The software giant Adobe did a survey all about phrases in email, focusing on people who use email every day.
They discovered a single phrase that annoys people so much, they view the rest of your message as negative.
"Not sure if you saw my last email"
This phrase annoyed 25% of people in the survey. Adobe's head of email solutions Kristen Naragon told a news company
“Emotion and intent are sometimes hard to convey via email, so [some phrases] can negatively impact productivity and culture.”
Which is a polite way of saying, it annoys people.
Do a search on your inbox for that phrase, are you guilty of using it every now and then? It is actually doing more harm then good.
When organisations are trying to get a response from clients, donors or suppliers, the last thing you want to do is annoy them.
If a contact has gone cold, consider using anything but one of these phrases to re-engage:
We have more results from the Adobe survey:
Not sure if you saw my last email… 25%
Per my last email… 13%
Per our conversation… 11%
Any updates on this? 11%
Sorry for the double email. 10%
Please advise. 9%
As previously stated… 9%
As discussed… 6%
Re-attaching for convenience... 6%
People spend more time on emails
Time spent checking email is up an impressive 17 percent year-over-year. Personal email is checked 2 hours on a typical weekday and 3 hours on work email. Bearing in mind these stats are based on a large sample size in America, so differnt locales will do differently.
People do check personal email while watching TV (60%), using the bathroom (40%), talking on the phone (35%), working out (16%), and even driving (14% - scary)
Email is the number 1 channel for consumers
Consumers are far more comfortable opting into email subscriptions with brands, they can make choices about how often they hear from companies. If the brand slips up, it is easy to unsubscribe or block.
Those surveyed, only 20% are happy to receive direct mail and 7% are happy to be engaged on social media.
Are you tracking engagement?
Let's assume you send 100 emails to your customers in a month.
- Do you know how long they spent reading it
- Do you know if they clicked on a link
- Do you know what percentage replied
Finally the most important question
How many customers broke off contact after the 3rd email and why
It could be because someone in the company is using passive aggressive phrasing in emails unintentionally (we've seen forum posts advocate using those phrases to sound professional)
Find out if your emails are doing more harm then good
Most people who send passive aggressive lines in emails are not aware they are doing it. They might be stressed or racing through a busy day, they type a hurried reply and hit send.
Measure whether you are losing business because of the inbox clearing rat race.
We did a search through our email system and found many companies large and small are using the above phrases in their automated marketing. They spend lots of money on marketing but if they just changed the little things, they would do so much better. Like not annoying 25% of their email list.
Would you like more emails?
We promise not to be annoying. If you sign up we'll share with you some ideas for marketing. The things that you can take advantage of without spending lots of money on an expert consultant.
If you do sign up we promise never to say "Not sure if you received my last email"