Avoid These 10 Email Mistakes!
Reading and replying to emails is a common part of every career professional’s day. Email is a quick and convenient way to stay connected with team members, coworkers, clients, bosses, and supervisors throughout the work day that helps you avoid face-to-face conversations or phone calls. Unfortunately, it is also easier to make mistakes or suffer from miscommunication over email. We’ve compiled a list of 10 email mistakes to avoid; check your emails for these errors before hitting send today!
1. Misusing “Reply All”
Everyone in a group email has probably suffered from the dreaded “reply all” button at one time or another. Nothing is more frustrating than receiving a mass email, and then certain people hitting “reply all” to respond to the email when “reply to sender” is more appropriate. Unless it is an email that you need every person on the recipient list to receive, do not hit reply all. It may come off as unprofessional or that you do not know how to use email properly. You also run the risk of others seeing something that is confidential or meant for only one person’s viewing.
2. Forgetting the Attachment
You may think you have the perfect email and that it is ready to be sent, but wait, always double check that you have actually remembered the attachment. Chances are the attachment is the primary purpose of the email, so forgetting it is a major mistake. While it is possible to send a follow up email to apologize and include the attachment, it may come off as unprofessional, rushed, and it adds clutter to the recipient’s inbox.
3. Disregarding Subject Lines
Not only should a subject line always be included in an email, it should be paid particular attention. The subject line can be thought of as the headline and is a way to catch the recipient’s attention. The subject line should be eye catching, but also direct and relevant to what the email is pertaining, so the recipient knows what to expect going in to reading the email.
4. Not Including a Greeting
Regardless of who you are emailing, there should always be a basic greeting at the start of your email and a simple closing at the end. A “hi” or “hello” along with the person’s name will suffice, along with a “thanks” or “best regards” at the end of the email. Simple pleasantries such as these are always appreciated, polite, personal touches to professional emails.
5. Misusing the “High-Priority Flag”
Though it may be tempting to flag every important email with high-priority, overuse it and its value will diminish significantly. Even if every email you send is important, it is best to save the high-priority flag for extra important emails, or you will suffer from the boy who cried wolf, urgent email version.
6. Mixing Personal with Professional
There is a general rule that you should always separate personal with professional, and the same rule applies to email. It does not matter if it seems easier to combine the two email accounts, to avoid mix-ups and mishaps keep them separate.
7. Relying on it as Main Communication
Most professionals are not just staring at their computer screen waiting for the next email to roll in; they are busy doing multiple jobs at once. Therefore, you cannot rely on email as your sole form of communication. If you have an urgent matter that needs to be discussed immediately, pick up the phone or walk down the hallway and discuss it face-to-face. Email is not always the best way of communication for immediate responses. The whole point of it is that one can respond when they get the time to.
8. Sending Off Quickly
While email is used because it is quick and convenient, it still requires time and attention like any other form of communication. Always be sure to read over your email before you hit send. Check for grammatical errors, that all important documents or attachments are included, and that you have listed all necessary contact information.
9. Angry Emails
If you are frustrated with a coworker or client, or just in a particularly angry mood, avoid emailing until you’ve cooled down. You do not want to say anything you’ll regret later on. If it helps you to vent your frustrations, draft the email but wait to send it until you’ve calmed down and reevaluated the situation and email.
10. Expecting Instant Responses
The whole point of email is to allow users to respond when they have the chance, so do not get frustrated when someone does not email you back within minutes, or even within a few hours. The recipient will respond when they have the time to thoroughly read, consider, and respond to what you have to say.
Written By O.Greendyk