It’s hard to believe that email has been a part of our business culture for 20 years. It’s even harder to imagine conducting business without it. Most would say they get too many emails and everyone has a few pet peeves related to this communications tool.
If you recognize yourself as you read through the list, there’s no time like the present to create some new habits. Your co-workers and customers will thank you for it.
1. Rambling Emails
These are the ones that, once you open them, your eyes immediately begin to glaze over. They contain long paragraphs with too many details and not enough specifics like deadlines. These overloaded emails make skimming difficult and are less likely to be read and answered efficiently. In the future, state the reason for your email within the first two sentences.
2. Reply All
Yes, there really are two buttons. One for replying to every name on an original email, and one that will send a response to only the originator of the email. Choose carefully and wisely.
3. Same Subject Line but Change of Topic
When a current conversation strand of emails takes a turn with a new topic, it’s time to create a brand new email with an accurate subject line. It makes organizing and searching for emails more efficient and lessens the likelihood that emails will get lost or overlooked.
4. “Did you get my email?”
If you have a habit of calling someone just moments after pressing send and asking whether or not they have read your email, please stop! It drives everyone nuts. If you really need an immediate response from someone, pick up the phone. Sometimes doing things the old fashioned way will get the response you want.
5. Attachments Only
If you are ever tempted to send only an attachment without any information in the body of the email, resist doing so. When someone receives your email, they’ll no doubt have questions regarding the attachment, which then creates extra work for them by needing to email you back or call you. It’s better to write a very brief one or two sentence description of the attachment than not include any information at all.
6. Calling vs. Reading
Ever get a call from someone who asks, “I saw your email. What can I help you with?” As the conversation continues, you realize they haven’t even read your email, which contains everything they need to know. So now you find yourself explaining things a second time. Do everyone a favor. Read your email, or at least skim it, before asking someone for further information.