Email has revolutionised the way that we communicate with each other and now, email, along with text messages are not only replacing hard copy letters, but they are also replacing talking to people, face to face. There is nothing wrong with email; it is only a small part of the interment revolution, but there are some hidden mistakes that people make with email without even realising. The problem is that you can’t back track on an email and once it’s sent, it’s sent. Read these ten common email habits that drive people mad and see if they are ones that you need get rid of:
1. Expecting instant responses
Just because you sent it, doesn’t mean that the other person has read it. So don’t expect instant responses. Not everyone sits watching their inbox all day long, so give people a break and don’t send follow up emails, minutes after your original email.
2. Don’t ask for read receipts
Read receipts are just telling the recipient of the email that you don’t trust them. It almost looks like you are spying on them. Are you really sitting there thinking, he’s read it, so why hasn’t he responded yet?
3. Flagging emails that aren’t urgent, “urgent”
The fact that you may be five minutes late for a date is not “URGENT”. The fact that your date has been stalking you and he is now outside your front door is “URGENT”. Marking everything as urgent will just mean that people won’t take the really urgent emails seriously.
4. Following up emails with a phone call
Now this one is really annoying. If you are in the habit of emailing someone and then immediately phoning to ask, ‘did you see my email?’, then stop! If I’d got your email I would have responded and if I didn’t, why didn’t you just telephone me in the first place anyway!
5. Trying to hold a conversation via email
If you want a conversation then go see them or pick up the telephone. Back and forth correspondence via email is annoying and a waste of everybody’s time. Meet for a chat, its far better.
6. Using meaningless subject lines
‘HELLO’ or ‘HI’ are not subjects, they are greetings! Subject lines like ‘Do you want to out tonight’ or ‘I bought a new handbag’ are not only more interesting, they will make the recipient want to open up and read the email too.
7. Making emails to long-winded
Most people skim emails and use them for short messages. If your emails look more a chapter from your autobiography, then it is unlikely that the recipients are going to read the whole way through. They will probably even miss the point of the message!
8. Copying in people ‘FYI’ that don’t need to know
Most people read ‘FYI’ as ‘You don’t really need to know this, but I’m going to let you in on it anyway’. Unless someone is actually part of the conversation, or needs to know, then don’t copy them, they probably won’t read it anyway.
9. Using sarcasm
Remember that the person receiving your email cannot hear your tone of voice. The email appears in front of them in pure black and white. Words of sarcasm can often be read literally and be taken in entirely the wrong way.
10. Using capital letters inappropriately
Using capital letters in an email mean that I AM SHOUTING AT YOU! It’s a way of placing emphasising on a point that you are trying to make. Don’t send an email in capitals unless it’s something that you are really passionate about and remember, it will read like you are shouting. Look at the difference between; ‘I need to see you!’ and ‘I NEED TO SEE YOU!’