For a vast majority of those in the workforce, email the preferred method of communication.
Recent studies indicate that a working adult spends almost a quarter of their life looking at their email inbox. So it’s no surprise that we sometimes go on autopilot when composing emails and fail to pay attention to the smaller details.
But those tiny emails can add up, and they can make you seem less professional overall. Smaller mistakes can eat into your productivity while you’re having to correct them, but sometimes bigger mistakes can cost you a client or even your job!
So, it’s time to do some work – smarten up and learn what not to do when it comes to email, and identify when you’re about to make a costly mistake so you can reel it back in. So, what are some of the most common & costly email mistakes?
Hitting the Wrong Reply Button
Sending an email to the wrong person is not just an embarrassment, but it can be costly as well.
Here’s a story we’ve heard before: Christie is the PR Manager for a digital marketing firm, and was getting frustrated by a client who she thought was impeding their progress. So, she sent an email to her team:
“Looks like we’ll have to go around [the client] if we want to get anything done.”
Unfortunately, Christie hit “reply-all” which included the client. This simple mistake cost Christie’s company a $1million account.
This even happens to the big wigs… Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics fame once griped to co-writer Steven Levitt that a research team he was trying to interview was a “bunch of liars”. But, you guessed it: the message went out to the team instead of to his co-writer.
Sometimes a simple apology can solve the problem – but wouldn’t it be better if it never happened? We suggest always checking and double-checking the to field before you click send.
Hey, everyone has emotions. Everyone gets annoyed and upset. They always say you shouldn’t take work stuff personally but you’re only human so its totally natural that sometimes, a situation at work just grinds your gears.
But – you should never ever ever ever ever send an email when you’re upset or angry. Whether you’re aiming fire at the source of the frustration, or you want to talk smack about someone behind their back. Just don’t do it. And here’s why…
Email is permanent. When you hit send there is no going back. That email is gone and whatever you said is on record forever.
We all do and say things that we don’t mean when we’re angry. So, it’s easy to do the same thing when writing an email. But before you do – count to 10. Maybe count to 20 or 30. Whatever you need to do to clear your head so you don’t say something you might regret.
Don’t be a Comedian
Email is the WORST tool for trying to be funny or sarcastic. The margin for error and misunderstanding is HUGE.
In a recent study, researchers transcribed voice recording messages into emails. There were two sets of emails: some sarcastically joking, some serious.
Participants then were asked to rate the tone of the transcribed emails: serious or sarcastic? They were only right 56% of the time… that’s a pretty low score.
So – leave your sarcasm and snark out of the email. Save it for calls.
Being Lazy with your Attachments
Attachments are quite possibly the “necessary evil” of the email world – and people are constantly forgetting them or attaching something that could be in the body of the email.
Just like with the to field…. You should always check the attachments and make sure you’re not forgetting anything. A great way to double check this is to ALWAYS include the word “Attached” or “Attachment” in your email text.
Most email clients will give you a warning before you send an email with a missing attachment. But technology has faults, so double checking is still in your best interest.
Not Using a Signature
An email signature might only save you a few seconds on every email you send but that can add up. If you send 100 emails a day, a well-crafted signature can help save about 30 minutes a day!
Not to mention, a signature is also an amazing promotion tool. Don’t forget to put your business phone, website link & social media accounts in the signature!
When it comes to email blunders, these are just a few of the big ones that can cost you time, money and reputation. One thing you can do that will help your ability to send well-crated emails, is having a professional email address. If your email address doesn’t match your website domain, it can look unprofessional or even confuse customers. Surf Your Name has the perfect solution: we can get your business set up with GSuite, and even create gorgeous HTML email signatures for your team. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help your business!