Email Etiquette – The Sunday Night Warriors

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e-mail etiquetteJust when you thought that there was nothing left to say about email etiquette, one more issue pops up. As the use of email continues to increase, so do the rules for using it courteously and professionally and for practicing good email etiquette.  The first article that I ever wrote on this subject for the business world was “The Top Twelve E-mail Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Career.” Today I could write about fifty or more email mistakes that can sabotage your career or ruin your business relationships.

According to an article by, 144.8 billion emails are sent every day. Mashable  reported that 28% of workers’ time is spent on email. Frighteningly only about 14% of those emails are deemed important. Now I must confess that article was written four years ago. Imagine what the numbers would be if the study were done today.

I am sure there are days when you feel that all 144.8 billion email messages have landed in your inbox. Everyone struggles with ways to control the tsunami of email. We all have our systems for managing our inbox. In the midst of this battle to survive there have emerged those people whom I call the  “Sunday night email warriors.” You know them, and may even be one yourself. The Sunday night email warriors are  those people who use the last few hours of their weekend to handle mail that they didn’t have time for Friday afternoon or mail that has come in since they left the office.

For the Sunday night email warriors, the result of their efforts is that they can go to sleep with a sense of relief, slightly confident that they won’t have to spend hours on Monday morning pouring over their inbox. But what about those who are on the receiving end of the mail that traversed cyberspace during the night? It’s another email tsunami.

If you feel the need to write replies to your messages over the weekend, that’s fine but consider scheduling them to be sent out mid-morning on Monday. Most email programs will allow you to do this. Unless the reply needs to reach the recipient first thing Monday morning, you will show courtesy and respect to your co-workers, colleagues and clients when you give them some breathing space as they start the workweek.

If you need to get an answer to someone right away, remember Alexander Graham Bell and pick up the phone. But wait until Monday!!!

This will not be the last word that I’ll write about email mistakes. Tomorrow another bad habit will emerge. If you have one that you want me to include in a future blog or in my newsletter, contact me via my website or call me at 912-604-0080.

More information on email etiquette can be found in my best-selling book Manners That Sell-Adding the Polish That Builds Profits.

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website,

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