Eric Weiner finds there are radical differences between American and European email. YMMV
bq. Amerimail is informal and chatty. It’s likely to begin with a breezy “Hi” and end with a “Bye.” The chances of Amerimail containing a smiley face or an “xoxo” are disturbingly high. …
bq. Euromail is stiff and cold, often beginning with a formal “Dear Mr. X” and ending with a brusque “Sincerely.” You won’t find any mention of kids or the weather or jellyfish in Euromail. It’s all business.
I can’t confirm the following statements: Americans tell you their life story before getting down to the point of the mail; Americans reply immediately, Europeans weeks later; email in America replaced the phone, in Europe the business letter.
Another thing: on German mailing lists and UseNet groups, it’s not regarded as ‘breezy’ just to write ‘Hi’ or ‘Eric’ – friendly greetings and considered closes are expected as of right (not so in Britain, but I have a feeling Britain is not part of the remit here).
Anyway, I see that the German executive quoted has the same surname as the person who helped with research, who in turn is involved in the company quoted.
I love the heading: ‘How they do it: lessons for the U.S. from abroad’.
(Thanks to kalebeulimail)