Writers Write creates writing resources and shares writing tips. In this post, we share the top five useless phrases in emails.
*Yawn* Phrases in Email Correspondence
According to a study conducted in 2011 by The Radicati Group Inc., the typical corporate email user sends and receives about 105 email messages per day. That is a lot of ‘commercial noise’ in a user’s inbox.
How does a business ensure that important emails are read and not deleted?
By applying the rule, keep it short and simple. This means pruning out the many useless phrases that thrive in business emails.
Emails have become an extension of our thoughts and communication. The modern email user will write an email and press the ‘send’ button before checking if the contents are correct. This is understandable in a world of I-have-no-time.
The problem with this approach is that there is no ‘face’ to the email and the email could create a negative perception about your company.
Spelling errors and overused phrases can spell commercial disaster. It conveys the perception that your business is unprofessional, rushes through everything and that the use of correct language is not important.
It is time to examine your emails. Do your emails let you and your business down?
The Top 5 Useless Phrases In Emails
- I think … When a sentence begins with this phrase, it tells the recipient that you are unsure about yourself. Your tone must be assertive and confident.
- Please be advised… People often use this lawyer-type phrase. It is unnecessary. Be direct. If you are informing a debtor that payment is overdue then state the obvious. ‘Your cheque is overdue’ is to the point and unpretentious.
- Please do not hesitate to contact me … People will contact you if they are interested in your product or have a query. This is an irritating cliché used in emails. The message you are sending out is that you are not an original thinker.
- Kindly … ‘Please’ works better than this old-fashioned word.
- Enclosed please find … or Attached please find… People tend to use these phrases because they are neutral and the user avoids using the personal pronoun ‘I’. They are also archaic. The word ‘find’ shows a lack of confidence. It is also impossible to enclose anything in an email. Rather say: I have attached…
Do not allow unnecessary words to taint your clients’ view of you or your business. Phrases are useless communication ‘fillers’, rather like small talk. And, who has time for that?
If you want to improve your business writing, join us for The Plain Language Programme.
by Ulrike Hill
Ulrike is a ghost writer and the author of two books. She facilitates creative and business writing courses for Writers Write. She also lecturers English and Communication Science. Follow Ulrike on Twitter and Facebook and visit her LinkedIn profile.