Friday, September 10, 2010

Top 10 Business Email Pet Peeves

1. Forgotten attachment
Have you ever forgotten an attachment and had to resend the same email apologizing to recipients for the second email notice? Use the FREE software FAD (Forgotten Attachment Detector) and you will never forget an attachment again.

2. Grammar and spelling errors
Nothing says unprofessional more than an email filled with grammar and spelling errors. Before sending the email, print it and read it aloud. If you have time, save the email as a DRAFT and come back to it later, not only will you find mistakes you may also have more content you would like to add.

3. Too lengthy

If the email is more than 3-4 paragraphs in length with more than 4-5 sentences, pick up the phone and call the individual or go see them in-person (if possible). Important information can be missed or misunderstood in a long, drawn out email. To avoid the miscommunication of email notices, keep it short and simple. If several recipients are involved, perhaps you should consider holding a teleconference.

4. Emotionally charged

Ever received an email from a colleague or supervisor and you could read the anger, disappointment, or stress in the message? How did you feel after you read it? You want to respond immediately, right? WRONG! Never send an email when you are not at your normal emotional state of mind. Take time to think about your response that will be professional and fact driven, not emotionally charged. Remember, what you say will be in writing forever!

5. Too many FW: FW:
If you have received a message that has 2 or more FW: and need to respond, do yourself and the other recipients a favor and change the subject. Update or revise the subject line to reflect the new email topic. Emails with numerous ‘FWs’ are overlooked or sent to the Spam folder.

6. Wrong recipient.
Beware of the auto fill-in feature in MS Outlook. This feature is great time saver when filling in email addresses as you begin to type them, but be very cautious of the choices that are recommended. If you have three people with similar names and you wanted to send an email to your boss but you send it to your friend, it can be embarrassing and the worst part is you didn’t realize that your supervisor never received the email.

7. No subject line
Inform recipients of what the email is regarding, often times emails without a subject line will not be read for fear of viruses or will be sent to Spam.

8. Attachment can’t be opened due to incompatibility of software
This has been a growing issue in companies that have updated their MS Office package while others are still using Windows 98. Be mindful of who you are sending documents to and send them in a format that is compatible. For example, save the Word document in ‘97-2003’ format that way anyone can open it whether they are using MS 2003, 2007, 2010.

9. Improper Use of Texting Shorthand

Texting has become a method of quick communication; however, it should not be included in business email communication. Shorthand, such as LOL (Laughing out loud) and BRB (Be right back), are not appropriate to use in business notices and believe it or not, there are people who do not know what they mean.

10. Too many recipients

Mass email messages with numerous recipients in the ‘to’ and ‘cc’ fields can get long. Include all email addresses using the ‘bcc’ field and place your own email address in the ‘to’ field. This feature will not make the message appear long, other email addresses remain confidential, and you will have a copy of the email on your Inbox to use as follow-up.

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1 comment:

LaShaune said...

and my favorite is addressing me by my last name without the proper salutation or no greeting at all. That's just plain rude.

#7 is a close 2 on my list.

I have to send weekly updates department wide as well as lecture notifications. I try very hard to triple check my e-mails before sending because I hate having to send a correction. But alas, it never fails. At least folks can't say they never received the information since I had to send it twice.