By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training

We did a survey a while back at one of my speaking engagements. I wanted to know what really bugged folks about emails they received. Without hesitation, the top 3 were:

* Poor spelling and grammar – Your, you’re; there, their, they’re; here, hear; to, too, two and the list goes on.

* Email that are too long; too wordy.

* Wrong subject lines that don’t match the body copy.

There were others, but these rose to the top. I’m about to share a few of the phrases used in emails that are not very effective. They are not bad; simply useless and unnecessary (i.e., not needed). When these phrases are eliminated, the emails usually read better; sound stronger.

Here we go:

“Just a note to let you know…”or “Just wanted to say…” or “I’m just checking back to see where we are on the order.”
JUST is a weak, wimpy word. Not necessary. In fact, lame and useless. Eliminate the word JUST in your sentences. Read those sentences without the word “just” and see how much stronger they become.

“As I (or you) mentioned on the phone”or “Pursuant to our call (conversation, whatever).”
Double work, not needed, not necessary. Confirm the statement instead, with: “Glad you liked the proposal” or “Enjoyed our call” or “Here’s a handy recap of our call” or “Good call and excited we can make ‘X’ happen” or “By now you’ve received our proposal.” Email is a time to use your personality. Formal sayings, unless you’re a lawyer (sorry), aren’t normally needed.

“Please let me know if you have any questions.”
You gotta be kidding me! Hard to believe folks still use this, but they do. Most folks will let you know if they have questions. Not needed. “Trust me to follow up” is much better.

“If there’s anything else I can do, please let me know.”
This one goes with #3. Seriously? That’s a real ‘get rid’ of line. It’s normally OUR responsibility to follow up. So, again, a better phrase would be: “Trust me to follow up to handle your questions.”

Long rambling emails.Not a phrase, but an annoyance.
Salespeople tend to want to give the client all the information. But today we get emails on our iPhone, iPad, and some of us on our watches, and who knows where else. Not too much room for a long email.

Keep your subject line accurate, relevant and interesting.
Topics change within the email? Keep up with the subject line. Make your emails COUNT. Change the body copy? Change the subject line.

Remember, less is more. Long, rambling, wordy emails aren’t normally necessary. And watch your spelling and grammar. Use your personality. Personalize the email. Keep it interesting.

Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

Communication and customer service expert Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, is back in the saddle again. Well, back into live onsite programs, and still offering her ZOOM programs, in a cost saving manner. Whichever you choose, onsite or Zoom, you’ll be glad you did. The reviews are excellent, and audiences have loudly applauded her in either area. Sales, customer service and communication skills are her area of expertise, and she welcomes calls, texts, or emails. You can reach her directly at; through the website at, where you can sign up for her newsletters; or call/text directly at 314-276-1012 central time. Bring it on. Whether you need a keynote speaker or workshop/breakout speaker on customer service and communication skills, you’ll make a great choice.