Have You Committed Any Of These Seven Deadly Sins Of Email?
By Kevin Layton
By 2017, over 130 billion emails will be sent EACH DAY! With so many emails floating around, we thought we’d collect a few of our favorite pet peeves and faux pas habits we see people do with email all the time. Are you guilty of any of these email sins?
1. Typos. Typos and grammatical errors are a huge turn-off in the professional world. Misspellings and basic grammatical errors are a subtle sign that you may not be educated enough or have good attention-to-detail to handle client projects. Consistent typos are also signs to a reader that you don’t take the time to check your work. Excelling in the little things like emails, can be a sign that you will succeed in the bigger things like client projects.
2. Rambling. Over 120 billion emails are sent each day, though many of us feel like we get 120 billion ourselves each day! When people get so much email in a day, senders need to be respectful to this fact. Know your audience! When you know a person already gets bombarded with email, don’t make life cumbersome for them. Keep emails brief, succinct, and to the point!
3. Crying Wolf. Be careful with how you label emails as “urgent.” If you use this label too often, you numb your audience to the really urgent emails. Stop abusing this word, and save it for those times you really do need an urgent response.
4. Vague Subject Lines. Email subject lines are the first decision point for people when deciding if and when to read your email. Keeping it vague with “hello” or “question” makes your email seem less important However, if you have a specific project, subject, or question, allude to that in your subject line to peak the interest of the receiver. You will get a better and faster response to your email.
5. Lengthy Email Signatures. When your email signature is longer than the email itself, you should take a hard look at what is clutter in your email signature. Cluttering your signature with cutesy quotes, multiple phone numbers (and fax numbers), and other promotional links could be doing you more harm than good. Keep your email signature short, and to the point. Make sure you are featuring the most important information for people to contact you, and get to know you.
6. Delving Too Deep. Email is not the place to have serious conversations that require a lot of back-and-forth. When you find yourself getting into a discussion like this with a lot of depth and back-and-forth discussion, take the conversation offline. Go talk in person or on the phone. A lot of meaning can get lost in email text. When you are talking about something important, don’t risk missing the tone and meaning in someone’s words: talk to them directly.
7. Sarcasm. As we just mentioned, tone and meaning can easily get lost in written copy. That is why texting, emails, tweets, and other posts often get us in trouble. We can’t tell the inflection of voice, the smirky grin, or the roll of eyes when someone types us something. Humor and sarcasm should be avoided in emails, especially professional emails. Just make life easy on yourself and save the sarcasm for catching up over the water cooler!