The term “Gmail” has rapidly become a household phrase. And, there is a good reason for that. Email isn’t going anywhere.
Email is a part of our culture, and we use digital messaging for everything. Just like humans, email is evolving, and there are certain phrases and behaviors that we tend to use in email messages that will be obsolete in just a few years.
While it’s important to maintain proper etiquette in email, we also need to be respectful of the other person’s time. “Rambling on and on or typing irrelevant phrases is just as bad as verbally spouting out gibberish in front of clients or managers,” wrote Inc.
Your ability to communicate effectively with email will help set you apart from your peers.
7 email phrases that will be obsolete in 5 years
Obsolete phrases tend to be phrases that we used to write in hand-written letters.
But, email is a very unique method of communication, and expectations are much different. The things we wrote in old-fashioned letters may not be appropriate in an email.
Keep your emails direct and assertive. The shorter your message, the more likely it is that the recipient will read it and take action.
Here are 7 email phrases that will be obsolete very soon.
1. “To Whom It May Concern”
Okay, this one might already be obsolete. It’s impersonal and robotic.
While this greeting may have been appropriate in a traditional letter that could be read by anyone, emails tend to be directed toward a specific person or business department.
Don’t use this phrase in email.
It might seem counterintuitive that such a polite word like “please” would be obsolete in email, but it is. In fact, the word plagues corporate email and is used in awkward and unnatural ways in most email messages.
By using the word “please”, you are effectively begging your recipient to do what you asked them to do. The very notion is bizarre.
“The intended courtesy is commendable. The style is not,” wrote Syntaxis.
To fix this problem, omit the word “please” but keep the rest of the sentence. For instance, instead of writing “Please see the attached”, simply write, “I have attached” (more on this below).
Or, instead of “Please let me know if you have questions”, write “Let me know if you have any questions” instead. The meaning is the same without the word “please”.
In addition to removing an awkward plea, you will also “no longer have three-sentence emails in which 67% of the sentences begin with the same word.”
3. “Enclosed/attached, please find…”
Again, this might be appropriate when writing a traditional letter, but in email, it sounds strange. Resist using the term “enclosed” because we don’t truly enclose anything within an email.
We attach things. Secondly, opt for a more direct “Attached is…”, or “I have attached…” phrase instead. Once again, we don’t need to include “please”.
4. “Don’t hesitate to contact me”
This phrase largely goes unstated in the vast majority of emails that we send.
Email is one of the easiest forms of communication that exists. If the recipient wants to contact you, they will do so with or without your encouragement.
5. “I thought that I’d reach out”
The act of sending the email implies that you thought about reaching out. No need to state the obvious.
Instead, just dive into why you sent the email rather than stating “Here’s an email!”.
6. “Please note that”
“The truth is that this phrase is actually passive,” noted Life Hack. Though polite, using a phrase like this comes across as less assertive and less confident than “Be advised”.
Remember that most of our inboxes are full of emails, all vying for the attention (and action) of the email recipient.
If your email is not assertive and proactive in nature, it’s likely the recipient won’t take action, and this will be especially true in years to come as email becomes the de facto way to communicate in business.
7. “Kindly, Respectfully, Sincerely, Truly Yours, etc”
These overly-polite words are largely becoming a thing of the past.
They are used too often in email and are unnecessary and borderline cliché.
Instead, just finish your email with your name or your pre-designed email signature.
— Steve Adcock
This article originally appeared on Ladders.