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Common Email Pitfalls
Email has become a staple of business communication. You probably use email to communicate with virtually everyone from your co-workers to your customers, clients and prospects. It is quick, efficient and free. However, your email messages can send the wrong message about you. Forbes.com lists 10 email mistakes:
Watch your subject line. Don’t use things like “Important” or “Read Me.” It suggests that you don’t think the person receiving your message knows how to manage her email.
Don't use all capital letters. You might think this gives emphasis to your email. However, it actually can make you look arrogant and mean, according to Forbes, which adds that the same is true for excessive punctuation. It also can make you look like a small child having a tantrum. Write like a grownup.
Don't answer someone else's question. Sometimes you get a group email that includes a question that is directed at someone other than you. Even if you know the answer, don’t respond to the question. Give the person to whom the question is directed a chance to respond. If he wants your help, he will ask for it.
Don’t require that you always be CCd. It makes you look like you can’t give up control or like you don’t trust the people with whom you are emailing.
Don’t revise and resend someone else’s email. If an email has already been sent, you just show up the sender by sending an edited version, even if you are fixing real mistakes. However, if a colleague is consistently sending poorly written or edited email, you should gently discuss the issue—before an email is sent.
Don’t CC up. If you are in a dispute with someone, don’t CC their supervisor. It makes you look like a tattle-tale.
Give people a chance to respond. Don’t send an email to ask if they got the email you just sent. If it is critical that you communicate with someone immediately, call them.
Don’t flag all your emails as priority or important. Save that for the ones that really are. Otherwise, people will assume that all your emails are equally unimportant.
Don’t send an automated response to every email. An auto response is fine if you are going to be out of the office for an extended period with limited access to email. But don’t set your email to automatically respond to every email with the message that you received the email and you will get to it soon. That’s officious.
Don’t keep using the same email chain. Yes, it keeps all your correspondence together. But it also can become cumbersome and annoying. You can use the same chain for a specific topic, but start a new chain with a new topic.