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Email etiquette


BigVMan23
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When should you reply back to an email? I know that's a very vague question, but for some reason I still find it surprising how long people will go without responding to an email.

 

What brought this up is my recent mass emailing to coaches/AD's/school reps yesterday about scheduling basketball games. Hopefully this year will go smoother than past years, but I bet I get less than half the recipients responding to my first email on average. Sometimes it takes 3-4 repeat emails before I get a reply over the course of a few weeks, IF I get one then, some will never reply.:idunno: I always ask for a response, even if the response is "no can't schedule coach"...at least that way I know they received and read the email and I don't have to follow up 3 or 4 times trying to get a response. It's frustrating!:banghead:

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I always answer every email just as soon as it is feasible. Sometimes I will answer with a "can get that for you by x time or date" email and add the email to my task list with a time and date for completion. Other times it's a simple "got it". But whenever possible I address whatever is in the email immediately.

 

But apparently I am in the minority. Most people I email never reply, or at best, reply back weeks later.

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Why don't you just attached delivery and read receipts to them? That solves the problem without having to send follow ups.

 

You hate to be that guy, but it seems that is warranted in this situation.

 

24 hours is the general rule.

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Why don't you just attached delivery and read receipts to them? That solves the problem without having to send follow ups.

 

I will sometimes do that with follow up emails. Just clutters up my in box when I send so many. Even when I do that I many times still will not hear back from that sending. But I'm persistent, I keep sending them until I either have a full schedule or I get a reply.

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You hate to be that guy, but it seems that is warranted in this situation.

 

24 hours is the general rule.

 

Yep. And it's not something I generally do anyway, so sometimes even if I think it's a good idea on a particular email I will forget to set it.

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I coached my daughters archery team this year and had the same problem. At the start of the year I would send out emails and get very few responses. In talking to the parents I found out several didn't get my email because it went to their junk box. I also found out a lot of them just never checked their email. I gave up on that pretty quickly and just started using text. Fixed the issue.

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Always put read reciept on emails, always. Also gives you proof later when people claim they didn't get it.

 

I hate read receipts. They slow me down, as it generates a second message that I have to respond to, even if I decline the option. When you have to go through triple digit emails every day, they get annoying pretty quickly. Also, those extra messages can bog down servers that have mailbox size limits, which can prevent those who receive many emails from getting other important stuff in a timely manner. While it may be good for the sender to know if you read an email, it comes off as condescending and that you don't trust the person to answer or respond without some built in accountability. If your coworkers aren't professional enough to respond to emails it should be addressed, but sending an "I don't trust you" message every time isn't a good way to do it, especially when using it even with those who do respond all the time. I've always operated under the belief that if an email is super important and I need to know if it was received a follow up phone is much more polite and serves the same purpose. In 15 or so years of using email regularly in business settings, I can't remember a time where I've actually needed a "read receipt" to cover myself or prove I communicated something. And I've never used it in a personal setting.

 

Another way to look at it, is imagine if you sent or had to receive every letter via certified mail. I don't know anyone that likes to get certified mail..it's inconvenient, and generally has a negative perception. It is a tool, and is probably ok to use occasionally, but shouldn't be used all the time.

 

As a coach, I have found that group text messaging works so much faster and is rarely ignored by parents. There are many free apps that streamline the group messaging process from adding/subtracting users, to scheduling messages, and generating receipt responses. Many people don't have personal email set up to push instantly to their phone (I think the default for many phones is every hour), so immediate response is not always possible with email. Plus there are still many people who don't have smart phones with the ability to receive email. I don't know anyone who can't receive text messages.

Edited by rjs4470
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@BigVMan23 Maybe some folks have not gotten the email since school is not yet in session?

 

Quite possible and that has been the case some in the past. And a few might go in their junk mail since it was one mass emailing, and some people never check that. I was more ranting about what happened in past years more so than what has happened this year, especially since I just sent the emails out. But if past history is any indicator, I will have to re-send about 40 of the 60 or so...then probably 20 of those again, and still not get a response from some.

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