Some great advice from: “4 Times You Should Absolutely Not Send That E-mail,” Forbes.com
There’s a time to e-mail, and a time to call. Sometimes in the rush to be responsive you’ll instantly send an e-mail, but doing so may backfire.
When should you e-mail and when should you maybe wait to respond until you can call or even talk in-person? Forbes.com recently highlighted times when you absolutely should not send that e-mail. Some of their biggest e-mail no-no’s:
Sending a long response.
“If you could write what you’re thinking in one sentence and your e-mail is still three paragraphs long, you’re in trouble,” the article notes. For example, maybe you’re correcting a client’s confusion over a transaction. You may end up dedicating one section of your e-mail to how you understand why the person might be confused and then another section to what you think should be done, and a third section honing in on how your plan is really the better route to go. The longer the e-mail, though, the more lines the other person could potentially misread.
Instead, be succinct with your message. If you disagree with someone, just write “I’m not sure we’re on the same page” or “I had a different read on it” – is more efficient – and nicer than going on and on, the article notes.
Too much punctuation.
If your e-mail has too much emphasis, you may want to second-guess sending it. For example, if you’ve made every other word italicized, bold, or in all caps and punctuated everywhere – the other person will perceive you as being extreme. “If your sentiments aren’t positive, the other person could easily think you’re trying to convey anger – as opposed to say, simple confusion,” the article notes. Limit yourself to one punctuation mark and no italics.
Your response is confusing.
You’ve had a long, busy day and you keep re-reading the e-mail you’re crafting over and over again to make sure it makes sense. You may be better off waiting to press send until you’re more alert. If it’s absolutely urgent, send a response with a short message that promises to send more details later. That way you’ve confirmed you received the other person’s message and have let her know you’ll be in touch with more information soon. This provides you more time to compose your response and more time to focus on making it succinct.
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