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Oops! These 9 Terms Make Your Email Sound Imprudent

Since the digital era introduced the e-mail, it has become the most conventional tool for business owners and professionals to communicate to their clients or potential collaborators. In the digital marketing setup, we use this for outreach, guest blog, campaign, and other marketing purposes. Is it effective? Yes. But the response takes time, as not all recipients have the time to entertain loads of e-mails every day. But their feedback depends on how the message is constructed. So, the golden rule here is to be (extra) careful especially if your aim is to convince them to try your services or corroborate with you.

Speaking of being word cautious, we gathered tips from a syndicated content on rude e-mail terms from Outsource-Philippines, a global provider of outsourcing solutions and we came up with 9 words you don’t want to write in your e-mails; otherwise, you’ll get nothing but rejection or negative replies:

1. “Fine”

“Fine, let’s meet tomorrow afternoon at 4.”
“That’s fine with me.”

Except from complimenting a person of his/her looks (For example, “You look so fine today!” ), using the word “fine” as a response is like trying to convince your addressee that you’re pleased, which is actually not.

2. “Thanks”

In fact, using “thanks” in an e-mail is not rude – only if you’re talking to a colleague, family member, relative, or friend. But in a professional setting, I couldn’t argue with the fact that “Thank you” sounds a lot better, especially when you’re writing to a person in a higher profile.

3. Swearing

Obviously, swearing is strictly prohibited because it’s really rude and unprofessional. Well, unless if you want to tell your friend, “S***! This is the best f****** article I’ve read!” then go ahead. He/she’ll never get it wrong. However, you can’t express the same to a stranger or high-profile person.

4. “Important”

There’s nothing wrong with using this word, especially if your message needs an urgent response. But writing it in all caps, adding an exclamation remark, or overkilling it with another word will make it sound bad and demanding. I guess the infographic only suggests that you use a more subtle term or just simply write “important” in the subject line.

5. “Me”, ”Myself”, or “I”

If you’re writing an e-mail to ask for a favor, using “me” or “I” can make it sound less convincing. It’s like obliging them to do something for you and if they refuse, you’ll be very disappointed. Remember that the goal is to keep your message sound professional. So to make you understand the point further, let us compare these two short messages:

If you have time, can you send me the documents? It’s important to me to double-check those before sending them to the team leader.

If you have time, please send the documents. It’s important to double-check them for errors before sending to the team leader.”

6. “You”

I know what some of you think of this one and let me interpret it with this question, “If #2 suggests to write ‘Thank you’ instead of ‘thanks’, then why is it now telling me to avoid using the word ‘you’?

Don’t worry. It made me ask the same question. But before I made a conclusion, I searched for the resources and found out what this really wants us to understand: If you’re writing an e-mail to show your negative response or rejection, it’s suggests to not use the word “you” too excessively as it can offend the recipient. But if your message is to show your gratitude or approval, then why make “You did a great job on this one. Thank you!” remark sound so rude, right?

7. “Actually” or “No”

Written communication is more complex than oral communication, because the intonation is not present, which is critical for us to identify the emotion or attitude behind the message. When it comes to correcting a person, there’s a fine line between sounding mean and polite, and using the word “actually” will drag your rep to the bad side. For instance, if you’re correcting the sender about a place or time, just say, “It’s at Delhi café at 8:00 a.m.” not, “Actually, it’s at Delhi café at 8:00 a.m.

8. “Sorry”

Again, I looked back to the resources and this one doesn’t really tell you to not to say “sorry” when you made a mistake. Rather, replace the word with “apologize” as it sounds more sincere and professional.

9. Exclamation Points

Again, if you’re talking to a friend, colleague, or relative, you can go beyond the rule. But when you’re talking to a stranger or a person in a higher position, adding more than one exclamation point may make you sound awkward, arrogant, or overconfident.

E-mailers from different country may find certain words inappropriate, unhelpful, or “offensive” to their culture and we respect that as we have ours, too. But the bottom line here is to help you make your message sound friendly in a professional manner. It will not hurt to give it a try, will it?

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Image courtesy of watcharakun at FreeDigitalPhotos.net