Email Poll

Email is the number one preferred method of communication these days, but is our email communication effective?  What renders it ineffective?  What could strengthen it and make it more persuasive?  When would it be best to just pick up the phone?  These are the issues I'm going to be covering in a new article series I'm writing exclusively for my newsletter subscribers over the next several months.  If you are not currently receiving our newsletter, you can subscribe here. It started with this month's newsletter article and continued with a discussion I had with my dad last week, but I believe most of the misunderstandings now take place over the internet.  Email, texting, social media and Yahoo groups are immensely popular ways to communicate these days.  As of February of this year, Facebook alone has 175 million people logging in each day (according to Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg).  Studies show that only 7% of face-to-face communication is made up of the words we use.  The rest is in our body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc.  This means that most of our communication with each other now takes place devoid of 93% of what makes up communication in a face-to-face conversation. Apparently all our texting habits and email shortcuts are having an ill effect on our communication skills.  A study done in 2005 by the Journal of Employment Counseling revealed, "Employers said students needed stronger writing skills; more training on professional uses of e-mail; and additional education regarding self-expression, impression management, and avoidance of slang." This brings me to my discussion with my dad last week.  How much does society's lack of effective email communication skills contribute to misunderstandings and hurt feelings? Does a person's poor grammar, spelling, lack of punctuation, overuse of abbreviations and general lack of communication skills over email present an image such that what he says isn't taken seriously?  And if so, in which situations is that most detrimental? According to research, our general lack of effective communication skills combined with our reliance on technology instead of face-to-face communication is a huge societal problem.  I thought I'd conduct a little unscientific poll to see what my readers think about this issue. Would you mind answering 3 questions for me and passing this link along to those you know?  I'd love to get as many responses to this as I can before I begin my article series on email. As the two men from Bartles and James used to say, "Thanks again for your support!" 1. Would you be less likely to be persuaded of something if it were presented by someone whose email or post was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors or who used words incorrectly? 2. Would you be less likely to consider someone's business proposal seriously if it came in the form of a poorly written email? 3. Would you be inclined to think someone is less intelligent if his email contained multiple errors that were obviously not just typos? (using an incorrect word, repeated spelling errors, bad grammar, etc.) BONUS QUESTION:  Do you have any email pet peeves?


  • cindy holman

    You are so right about email and texting causing so many misunderstanding – and yet – I still love the written word and find myself using it more and more because that’s how I express myself. I myself have felt slighted or hurt because of emails and the like – and I know I have caused misunderstandings and hurt feelings to – quite unaware. It seems to be a great problem in our society today. I do not like poor grammar or misspelled words – probably like you it makes someone seem uneducated and not intelligent. However that is sometimes not the case at all – people are just lazy typists!!

  • BeckyJoie

    1. Yes, someone wanted to sell me a book on health and wellness and they emailed me with mega spelling errors and typos-they also did not support their ideas well (ie. gave no facts, used only hysteria). I could excuse one typo or maybe two but that many in an email? Come on! Also, if they wanted to persuade me of their ideas on health and wellness, then they needed to make some sense in what they were saying. All I ended up thinking was that the person was a sensationalist! I heard from someone else that the book contained many errors and incongruent thoughts. I didn’t waste money on it. I would have been driven crazy by the typos and sentence structure.
    2. If someone wanted me to publish a book with them and they couldn’t spell or type, I’d not be impressed. I’ve actually had this happen before in a smaller way. An editor wanted me to submit to her anthology and yet her email was so poorly written that I did not want her to edit my work. I was afraid I would end up sounding like an idiot. LOL.
    3. I think I answered this in the other notes. LOL.

  • jojosblog

    As many times as we proof our work…there yet may be typos or overlooked words. That doesn’t bother me. It’s when someone incorrectly uses a word consistently (or has other errors) that is obviously not a typo.

  • In Our Write Minds

    Hmmm…. ironic that I would have a typo in this reply! LOL! #2 should say “trouble”: I would have trouble accepting…"


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