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Mary Schmidt Marketing Troubleshooter


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What Everyone Knows About Good Ol’ Email (or not)

Mary Schmidt

Oct 16, 2014

fireFrom Email Etiquette, Business 2 Community

Is email really the right communication method? Just because it’s the easiest doesn’t always mean it’s the best. Any major problem or issue is best resolved either face to face, or on the phone. If the person sits next to you or down the hall, get out of your chair and go talk to them. If you need to have the discussion captured in writing, send a follow-up note.

And haven’t we all sent flamers? In fact, back in my corporate days, there was even a flame icon you could put on your Lotus emails. I sent my share of those, much to my chagrin (now). (And typing speed is not always your friend. I can flame out in about ten seconds.)  I was working in a high-pressure, highly toxic company, but still…not cool (even though effective, at the time.)  Long ago, and I still literally cringe thinking about it.

I was reminded of my past (and sometimes current) sins when I received an email yesterday. I’d said something in a meeting that the sender said “You knew it would annoy me.” And, that she was insulted.  She had missed my point, but fair enough. As George Bernard Shaw noted, the biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. So, mea culpa. I wasn’t clear. But…she brought up the issue…in an email…over 24 hours later. Not in the meeting. Not in the hall after the meeting. Not in the parking lot. So, why send the email? What was the purpose? She sent the flamer, got it out of her system (I hope) and that was that.  Or was it? Flame Game On! I could have easily copied her email into this blog post, with my reply, and a link to her business.  I could also have forwarded it to anybody anywhere. Tweeted about it. Posted on Facebook. Etc. etc. I didn’t and I won’t. But good reminder to all of us (including me) about email and communications. 

(Then there was that voice mail [way back when] in which I savaged someone…and then sent BACK to him when forwarding his original VM to my boss. Oops. Hit the wrong button. George, if you’re reading this somewhere out there, I still feel badly. [To his credit, he was much more professional than I. He let it go.])

Now, I’m going to go add “Namaste” to my email signature line.

Related posts from the archives:
What Everybody Doesn’t Know About E-Mail
Three Subject LInes That’ll Kill Your Email Campaign
More What NOT to Do in Emarketing
Emails and Blogs—Great Tools, but…(You put it out there. It stays out there forever. And you never know where it’ll end up.)
I Don’t Open Email Attachments
Email Blasts = Spam

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