I have a problem. I'm neurotic when it comes to email. I manage my inbox really carefully and I care too much about proper email etiquette.
Over the years I've developed a list of what I've come to call Email Sins. Things that are just against any decent email etiquette and, in my opinion, should not be done. Here they are:
No Subject Line Emails:
If you are going to send someone an email have the decency to include a subject line. Leaving the subject line blank does make me more likely to open your email but also more likely to think you are incompetent or lazy.
Using An Old Thread:
What I think happens is you want to send an email to someone but you are too clueless to know how to create contacts and then reference them when adding a recipient to your email.
So, you do a search in your inbox for that person's name and find the last email conversation between the two of you and you reply to that email with an entirely new conversation that is in no way related to the previous email you are replying to.
This creates confusion. As I read your email I'm trying to understand what it has to do with the previous conversation and in the future, if I ever have to search my inbox to find your email I am going to have a hard time finding it because it is nestled in a threat with an unrelated subject line.
Sending An Email With a Request To Call or Text
I still don't understand why people do this. I get an email that looks something like this:
“Hey, Jacob give me a call.”
That is all. Nothing more to the email than that. This is super annoying.
There is the whole fact that you could have just called me but more importantly and really what makes this an email sin is that you went to the effort to type an email but effectively refused to tell me WHY you feel we need to chat on the phone.
Would it be that hard to append something to the end of the sentence to communicate the topic of the desired phone call?
What is worse is when that phone call takes place and the topic of conversation could and should have been fully handled via email. Why did we have to get on the phone at all? Clearly you have my email address and are capable of typing…
An Unruly Inbox
Now if your email inbox is a disaster that shouldn't affect me but what sometimes happens is I walk past a computer of one of my employees or a friend and I catch a glimpse of their email inbox and see they have somewhere between 150 and 14,000 unread emails.
This makes me want to vomit a little inside. Your personal email is your business I suppose but in the business world quality communication via email is a standard. Anyone not capable of managing an inbox so as to ensure they don't drop the ball or an important thing doesn't fall through the cracks needs to make a serious change.
So what are your email sins? What really gets on your nerves? Let me know in the comments below.