14 Bad Email Habits You Need to Work On (Part 1)

Sandra Busch
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Bad Habits Part 1

How many times a day do you shoot people an email? Too many to count, I’m guessing. Proper email etiquette is a force to be reckoned with, yet there are so many people that continue to trip in the most common email gaffes. Here are 14 bad email habits you need to work on.

1. Sending urgent emails that are only urgent on opposite day

Don’t be the boy who cried wolf by tagging everything as urgent. If you do, it won’t be long before it loses all meaning and people start ignoring it. That wouldn’t be great if one day you had a deadline or an invoice that was actually urgent, now would it?

2. Writing subject lines that only Sherlock Holmes can decipher

Clear subject lines are the Holy Grail of email correspondence. Use an extra 10 seconds to think about how best to convey the subject of your email in a one-liner. Don’t leave the recipient guessing, but be clear and concise. This will usually also encourage them to read and reply quicker.

3. CC’ing everyone without a green light

Public service announcement: We all need to “CC” responsibly. I’ve always felt that CC is too much power up for grabs without instructions. It’s infinitely annoying when someone adds a ton of people to a conversation you thought was between the two of you. Sharing information that’s not yours to share is a no-go. 

4. CC’ing just for the hell of it

As you can probably tell, I’m not a fan of how people use the CC feature. Especially when people overuse it and CC’s a bunch of people just for the FYI. As if we don’t have enough emails taking up space as it is. If it really is need-to-know information, you’re allowed – but think twice before CC’ing.

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5. BCC’ing. Period.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the number of situations in which it is appropriate to use blind copy can be counted on one hand. It could be that you’re sending impersonal, pure information to a group of over 30 people, which makes it fine to hide the other recipients. However, don’t lead someone to believe they are the only recipient of an email when they are not. 

6. Being waaaay 2 super casual about it, like, u know?? (smiley face)

You can get away with sending casual emails to your high school bestie, but usually, it pays off to use a more professional tone via email. The tone of your message should definitely reflect the relationship you have with the recipient, but made-up words, dancing emojis or silly fonts are rarely appropriate.

7. Sounding like a robot

Of course, you can go overboard with professionalism and reach the point of sounding like a stuck-up robot with a law degree. That’s no good either, so try and find a healthy in-between.

 

Read part two of 14 bad email habits you need to work on

 

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