Aug 09, 2016
5 Email habits that can make you wildly unpopular
You could be the nicest person in the world and still receive irate replies when it comes to email. Why? Because your email habits could be making you someone that people hate corresponding with. Here are 5 email habits that can make you a thorn in someone's side and the last priority in their mailbox:
1. Marking an email "Urgent" or "Important" when it isn't
Yes, we know people have crowded mailboxes and you're probably just trying to get their attention. But don't do it by marking an email as "Urgent" or "Important" when it really isn't. That only serves to irritate and confuse the recipient. And if you do it often enough, like the boy who cried "Wolf!", you might find that when you send truly urgent communication, it isn't being taken seriously.
2. Sending emails in texting lingo
We hope this is a redundant point and you already know you shouldn't be sending out emails with LOLs or BTWs. If you didn't, here's what you should know. Employing texting lingo in business communication makes the sender look immature and about twelve years old. And busy people very rarely have the time or inclination to decipher abbreviations or teen lingo that pepper their communication. Oh and while you're at it, go light on the emoji too, please!
3. Not matching your subject line with your content
Always make sure that your email is primarily what your subject line says it is about. If it isn't, it suggests poor writing and comprehension skills. For instance, if your email subject is "Project status" but contains nothing or very little about said subject, it will leave your recipient confused and even a little disappointed. If you have trouble coming up with appropriate subject lines, a good idea is to leave it till the end when you have finished with the body of the email and then come up with something that aptly summarizes your email.
4. Writing your entire email in one paragraph
If this entire article was written in one giant paragraph, we doubt you'd have got as far as here. Similarly, writing your entire email in one paragraph makes for very difficult reading. And unless the recipient cares very much about your email, he or she will probably give up half-way or at least miss vital points in your communication. To capture and hold your reader's attention, split your email into clear paragraphs, give headings and titles where necessary and emphasize what you'd like them to absolutely not miss, with text formatting options such as bold, underline or italic.
5. Delaying replies without keeping the sender posted
When an email sender asks for a reply and receives none, it causes stress and irritation. It makes you look like you don't care about either the sender or the subject. You may not be in a position to reply immediately if you're working on another time-critical project or if you need more time to gather the information for your reply. In either case, it is good form to send a word or two in reply at once, acknowledging the email and letting the sender know when they can expect your response.
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