The one thing you should never do in an email!

Ok I lied, there isn’t just one thing there’s six but now that I’ve got your attention you might as well read what they are. After all, an email is often your chance to make a first impression, or the maker or breaker of a good relationship. Here are some golden rules to make sure you’re doing the right thing.

DO NOT forward emails and simply edit the text thinking when you add a new address and hit send they will get it as if they were the original recipient. If you haven’t selected your text and unified the colour, font and size the changes made can and often do show up. There is nothing worse than getting an email where the body is the same but your name is in blue. URGH, you have pretty much just confirmed that it’s a mass email and I’m no longer interested.

DO NOT use the cc field as a power trip of forces. Sure, add relevant members who need to be cc’d but do not continually add the boss. Firstly they’re most like too busy to care about being bombarded by your emails (unless of course they’ve specifically asked) but also you know you’re using it as an ‘All eyes on you, you better deliver’ tactic. Not cool. It’s also not necessary to email irrelevant parties who don’t need to be across the content OR the conversations has diverted but you keep them on there anyhow. Did you know it takes up to 23mins and 15sec on average to get back on task once you have been interrupted? Did you know that emails are often one of the highest causes of interrupted workflow? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

DO NOT send mass group emails with everyone’s details visible. There is nothing worse than receiving a group chain email. Most of the time before you even open it it’s already accumulated at least six stacked responses and now that you’re late to the party and are left confused as fuck. Worse still you delete the email and it keeps popping back up in your inbox when someone replies. If it’s a personal email, you’re better off doing it over Facebook messenger or Whatsapp – everyone has the open to leave the conversation or play part in their personal/downtime. If it’s business related then again, make sure only the relevant people are addressed and if you are asking for responses, ask they do not reply all rather reply only to yourself.

DO NOT respond straight away if you are in business and you suddenly get an email. Why? Well if you’re busy working, you are on task and that means you’re not on your emails. If you have time to reply instantly the person will be questioning (especially your boss) Hmmm, how busy are they really? Do they have enough work? It’s not a good look, so take a moment to chill, there never really is anything that requires urgent response. If you struggle with restraint, shut your email down and open intermittently during the day like morning, lunch and before you head home. If it really is urgent, they will call you.

DO NOT ignore emails when people take the time to write. It’s plain rude. If someone has written and the proposal is not of interest be polite and respectful. Take the time to respond, to acknowledge them and say thanks but no thanks. Even if it’s a late response it’s better than no response. DO respond even to those ‘annoying’ emails of people trying to secure a meeting, perhaps to sell their product. Remember, you were once (or maybe still are) someone trying to get your foot in the door with someone.

DO NOT send anything that is going to come back to bite you in the ass. If you hesitate even for a moment because you’re wondering if you should or shouldn’t, it’s most likely your gut telling you to hit the little red X in the corner.

Hopefully these can help you improve your email game.

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Sali Sasi


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