11 common email blunders that everyone should avoid

Gone are the days of people perking up at the cheery ‘You’ve got mail!’ alert. Still, electronic missives are vital for conveying crucial information. Here are the pitfalls to sidestep.

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How many emails do you produce each day?

How many of them are polite, effective and easy to read?

If you’ve ever had concerns about your ability to write winning emails, check this list to ensure you’re not making mistakes that trip up a surprising number of communicators:

1. You pay too little attention to the subject line. This includes sins such as:

2. You use ALL CAPS or only lowercase, or you abuse exclamation points. Using ALL CAPS seems like shouting.

Occasionally you can uppercase one entire word for emphasis, but it’s better to use italics. (Just don’t use italics for more than a couple of words; they’re harder to read.) Lowercase looks like laziness—that you didn’t bother to use the “shift” key when you were writing. This will make the reader feel disrespected. Using too many explanation points makes you look overly excited and untrustworthy. Worse, if the item isn’t exciting to everyone in your audience—e.g., “VP wins leadership award!”—the exclamation point makes you look deluded.

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