If that subscriber doesn’t respond, remove them from your email list.

Email marketers should regularly perform email cleansing as part of email marketing best practices. 

What Are The Benefits Of Email Scrubbing? 

If inactive contacts remain on your email list, then as a marketer, you are paying to send emails to users who will never open your campaigns, let alone generate an ROI.

A clean email list boasts high open rates, click-through rates and overall engagement rates. 

By removing inactive contacts, marketers can also make room for new subscribers to join the list, without having to pay for increased email marketing capabilities with their email provider. 

Which Email Provider Is Best? 

Why, EcoSend of course!

EcoSend is a product by the makers of GoSquared, with our original email tool starting in 2006. That’s the same year HubSpot started by the way - only GoSquared (and now EcoSend) offers far more affordable email marketing tools for businesses.

What’s unique about EcoSend is that we give you all the tools you need to send amazing email campaigns, based on our nearly two decades worth of email experience. However, EcoSend runs on renewable energy sources and we plant trees on your behalf just for using us. 

Read more: How Is EcoSend Different To Other Email Providers?

What Is Spam Email?

Somehow the acronym for Specially Processed American Meat became a term used to describe unwanted emails.

Since ‘unwanted emails’ can include emails sent without permission, phishing emails, scam emails and well, emails which just clog up our mailboxes, we think Spam is a fair assessment.

As an email marketer, following email best practices can help your campaigns from being automatically filtered or marked by users as spam. Email domains with high amounts of associated spam will receive lower open rates, and could even be blacklisted by their email provider. 

How To Get Rid Of Email Spam

Hit unsubscribe, block or delete to free your mailbox from spam. 

It’s also worth noting that Gmail and Yahoo are making huge changes to their email platforms in 2024, which will make it more difficult for spam to reach inboxes. 

Another top tip is to be careful where you share your email address. Unfortunately, it is very common for people to sell your data, including your email address. This means you may start receiving messages from people or companies you haven’t agreed to hear from. 

How To Spot A Phishing Email 

It’s really important to be able to spot phishing emails, since they are sent by unscrupulous individuals wanting to obtain your personal information and ultimately your money. 

Some top tips to tell whether an email is genuine or not and to keep your information safe include: 

  • Check the sender’s email address to see if it is legitimate or seems suspicious. If the email is claiming to be from a company, Google the address or contact the company directly to verify the address.

  • Does the email use a personalised greeting or is it generic?

  • Don’t click suspicious links.

  • Don’t download or open suspicious attachments.

  • If you didn’t agree to hear from the person or company it is probably a scam unless genuine information is contained within the email. 

  • Genuine senders normally proofread their communication, so if the language seems poorly written and is full of mistakes, it is probably not genuine. 

  • Something else just feels off about the email.

Many companies also post information about scams relating to their company, whereby someone has tried to impersonate them. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for such updates, so that you are more likely to spot a phishing email. 

What To Do If A Scammer Has Your Email Address? 

It’s a good idea to change your passwords regularly, including if you are aware your email address has been involved in a data leak or hack. All of your online accounts should have unique passwords - never share your password with anyone else. 

If you are contacted by a scammer through email, the best course of action is to not respond, flag the email as spam, block the email address and delete the email. 

What Does Flagging An Email Do?

When you flag an email, it distinguishes that email from the rest of your mailbox. Usually, this is because the email is important or is time-sensitive. For those who receive a lot of emails every day, flagging can be a useful email management tool. 

Star emails in Gmail work much the same. By clicking the star icon, all of the starred emails will appear in the starred section of your account.

Why Is My Email Queued? 

Because it probably wants coffee. 

Other reasons why your email might be queuing is because there is an issue with your internet or email server. The emails should then be sent as soon as the connection issue is resolved. 

Less common issues are that you are running out of space on your email server or you are reaching your send limit as a bulk email sender. 

EcoSend - Get A Free Trial Of Our Email Marketing Software ✉️ 👀

Now you’re clued up on the most asked questions about email, it’s time to sort your email marketing platform.

If you do any kind of email marketing, then having the right platform by your side is essential for your campaign success. 

EcoSend is the world’s first sustainable email platform with plans starting at just $29 per month. 

But first, we’d like to give you a free trial of our software so that you can try us out to see if we're the right fit for your business.

Simply head over to our EcoSend free trial page to get started. 

We can also offer your business a free product demo if you’d like a guided tour of EcoSend or have any questions. 

Is there anything else on your mind relating to all things email marketing success and your business? Drop us a message and we’ll be right with you. 

About the author

Rachael O'Flaherty

Content Writer

About the author

Rachael O'Flaherty

Content Writer

Grow your business sustainably

Get the EcoSend Weekly newsletter — inspiration, helpful tips, and a good giggle, every Friday.

Grow your business sustainably

Get the EcoSend Weekly newsletter — inspiration, helpful tips, and a good giggle, every Friday.

Grow your business sustainably

Get the EcoSend Weekly newsletter — inspiration, helpful tips, and a good giggle, every Friday.

The email marketing platform for better business

Win new customers, send better email, and make the planet better with every campaign.

  • Free Email Templates

  • Smart Segmentation

  • Lead Forms

  • Automated Campaigns

  • Automatic Offsetting

  • Team Sharing

  • HTML Email Editor

  • Multi-channel Campaigns

  • Drip Campaigns

  • MailChimp Import

  • Zapier Integration

  • Powerful API

The email marketing platform for better business

Win new customers, send better email, and make the planet better with every campaign.

  • Free Email Templates

  • Smart Segmentation

  • Lead Forms

  • Automated Campaigns

  • Automatic Offsetting

  • Team Sharing

  • HTML Email Editor

  • Multi-channel Campaigns

  • Drip Campaigns

  • MailChimp Import

  • Zapier Integration

  • Powerful API