More and more I am annoyed by people around me – Customers and friends alike – who treat email as a multiplayer notepad… Is it really that hard to write “hello” or some other salutation in your email before you start rambling at me?

And what about a signature… It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. But goes a long way in terms of manners.

Super unprofessional

Today a customer emails me repeatedly without any form of salutation. This is not from a chatroom, this is email. Sent from his gmail account.

When working with groups why ads not being refreshed>?

[Name hidden]
Business Startup Consultant

And another; Over the weekend I had a brief exchange with someone who develops WordPress plugins:
He was even too lazy to write his name or any form of salutation.

I modified faq

2014-05-17 11:41 GMT+03:00 [Name hidden]:
aaa. now I realized it. don’t remember why I wrote it. maybe a user said it. I will remove it

2014-05-17 11:27 GMT+03:00 Arnan de Gans | AJdG Solutions:

So basically your plugin is *not* compatible with AdRotate… Why is it in your readme/FAQ then?


Arnan de Gans
Owner & Developer

AJdG Solutions

Show some manners

Because it’s decent. Because email is not a chatroom or forum. Because it shows you have manners. Because it’s more professional and shows who you are. It’s reasonable to make yourself known, right?

Why email signatures are useful

Because you can put all sorts of useful stuff in there:

  • Your name and some form of greeting;
  • Your email address;
  • Web address;
  • Your business name;
  • The position in the business you work for
  • Physical address;
  • Phone;
  • A short comment about confidentially.

Even if you don’t use email professionally you can put something nice in there.

Why I care

I like to show who I am, make myself known so the recipient of my email knows who I am. Because it shows a certain level of professionalism and courtesy.
And on the receiving end – I simply like to know who I am talking to. Simple as that.

Is it really that hard to set up a signature in your email client? No it’s not. Takes about 2 minutes and a small thought.
That’s right, you don’t even have to actively insert the signature yourself in every email to be more attentive and professional.

Now you’re just inviting to be deleted without being answered.

Written by Arnan

The creator of the popular AdRotate for WordPress plugin. Created the OmniKassa plugin for WooCommerce. Original author or WP-Events for WordPress. Owner of AJdG Solutions and entrepreneur.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Chris Bedford

    OK this is true

    …but I think maybe you are on the losing side of a trend here. Probably started by mobile phone texting and the variations (BBM, WhatsApp etc) where number of characters directly affects your message cost.

    I’m not disagreeing, I also find I am much less inclined to be polite (or even respond) to someone who just launches straight into his message without so much as a “Hey You”. But when an email discussion turns into a dialogue with fairly rapid responses that go back and forth quite a bit, I find that having “Hi John” “Hi again” “Hi” “Yo” “Hey” “Sup” and so on message after message is both distracting and time consuming (what am I going to say *this* time to avoid repeating myself) so that by the 3rd or 4th mail I am dispensing with formalities altogether – after all, it’s almost like we are having a face-to-face chat, so I wouldn’t want you to keep saying Hello as a preamble to every sentence.

    To me, far more annoying an email habit is the one where you only respond to one of several points I raise in my message. I will for instance mail a supplier, looking for several products. To make it obvious, I number my points and leave blank lines between them. He responds to one question and ignores the rest. Is that rudeness, or just a total lack of social or cognitive skills? Whatever it is, it drives me to drink.

    • Arnan

      True, but if you’re that friendly or way into a conversation things are different.
      Still, separate emails deserve to be written properly. Especially if you don’t know the people you’re emailing.

      And incomplete answers is a huge annoyance for me, too. Especially since I do a lot of support for my products where I sometimes suggest multiple things to try and they respond to only 1… Costs a lot of extra time.