Monday Moods and Manners: 3 Tips on Responding to Emails


March 27, 2017, posted by Gina – It’s just another Manners Monday! This time around we’re discussing one of our pet peeves: not responding to emails. Have you ever sent an email asking a question or requiring action and suddenly you feel like Adele singing ‘Hello’? You wait for a response and even a few days go by and still nothing, nada, nunca! We get it. Everyone is busy and inundated with unwanted emails. It gets exhausting just trying to sift through the ad emails to get to the personal emails. Be that as it may, it does not give any of us an excuse for not replying to personal or business emails. Before cell phones became appendages it was more common for people to take a few days to check and respond to emails. However, these days we are more connected than ever so it would seem it should be easier to communicate.

Manners to consider when responding to emails.

All of this had us wondering if Emily Post had anything to say about emails. Well, it seems Emily Post’s Etiquette, 17th Edition by Peggy Post addresses this topic. It’s no surprise (even obvious) that junk mail, commercial spam and forwards can be ignored. We would never have time to open and read anything else at the rate these things pop up in our inboxes. Here’s what they have to say about real emails from colleagues and friends:

1. You should always respond to a real message, whether it’s an invitation, a meeting notice or a hello from a friend.
2. It also suggests that you check your emails a few times each day which allows you to respond in an orderly and timely fashion.
3. And finally, 1-2 days is the recommended timeframe in which to respond.

Now, it’s understandable that from time to time we all miss an email or are unsure if we can attend an event. But responding to an email in a timely way is a very considerate action. It lets the sender know that you appreciate their invitation or message and you are aware that their time is valuable too. Even if you are not able to give a definitive answer within a couple of days it’s still acceptable to email a response such as, ‘Thank you for the invitation. I will check with John and let you know by this Friday if we can attend.’

Think of how frustrating it would be to for someone who sent out invitations for a dinner party and only received a few responses. Being unsure of how many guests would attend, they’d be in limbo as to how to proceed with the planning. We could go on, but we know our readers are smart and polite.

Let us know your thoughts. Do you have any emailing or texting pet peeves? Do you have some helpful tips? Please click on the title of this post to leave us a comment.

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