The Most Annoying Things You Can Write in an Email, Ranked

Avoid sending ‘just looping in…’ or ‘as per my last email’ if you don’t want to get on the wrong side of your recipient… 

It’s 2020, so we all know how to email, right? But with so many of us heavily using email for work, there are bound to be some things that pop into our inboxes and annoy us.

New research commissioned by employee experience platform Perkbox Insights has revealed the things that the public finds most annoying to receive in an email at work, as well as the cliches that fill us with rage. The study revealed that although we might be in 2020, email isn’t dead. 73% state that email is their preferred method of communication for work, with ‘face-to-face’ communication coming in second place (50%). 

Most adults state that they spend between 1 and 2 hours of their workday checking and sending emails, 16% spend between 2 and 3 hours, while a shocking 15% spend 5+ hours. Not only do professionals check their inboxes frequently in work, but almost a third check their emails outside of work ‘every few hours’ while 1 in 10 also check their emails every hour, with the same amount checking ‘constantly’.

All this time spent emailing means that many of us have clear ideas on how it should be done. Most respondents think that the perfect greeting for a work email is ‘Hi’ and the best way to sign-off is to use ‘Kind Regards’. 

Yet, there are many inbox greetings that don’t get such a warm welcome. The most disliked ways to start an email include ‘To whom it may concern’ with 37% stating that this the worst greeting, followed by 28% who think ‘Hey’ is unacceptable. Nevertheless, it’s important to start your email in some way, as ‘no greeting’ came out on top as the worst way to begin your message (53%). 

The worst email sign-offs are followed by ‘Warmly’ (31%), ‘Cheers’ (26%), with ‘Yours Truly’ (24%) and ‘Best’ (12%) all making the list. 

If you want to make some career advancements this year, these are the things NOT to include in your emails – if you want to make the right impression and not frustrate the recipient, that is. 

Top 5 worst greetings for work emails ranked: 

  1. No greeting – 53%
  2. To whom it may concern – 37% 
  3. Hey – 28%
  4. Happy [Insert day]! Eg Happy Friday – 23% (seems that sides are different here)
  5. Greetings – 22%

The Top 5 best greetings for work emails ranked: 

  1. ‘Hi’ – 49% 
  2. ‘Good morning / afternoon’ – 48% 
  3. ‘Hello’ – 21% 
  4. Dear – 20%
  5. Happy [insert day]! eg Happy Friday! – 7% 

Top 5 best email sign-offs ranked:

  1. Kind regards – 69% 
  2. ‘Thanks’ or ‘thanks again’ – 46% 
  3. Regards – 31%
  4. Thanks in advance – 21%
  5. Best wishes – 20%

Top 10 worst email sign offs ranked: 

  1. Love – 57% 
  2. No sign off – 44%
  3. Warmly – 31%
  4. Cheers – 26%
  5. Yours truly – 24% 
  6. Yours faithfully – 18% 
  7. Talk soon – 14%
  8. Sincerely – 12%
  9. Best – 12%
  10. All the best – 9%

The most annoying email cliches: 

  1. ‘Just looping in…’ – 37%
  2. ‘As per my last email’ – 33% 
  3. ‘Any updates on this?’ – 24%
  4. ‘Just checking in’ – 19% 
  5. ‘Confirming receipt’ / ‘confirming that I have received this’- 16%
  6. ‘Per our conversation’ – 15%
  7. ‘Please advice’ – 8%
  8. ‘Thanks in advance’ – 7%
  9. ‘Hope you’re well’ – 6% 

The biggest email DON’Ts:

  1. Using capital letters for whole words or sentences – 67% 
  2. Using kisses or ‘x’ – 65%
  3. CC’ing people who don’t need to be involved – 63% 
  4. Using slang, eg ‘OMG’ – 53%
  5. Using too many exclamation marks – 52% 
  6. Sending an email without proofreading – 50% 
  7. Sending very long emails – 29% 
  8. Using emojis – 29% 
  9. Not having an email signature – 23% 
  10. Double emailing – 22%
  11. Using smiley faces – 22%
  12. Using coloured fonts – 21%
Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.

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