We’ve all been there: You spend hours crafting the perfect email, only to have it ignored or, even worse, responded to with a “thanks but no thanks.” Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. But don’t worry. There are ways to break these bad email habits and start getting the responses you want.
Email is a ubiquitous part of our lives, but how often do we take the time to reflect on our email habits? In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 worst email habits and how to break them.
- Not personalizing your messages: Your recipients are more likely to respond if they feel like you took the time to personalize your message. So be sure to address them by name and include a personalized message whenever possible.
Solution: Personalize every email you send. Don’t make the mistake of sending an impersonal email.
- Not proofreading your messages: There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving an email riddled with typos and grammatical errors. It’s just not professional and reflects poorly on your professionalism.
Solution: Proofread every email you send. Check for typos, grammar mistakes, and misspellings.
- Starting your day with email: Checking email as soon as you wake up can set the tone for the rest of your day. You may feel overwhelmed and stressed out by all the messages.
Solution: try delaying your first check-in until after you’ve had some time to relax and focus on your priorities.
- Over-communicating with email: The internet is a great communication tool, but it’s not a replacement for face-to-face interactions. Don’t use email to communicate when you can talk in person.
Solution: Don’t rely on email to communicate regularly with people you don’t see. Instead, schedule a block of time each week when you can meet up and discuss everything from work to personal matters.
- Not having a clear purpose when writing an email: written communication is a powerful tool, but not if it’s without purpose. When you write an email, ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish with this message?”
Solution: when writing an email, make sure you have a clear and specific goal in mind before you begin.
- Replying to all: When you reply to every person who has sent you a message, you’re saying that your time is more valuable than theirs.
What can be done: Only reply to the people you value, and consider it an opportunity to build relationships.
- Not checking email at all: If you’re not checking your email once a day, you’re missing out on many important messages. Solution: Set aside a couple of hours a day to check email and respond to messages that require your attention.
- Checking email more than three times a day: Every email you receive is only one click away, but that doesn’t mean you should check it every time you get a new message.
- Ignoring emails: If you’re not replying to emails thinking, you will get back to them. Good luck with that. Most people don’t get back to them.
Solution: Make sure you reply to your emails as soon as you check them or mark them with priority or flag them to respond later.
- Not keeping tabs on your inbox: If you’re not aware of how many emails you have in your inbox, you’ll never be able to prioritize them. You may also miss important messages that require your attention.
What can be done: Attempt to reach Inbox Zero. Suppose you are getting hammered with useless or spam emails, use filters to block or send them to spam.
- Not following up: Customers will never read your emails if you don’t follow up. This is especially important if you turn your customers into loyal fans.
Solution: Follow up on every email you send. You may also create a system for follow-up that helps you prioritize and complete them.
- Not creating clear, concise messages: When you send an email, it’s not just the content that matters but also the way it is written. The content should be easy to understand, and the message should be easy to read.
- Being too busy: Being too busy and overworked is one of the biggest reasons for failing to follow up. If you are overloaded with work, don’t forget to prioritize your emails and tasks.
Solution: Schedule time for email management.
- Not understanding the importance of email: Many people say they don’t read their emails, but that’s a mistake. Even if you don’t get it right now, return to the email in a few days and reread it.
Solution: Read your emails and understand their zest before moving to the next one.
- Not understanding the importance of regular follow-up: Regular follow-up is essential in building relationships and establishing trust with a new contact.
In conclusion, many email habits can harm your productivity and reputation. However, by being aware of these habits and making a conscious effort to break them, you can improve your email efficiency and professionalism.