WEB & TECH / JAN. 08, 2016
version 4, draft 4

8 Words Not to Use in Emails

Woman on computer

Without a doubt, email etiquette can be difficult to master. But it’s absolutely necessary when you need to reach out to employers, colleagues, clients, business associates, and other contacts for business projects or marketing purposes. And, depending on how effectively crafted an email is, it could initiate new working relationships and help you reach new career goals.

Before you waste your time trying to figure out the best or worst times to send out an email or how long or short it should be, you need to think about the words you use. The most important thing is to present an email that is thoughtful, has a purpose, and is directed at instigating or building formal communication.

Here are some words that you absolutely need to avoid using in your next email!

See Also: Professional Email Etiquette for the Workplace

1. "But"

If you’re going to use “but” at the beginning of a sentence, it shows that you never wanted to write the email in the first place. Even though we all tend to use this word quite a lot, it’s a little informal for use in business communication.

2. "Sincerely"

man with beard thinking

“Yours sincerely”, “Yours very truly”…  These well-known signature lines can be very meaningless indeed. It can imply insincerity, so it’s best to replace such outdated phrases with something a little more friendly like “Kind regards”.

3. "Regrettably"

The word “regret” is usually used to express feelings of sadness – it always has a negative connotation. However, when used in emails, “regrettably” hardly ever shows any regret. Instead of just using this dismissive word, it’s better to just state what’s wrong and focus on coming up with a solution.

4. "Unfortunately"

man on pc

This word has several negative connotations, especially when followed by a comma, as it makes you appear anything but genuine. It’s considered rude – you’re basically implying that you have all the power and, unfortunately, the recipient has none.

5. "Best"

You need to always be careful with using “best” in emails. If you’re going to claim that your product or service is the best on the market, you need be 100% sure that it is and you need to back it up with credible sources. When people read such claims, they subconsciously start questioning whether your product really is the best of its kind out there. So, it’s better if you just leave out such exaggerating words, and just explain what makes your product so special.

6. "Formally"

woman laughing

You know how some people just send messages to “formally” introduce themselves? What’s the purpose of doing that? Instead of saying that you’re being formal, just show it and people will certainly take notice.

7. "Respectfully"

This word is usually used to “respectfully” decline an offer or request. It will simply leave a negative impact and won’t really do much to soften the blow.

8. "Statistically"

confused man

“Statistically, our product is amazing”- really? Then where are the statistics? Instead of just throwing such words in an email, just present your stats in a very clever and catchy opening sentence: “80% of teens are iPhone users”.

See Also: 10 Everyday Words that Make you Sound Rude in Emails

What about you? Are you guilty of using any of the words above? Do you think there are other words that you should try to avoid in an email? Let us know in the comments section below!

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