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These email no-nos will drive you crazy

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Does anyone still put pen to paper to express his or her thoughts? Seems email has become the communication tool of choice.

As easy as it is to use, that doesn't mean there aren't some things about email that can drive people right up the wall. If your business uses email as a means of communicating with clients or customers, you've got to be on your toes, lest you frustrate or turn them off.

Do you know the top five email frustrations? Try these on for size:

1. Poor spelling and grammar.

2. Unrelated subject lines.

3. Forwarding unrelated messages. (Ouch that can be bad!)

4. All caps. (It's OK when you're excited in a positive way—and used in moderation; not necessary other times.)

5. Reply to all when not necessary.

5A. Messages that are way too long.

We are all aware we could probably name five more offenses and frustrations. However, these top five keep coming to the top time and time again—and are probably the best of the worst. Keep them in mind as you email.

Whether you're emailing or your company uses live chat, we found that another big concern is the words many of us confuse day after day. Which is your albatross? Here they are:

c You're—Your

c There—Their—They're

c Grateful—Greatful

c To—Too—Two

c Hear—Here

c Seamless—Seemless

c Know—No—Now

c Effect—Affect

c When to use I vs. me

This list could go on and on. I'm about to give you the absolute best answer for never making these mistakes again—ever: When in doubt, leave it out! If you aren't sure which word is correct, use a totally different word.

While we often don't think others will mind these errors, they do. They then wonder about our credibility, our intelligence and our thoughtfulness.

Nancy Friedman's Op-Ed columns appear periodically in Tire Business. She is president of Telephone Doctor Inc., an international customer service training company based in St. Louis. She can be reached via email at
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Previous | Published February 22, 2019

What kind of investments do you plan to make this year?

Adding more employees.
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