Email EtiquetteOffice Etiquette

The Google Unsend Button – What If You Don’t Have Gmail?

send email Google has announced a new feature for Gmail—the unsend button. How many times have you sent an email message to the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong format? Maybe you didn’t commit all those email sins at once, but you have probably done one or more of the above and some as yet unmentioned.

The new unsend button basically prevents g-mailers from sending mail prematurely—like the time my cat hit “send” when I was only halfway through my message. I was lucky because the email was being written to a personal friend and not a business client. Whew!

Let’s face it. Almost all of us have sent email before we remembered to use  spell check, before we had finished the message, before we had completed the subject line and, worst of all, before we looked to see if we were sending it to the right person. Some of us who are brave enough to admit it have managed to send a blank email.

The unsend button is a help, but it does have its limitations. It only applies to those who use Gmail, and they have a mere 30-seconds max to recognize and correct their mistake.

If you don’t use g-mail (forgive me Google) or if 30 seconds is not enough time to realize your error, let me share my fool-proof solution for sending email before its time. Are you ready? It’s simple: complete the “To” line last. Do not put in an address until you have finalized your message and done all the appropriate checks.

Why not fill in the recipient’s address first? That would be your natural inclination. Here are a few good reasons to make that your final step:

Your email program does not care if you have not…

  • Checked spelling and grammar
  • Done a second proofing of your content
  • Attached the document you promised
  • Provided a subject line
  • Included any content
  • Written an appropriate greeting or closing
  • Offered all necessary contact information in your signature line

The only thing your email program will hold you accountable for is having at least one name or distribution list in the To, Cc or Bcc line.

To borrow from the legendary tagline of the movie “Love Story”, waiting to complete the address line last means “never having to say you’re sorry.”

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,


Lydia Ramsey

Lydia Ramsey is a leading business etiquette and modern manners expert who offers seminars, keynote speeches, webinars and individual coaching. She works with corporations, associations, colleges and universities as well as individuals.

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