Email Etiquette: Here's Why YOUR EMPTY INBOX IS MOST LIKELY YOUR FAULT by Stacey Hanke

5 years ago


Have you ever sent an email – to your boss, colleague, client, sales prospect – and never got a response? It's probably not that they are too busy to respond, it's because they don’t want to respond – put simply, your email missed the mark.

People’s response to your emails is based on past experience with your messages. Perhaps your emails are long and confusing, are one continuous paragraph rather than brief sentences. Maybe your messages are so abbreviated they might as well be written in Morse code. Perhaps you include people who don’t need to be involved in the discussion. Rather than giving your emails the attention you want them to have, your readers’ response may be, "Ugh, I don’t have time right now to deal with this."

Poorly written emails jeopardize your influence. If your messages aren’t read, you can’t have influence. Your natural response to this situation may be to:

  • Assume your messages are being read even when you don’t receive a response.
  • USE ALL CAPS in the subject line of your emails to try to grab readers’ attention.
  • Send another email or text to make sure your reader received the first one.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. 

What's your biggest pet peeve when it comes to emails?

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Elisa Schmitz
Excellent points, Stacey Hanke ! I confess to avoiding certain people's emails for some of these very reasons!

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