in Articles, Education

Every single day, 269 billion e-mails are sent.

There are 86, 400 seconds in one day. That means… (grabs calculator)

More than 3 Million e-mails are sent per second.

We do really complex math here at Skolafund.

More than 3 million e-mails are sent worldwide every SECOND. This is roughly equal to every single person in Penang AND Terengganu sitting at their computers, sending an e-mail every single second. 

For 24 hours. 7 days a week.

E-mail is obviously a very very important part of our lives. We tend to use e-mail for job applications, official letters, assignment submissions… Things that you do not want to mess up.

Here at Skolafund, we get a lot of e-mails every day. And while we love what we do, we’re also concerned by some of the e-mails that we get. And it seems that it’s not just us – just take this recent tweet that went viral:

 

Do you want that to happen to you? We don’t.

E-mail etiquette, or manners, is important. But we admit, it’s possible that some of us just never knew what mistakes to avoid when writing e-mails. Maybe nobody taught us. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of e-mail nightmares that we’ve personally received here at Skolafund HQ.

NOT to embarrass anyone out there – you’ll notice we’ve censored all names and details. But simply, to help all of us write better e-mails. And get better service. And make the world a better place.

For you, and for me.

So let’s learn from our mistakes, together!

Tip: Click on the images to make them magically grow bigger!

 1. Step 1: Please Introduce Yourself

Always introduce yourself first.

Do you have friends who – the moment they see you – just launch straight into the middle of a story?

“OMG wei, so you know what, he totally went and did that thing he was talking about that day???”

No, I don’t know what. Or who. Or when. When you first send an e-mail to someone, take a while to tell them who you are and why you are sending the e-mail. It’s polite and saves everyone’s time!

2. E-mail Subjects Are Not Optional

Never, never press send on your e-mail without a subject. Writing good subjects is a skill that deserves a post by itself, but here are some basic examples if you’re stuck:

  • Enquiry About… (eg: Starting Campaigns)
  • Request For… (eg: Assistance / Help)
  • Invitation To… (eg: Speak at Forum Perdana 2017)
  • Follow Up On… (eg: Status of Application)

For a look at examples related to job applications, check out this excellent article from The Balance.

3. E-mail Bodies Are Also Not Optional

No, your screen isn't spoilt. There's nothing in there.

No, your screen isn’t spoilt. There’s nothing in there.

We see this a lot, and it would be interesting to ask HR departments everywhere how many e-mails from job applicants go straight into the trash can because of this. Don’t do it.

4. Reread Your E-mails Before You Send Them

It’s not about having spelling like Shakespeare* or vocabulary like Vonnegut. We’re all human, and we make mistakes all the time! But it is about communication – you have to make sure the other person can understand you.

If you’re not sure, then ask a nice friend to read it out loud and you’ll definitely be writing clearer e-mails INSTANTLY. If all your friends are unavailable, you could also use this free automatic grammar-checking tool – but still get a friend anyway.

*Did you know Shakespeare couldn’t even spell his own name properly? From signature records, he spelt it 6 different ways including Shakspea and, our favourite, Shackper. So, you know, at least we can spell our own names.

5. …But In Your E-mails, Triple Check ALL Names

Be honest, nobody likes other people spelling even pronouncing wrongly the names our mama gave us. What more when you’re e-mailing someone for their help? Check. Their. Names.

PS: It’s Skolafund. 😁

6. E-mail Is Not Whatsapp – Part 1

Put your reply in the body, never the subject.

Put your reply in the body, never in the subject.

Let’s use an example we can all relate to – annoying Whatsapp replies. You would hate someone who replies like this, right?

Annoying Whatsapp Messages

K. (Credit: says.com)

When you get an e-mail, and the person replied to you in the subject line, this is the exact same feeling you’ll feel. Replies go in the main text, not in the subject.

7. E-mail is Not Whatsapp – Part 2

Secret video from Skolafund HQ after receiving another e-mail nightmare.

Again, e-mail is not Whatsapp. You can’t just send an attachment with absolutely zero introduction or explanation. It’s just… rude.

8. Full Sentences, Please. [Part 1]

This is a two-part nightmare (see next part below). But first tip: Type in full sentences. Please.

When you write an e-mail like this, it looks like you don’t care. It looks like you got better things to do than write in full sentences. If you don’t get a reply, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

9. Full Sentences, Please. [Part 2]

This is the same person who sent the e-mail in the previous part. He sent Skolafund HQ another e-mail. With two words.

ONE. Minute. Later.

You couldn’t wait for more than 1 minute???

But after punching some walls, we calmed ourselves down, then sat down to reply this e-mail. In full sentences.

We replied.

More words in the 1st line than in his 2 e-mails.

And then…

Today… 3 months later…

Nothing. Zero. No replies.

We hope he found out how to reset his password.

And write better e-mails. It’s for our own good.


Looking for a way to check your grammar while you write your e-mail. Check out the awesome free tool, Grammarly! Download the extension and you’ll get your mistakes highlighted with suggestions to fix them – I caught 2 typos in this article with it!

Want us to show you exactly how to write the perfect e-mail? We’ll be posting a complete guide really soon – make sure you don’t miss out by subscribing to our blog right here. Do it. We’ll wait.

Have Your Say!