10 common Email mistakes

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Mistake 1: Using the Wrong Tone

img_6954.jpgI was reading mind-tool article and thought to share with my readers.You might be tempted to send emails quickly when you’re in a rush, without thinking carefully about your audience, what you’re saying, or how your message might come across. So, it’s important to consider who you’re “talking” to and what action you want them to take, before you start writing.

For example, an email to a senior manager should be more formal than a quick update to a team member, and a message to a customer will likely be more enthusiastic and polite than an exchange with a close colleague.

Although your email’s subject matter may be clear to you, its recipient might not share your knowledge or understanding. So, avoid using abbreviations, jargon or “text speak,” and consider whether your message is appropriate before you hit the send button. Will your reader understand what you’re saying? And is your information clearly structured and presented?

A good rule to follow is to address people in an email as you would in person. For example, making a quick request or providing instructions without a “hello” or “thank you” will likely come across as rude, regardless of how busy you are. So, make sure that all of your emails are courteous and respectful, and avoid typing in capitals, which implies anger or aggression.

Mistake 2: Hitting “Reply All”

How often have you been copied into an email exchange that’s not relevant to you, and doesn’t require you to take any action? Chances are, it happens regularly, and you know how frustrating it can be.

“Reply all” is a useful tool for keeping multiple team members in the loop, or for documenting group decisions, but many people use it without considering who should actually receive their email.

Receiving numerous irrelevant emails throughout the day can be distracting and time consuming; and becoming known as the person who always hits “reply all” can potentially damage your reputation , as it can appear thoughtless, rushed and unprofessional. It might also suggest that you’re not confident making decisions without input from senior managers.

So, consider whether you should “reply all” or respond only to the email’s sender. And, think about whether using “cc” (carbon copy) or “bcc” (blind carbon copy) to include selected team members is more appropriate.

Mistake 3: Writing Too Much

Brief and succinct emails that contain only the important details are much more effective than long or wordy ones.

If you’re struggling to keep your message short, consider whether the subject matter is too complex. Would another way of communicating it be more effective? Would a face-to-face meeting or telephone call make it clearer? Should you put your information in a procedure document instead?

Mistake 4: Forgetting Something?

How many times have you sent an email without attaching the relevant document? Perhaps you included a link that didn’t work? Or even attached the wrong file?

These mistakes can often be fixed quickly with a follow-up email, but this adds to the large volume of messages that people receive, and it can appear unprofessional or forgetful. Consider attaching files as soon as your start drafting your message, and always check all of your links carefully.

Attaching the wrong document can be much more serious, particularly if it’s sensitive or restricted. Read our article on confidentiality in the workplace to identify what information is confidential in your organization, and to think about how to protect your data.

Mistake 5: Emailing the Wrong Person

Today, email providers increasingly use “auto-fill,” predictive text and “threads” (or “conversation view”), which can all increase the risk of you sending your message to the wrong person.

This can be embarrassing, but it also means that your email might not reach its intended recipient unless someone flags up your mistake. More seriously, you risk distributing sensitive information to the wrong people, and damaging your organization’s reputation. So, always pause to review your email before you send it.

When you reply to or forward an email within a thread, make sure that all the messages contained within it are appropriate for the recipient. Is there any sensitive information? Are there any personal comments or remarks?

Mistake 6: Being Too Emotional

One of the main benefits of email is that you don’t need to respond immediately. It’s particularly important to delay your response when you’re stressed, angry or upset – if you send a message in the heat of the moment, you can’t get it back (although some email clients do have a limited “undo” or “retrieve” option). These emails could damage your working relationships, or even be used as evidence against you.

So, avoid sending any messages when you feel this way. Wait until you’ve calmed down and can think clearly and rationally.

Mistake 7: Not Using “Delay Send”

It can be satisfying to send an email as soon as you finish writing it, so that it’s “off your desk.” However, many email clients now provide a “delay” or “scheduled send” function, which can be particularly useful.

Mistake 8: Using Vague Subject Lines

As we’ve said, email is most effective when your message is concise and to the point (but not abrupt). So, it’s important to start with a clear subject line, so that people know what to expect when they open it.

What is your email about? Is there an important deadline date? Do you want people to take action before a certain time? Is it urgent or non-urgent? Tailor your subject line accordingly, so your recipient can give the email the right level of priority and attention.

Mistake 9: Not Reviewing

Proofing your emails is one of the most important things you can do. It only takes a few minutes, and it helps you to pick up poor grammar, spelling mistakes and punctuation errors, which look unprofessional andsloppy . Our article on Writing Skills has more on how to check your work for mistakes.

It’s also important to ensure that you properly read and understand emails that are sent to you, including all messages in threads or conversations. Here, someone may have already dealt with your question or concern, and raising it again will likely result in duplication, frustration and confusion.

Finally, don’t add the recipient to your email until the last moment. This ensures that you can’t accidentally send your message before you’ve finished writing it, have added your attachment, checked the email, and spotted any errors.

Mistake 10: Sending Unnecessary Emails

Because email is so quick and convenient, it can easily become your default communication method with your team. However, it’s important to remember that email is also impersonal, and you risk losing touch with people if you rely on it too much. It’s certainly not a substitute for face-to-face or even phone communication.

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About anubhamauryawalia

Contact us at 919818446562, training@prismphilosophy.com. Anubha, a Trainer, Facilitator & OD&L Professional is a prolific Human Process Interventionist, created PRISM Philosophy, ( Prepare. Respect. Implement. Share. Maintain) carries 18 years of rich experience have worked with top of the line blue-chip​ organizations like Honeywell, ICICI Bank, Moody ICL Certification were she was heading ODL, Trainings & Quality verticals. Her areas of expertise include human process intervention, Organisation Development, Change engagement Learning, Team building, POSH and Quality implementation.

24 responses »

  1. Difference between the recipient (to) and the one to whom we need to send the carbon copy(cc) should be clear, recepient should be the who is going to take the action whereas the person in carbon copy aren’t the action takers, they should be the people who just need to know that the work is done or going to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Ms. anubha walia first of the thanks for you for share the experience with us and you give me allot of training that how to meeting & talk to customer like that hand shake good morning, good afternoon etc. today you give me training for our team communication how to communicate our senior & junior person. you give me a good instruction for how to send email our respective staff & customers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello mam,

    I learn so many things about the mail so now I am thinking how many mistakes I was done my daily mails.
    But now I am very ok
    Thank you so much

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Ma’am
    Thank you so much for realising us the importance of these little things, we do know most of the things still we silently ruin our career.
    I will take care now onwards, especially about my talent/s which I never cared about.
    Had a great time with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Every individual while writing a formal email should follow all this norms so that the information is conveyed in a well scripted way ..n is considerable by the person who is reading …it’s will be really be helping us in future for sure .
    Thank you so much

    Like

  6. I think after ready your valuable and important views on email writing I will be able to improve on my writing tone, and the way I overall approach an email. Now I have a better understanding on how necessary it is to remember all the content that needs to be delivered in an email. Surely after this I believe I will give more attention to all the highlighted points and requirements mentioned above.
    Thank you.

    Like

  7. These 10 email mistakes helped me to know about where did I go wrong while emailing. And what should I keep in mind, when I’ll be emailing someone next time. Thanks for the information!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. While writing emails be specific,short ,to the point and avoid mistakes . This is really helpful to understand other things which kept in mind while writing emails.

    Liked by 1 person

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