Eight Email Mistakes To Avoid

Most people are glued to their inboxes. The average office worker receives well over 100 business emails every day. Most people send about 40 business emails a day. Unless you diligently work to have your inbox at zero, you probably have dozens or even hundreds of emails just sitting in your inbox. As of 2021, the average number of emails waiting to be read in an inbox is 200.

Considering how much time professionals spend on emails—either writing them or responding to them—it’s important to make sure you’re using email properly. According to David Grossman, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, CSP, the founder and CEO of The Grossman Group, emails are most effective when providing brief status updates, sharing timely information and offering detailed data. He says email is also effective when you want to ensure there’s a record of your communication and when you want to point the recipient to an online source.

But what should you avoid before hitting send? Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, where we outline Grossman’s bad habits to break when it comes to email.

1. Sending unnecessary emails. This is one of the biggest mistakes that professionals make, according to Grossman. Pause and consider if email is the best communication channel for your message. For example, would a blog or social media post be more appropriate? Don’t send an email if it isn’t really necessary.

2. Writing confusing emails. Before you send your email off to recipients, take a moment to read through it. Is your message simple and clear? The recipient should be able to quickly understand what you’re trying to say.

3. Sending irrelevant information. If you typically include cumbersome details in your emails, you may be committing a common email mistake. Grossman encourages professionals to consider their audience before sending emails. If the information isn’t relevant, leave it out.

4. Engaging in too much back-and-forth. In many ways, emails are much more convenient than traditional meetings. However, if you find yourself going back and forth with the recipient, either schedule a Zoom call or pick up the phone, advises Grossman.

5. Hiding behind email. Some conversation are difficult to have, and many professionals use email to avoid those conversations. However, Grossman points out that conflict escalates quicker and lasts longer over email. He encourages professionals to discuss uncomfortable topics face-to-face or over the phone—not behind a keyboard.

6. Forgetting a call to action. Another common email blunder is leaving off a call to action. Whether you’re emailing a colleague or client, the other person should always know what you would like them to do with the information.

7. Hitting “reply all.” This is almost always a way to needlessly flood people’s inboxes. If everyone on the chain doesn’t need to see your response, don’t reply to all, says Grossman.

8. Copying unnecessary people. This mistake goes hand in hand with the above email blunder. Try to avoid CC’ing people unless they need to see that you have taken some sort of action, advises Grossman.

When used appropriately, email can be an incredible time-saver. You can communicate your message without needing to schedule a call or meeting. Just stay mindful of the common mistakes above. Whether your emails are hard to read, or you bog people down by copying them unnecessarily, make sure you are using email properly.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: David Grossman, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, CSP, is founder and CEO of the The Grossman Group, an award-winning communications consultancy.

filed under October 2021
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