Improve Email Etiquette and Reduce Email Overload

Improve messages you send
and reduce email overload.

For years, I’ve been helping people improve how they manage email. Whether they’re in my class or if they’ve sent me a message that needs improving, I’m always willing to offer my advice…whether they asked for it or not. I even wrote a book about it.

Every day, I receive at least one email message that makes me shake my head. If you improve your email habits, that will reduce your email overload.

My Top Three Email Pet Peeves

Here are my top three email pet peeves with a link to more. Pay attention to these, stop doing what you’re doing, and manage email better.

Reply to All to CYA (cover your butt). Stop sending to all if all do not have a need to know. You wanted to make sure you were covered so you’re sending everyone on a list your answer—whether they needed to know or not. Or you’re sending a message to everyone because you’re too lazy to select the appropriate recipients.

Don’t match subject lines to the message. Don’t pull up an old message, hit Reply, and send me a message that has nothing to do with the previous one. Suppose you sent an email message two months ago that said, “The monthly meeting has been cancelled.” You pulled up that old message because the email addresses were already in it. But this time, you wanted to let everyone know that coffee and donuts would be served at this month’s meeting. At the very least, change the subject line!

Send one-liners. You know those silly messages that say “Thanks.” You sent an email message to 25 people and 15 of them sent you a one-liner. Next time put “No Reply Necessary” at the top and at the bottom of your message. And when you send an email asking for something, add “Thanks in advance” so you won’t feel compelled to send a one-liner later.

Read the entire list of email pet peeves here on my Website.

PEACE.

5 Comments

  1. Peggy – I am guilty of sending the one liners like, “thanks” or “will do”. I feel like i'm being rude if I don't response with a confirmation to let folks know that I heard them or that i'm on it. I dont mind them sometimes because it lets me know that the other party is on board.

    I currently have over 4 email boxes and i would love to see a post from you about how to shut down some of them without feeling like your are missing important emails!

  2. Hi Kim, you're not being rude. If it'll make you feel better, thank them in advance. When you say “Will do,” you're letting the person know you'll do something…that's OK. Most messages will not require a response so think twice before you do this again.

    On your email overload, I have several email accounts too but they all come in to Outlook. I keep my messages to one screen and as long as I do this, I stay on top of with no worry of something falling through the cracks. Check out my Outlook training at http://www.DigitalBreakthroughs.com.

  3. Peggy – I am guilty of sending the one liners like, “thanks” or “will do”. I feel like i'm being rude if I don't response with a confirmation to let folks know that I heard them or that i'm on it. I dont mind them sometimes because it lets me know that the other party is on board.

    I currently have over 4 email boxes and i would love to see a post from you about how to shut down some of them without feeling like your are missing important emails!

    1. Hi Kim, you're not being rude. If it'll make you feel better, thank them in advance. When you say “Will do,” you're letting the person know you'll do something…that's OK. Most messages will not require a response so think twice before you do this again.

      On your email overload, I have several email accounts too but they all come in to Outlook. I keep my messages to one screen and as long as I do this, I stay on top of with no worry of something falling through the cracks. Check out my Outlook training at http://www.DigitalBreakthroughs.com.

  4. Hi Peggy,

    These are GREAT tips!! I plan to share this page during the next writing course. Keep up the good work. (smile)

    Connected by the written word,
    Marcia

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