Fix 7 Common Email Mistakes

7 of the most common mistakes made when emailing and how to fix them.–PC Pitstop.

7 Common Email Mistakes and How to Fix Them

by Natasha Stokes for Techlicious

As a staple of the American office for over twenty years, email has become a surprisingly easy way of eating up hours of your workday or getting yourself fired from nothing more than a few all-caps sentences.

Google recently launched an Undo Send feature that speaks volumes about the consequences of missent email. But with a maximum time window of 30 seconds for senders’ regret to kick in, it’s no cure-all for the email mistakes we’re still making. (Need a longer window? Check out our article on unsending options for different mail apps.)

Here are some of most common mistakes made over email and the fixes to make them all better.

1. You’re writing too aggressively.
A brisk email noting what needs to be done may appear to be the epitome of professional communication, but with a lack of nonverbal cues, many people blow negative aspects out of proportion. A study by industrial and organizational psychologist Erin Richard bolsters that point. Two hundred eighty-eight undergraduate students were asked to read an email and then listen to a voicemail containing the same somewhat negative statements such as being late with a deadline. The email was perceived more negatively.

Fix: If you have something to complain about, do it face to face or over the phone so your recipient can hear your tone of voice, says Richard.

2. You’re emailing at a bad time.
A survey of 500,000 marketing emails by email tracking software provider Yesware found that emails sent in the morning had the highest reply rate (45 percent), no matter what day of the working week it was.

Fix: If you’re sending an email whose response you’re waiting on tenterhooks for, consider doing it first thing in the morning, or download an email app such as Letter Me Later to schedule a specific send time. If you use Microsoft Outlook, you can set a favorable send time by selecting Delay Delivery in Options, then clicking Do Not Deliver. According to Richard, people tend to use any kind of cues in the email to make inferences about the email, including time stamp.

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