I know email can be tricky. It’s only been around for, say, 25 years…
If you’re making these awful email mistakes, we’re guessing you may have grown up during a time when electronic communication was reserved for secretaries. Well, we’ve moved on, people.
Or, your so young that you’re thinking that business can be done via text. Get it together.
Here’s a few pointers for how to stop driving all of your coworkers crazy.
There is a difference between email and texting.
If you have multiple questions for someone, for the love of all that is sacred, put them in one email. Email is not a conversation. It is a letter in electronic form. If someone replies right away, that doesn’t mean they want you to follow up with some inane question.
Before you forward an email- check to see who was on the original.
Do you want to receive the same stupid email twice? Actually, I bet you don’t even notice if you receive an email twice, but most professional people do not want to be forwarded an email that they have already received. It’s easy to check who was on the first email. Hit the little button that says something along the lines of “details” and it will tell you.
Reply to people.
Reply within 24 hours. It’s not hard, just do it. At least acknowledge that you received the email. No one cares if you are “too busy” to respond right away, we also don’t want to hear your excuses. Just acknowledge the receipt of the email and give a timeframe that they can expect an answer.
Holy F, clean out your inbox.
The geniuses that invented email also invented folders within email. Try to use them. There is nothing more anxiety-inducing than seeing an inbox with 14,976 emails.
Read receipts give away your bad behavior.
Yes, we can tell that you read our emails so yes, you should be frightened. Read receipts are not just a setting option on your iPhone, many companies and email servers have an option to turn on read receipts. They work just like the ones on your phone but now it’s your boss seeing that you’re opening her email and then ignoring it.
Choose a subject.
The subject line is there for a reason. The reason is that people want to look at their massive inbox and chose what to read first based on… the subject lines! I know. Crazy. So chose a subject to put in the line and “hello” is not a subject. Another thing to mention about subject lines… they are for the subject of the email, not the whole email or the first sentence. Got it?
Is reply all really necessary here?
If you are not smart enough to understand the difference between “Reply” and “Reply All” then, first of all, you’re probably not reading this anyway. But for reals, if you fall into this category, just quit now while you’re behind.
Here’s some pointers, people.
You should almost never Reply All. If you are unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of a huge Group Email, at least Reply All to the most recently-received email.
Trying to avoid getting others to Reply All? Learn the difference between bcc and cc, folks. If you are sending massive group email that is not meant to be replied to, put everyone’s email addresses in the bcc column. Otherwise, invevitably, everyone gets happy with their “Reply All” replies, flooding all of our inboxes.
Passive aggressive CC game
Do you need to cc my boss on this conversation– really?! We see what you’re doing and it’s so not cool. This is the oldest passive aggressive email trick in the book and we’re not having it.
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