Take the time to remove information not pertinent to the recipient – Review the message, the ENTIRE message, to make sure you are not passing on information that should remain private. An administrator at Oxford University accidentally forwarded a list of the 50 worst exam performers to thousands of students.
Remove previous email addresses – Would you want your email address sent to people you don’t know? I don’t. Show the courtesy to remove email addresses in the body of the email before hitting send. I have the personal email addresses of some real power players in the world thanks to someone that didn’t use clean up the body of the email.
Change the subject – When an email gets forwarded many times, often the topic may change completely from the original message. Make the subject relevant.
Remove unwanted attachments – Unless the attachment pertains to the message, remove it. I’ve seen someone lose their job because they forwarded a confidential document when all they meant to do was share the name of a restaurant mentioned in the email but didn’t take the time to clean up the email.
Use BCC – If you are sending to multiple people who may not necessarily want their email addresses known to each other, use the BCC field.
Delete unnecessary signature files and disclaimers – They are just a nuisance your intended recipients need to scroll through.
Add your intention – I often get forwarded emails from my executives with no instructions. Is it just FYI? Do you want me to schedule a meeting? Am I supposed to send something to someone? If you forward an email that requires an action, please include that information.