Email has been around for decades, yet amazingly we all seem to screw it up constantly. Typically, you won’t notice your mistakes until after you press the send button and it’s too late. Alternatively, you might not ever notice that you’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. But don’t worry — we’re here to help!
Before you even think of checking your inbox again, read on and see how many of these 20 email blunders you’re guilty of.
1. Replying Without Reading Everything
“Want to see a movie this Thursday night? Let me know what looks good and what time I should pick you up!”
2. Emailing The Wrong Person With The Same First Name
Your manager from your college job at Starbucks is about to be very confused why you’re asking her to meet you at the aquarium this weekend.
3. Accidentally Replying All
This is especially bad for those who work in a big company. If everyone gets an email asking to send in their planned vacation time, prepare for an the impending tidal wave of emails you don’t need to be getting.
4. Forgetting To Reply All
“Let everyone know what day works best.” Key word: everyone!
5. Not Proofreading
Your email program makes it easy to spot typos and grammar mistakes, yet many of us can’t be bothered to give our drafts a second glance before sending. Best case scenario — you’ll look like you can’t spell that well; worst case scenario — your message will be autocorrected from asking your wife to go to “Disney Land” to “Divorce Land.”
6. Emailing Too Soon
“I’m trying to load your website but nothing’s happening.”
30 seconds later…
“Never mind, just loaded.”
7. Expecting A Reply Immediately
It’s been over 2 hours since you asked your friend to proofread your draft. What could they possibly be doing that’s more important?
8. Overanalyzing Every Word
Relax, your email isn’t being considered for a Pulitzer Prize.
9. Forgetting An Attachment
Either they’re forgetting something, or they want you to touch up a photo of a white box.
10. Sending The Wrong Attachment
That photo of you pretending to push up the Leaning Tower of Pisa is definitely not your PowerPoint presentation on Q3 results.
11. Asking Something Easily Solvable By A Google Search
Sure, you’re not a football fan, but you shouldn’t have a problem finding out what the name of the Tampa Bay NFL team is. It’s the Buccaneers, by the way (I just Googled it)!
12. Forgetting To Log Out
“Thanks for letting me use your computer. Now enjoy reading everything I’ve ever sent to anyone ever!”
13. Starting A New Conversation On An Old Thread
If you’re planning your kid’s driving lessons and the subject line says “Re: Sale on diapers” then it’s probably time to start a new email thread.
14. Being Too Formal
Email is notorious for being difficult to convey tone. This doesn’t mean that you have to use proper form, syntax and grammar every single time. Just don’t go too overboard with lols and winky emoticons.
15. Not Replying
If you were talking to someone in person, you wouldn’t just abruptly turn around and walk away after the last thing that they said, so don’t leave them hanging after their last email either if the conversation isn’t finished!
16. Not Indicating You Expect A Reply
We’re not all mind-readers. If you need more information, make sure you actually ask for it.
17. Sending Sensitive Information
Even if you’ve enabled two-factor auth and change passwords every week, your contacts might be using the same atrocious “password” as their password for all of their accounts. So maybe hold off on sending passwords, social security numbers, building access codes and other information you don’t want in the wrong hands.
18. Sending From The Wrong Account
It doesn’t exactly instill much confidence in you if your client receives their report from firstname.lastname@example.org.
19. No Subject Line
News flash: people get a lot of emails. Help them sort through their jungle of an inbox by using a helpful subject line.
20. Emailing When Phone Works Better
Email isn’t always the answer. Sometimes you can save days of back-and-forths by picking up the phone and actually using your voice for 2 minutes!
As long as you’re getting better at email, why not start sending them from your own custom domain? Search for a unique domain to add an email address to from Hover: