What do you reckon is people's greatest frustration with using e-mail?

After nearly 12 years of collecting survey results from e-mail users across a wide range of industries (both corporate and public sector) I can tell you the biggest frustration is;

'Getting no response to your e-mail when you send a message that clearly requires a response (or the response is too slow)'

As you can see from the full list of 17 e-mail frustrations shown in the chart, as rated by 2695 survey participants since March 2006, this is not only the #1 frustration but its #1 by a wide margin.

So why is this so?

I used to think this was a mechanical thing - that people were not getting an actual response within a certain number of minutes or hours. But what I've learned is that this issue is #1 for another reason altogether.

You see, when you have a conversation with someone face-to-face or on the phone you receive immediate validation and confirmation that you've been heard (even if that conversation is a debate or argument). But when you start an e-mail conversation, you write your message, click the send button and then . . . and then . . . and then . . .

You don't get confirmation or validation of your message. You start to wonder, Did they get my message? Are they ignoring me? Have they forgotten me? Are they away at the moment? 

We just don't know what's happening and that is a very frustrating and unsatisfying way for us to conduct a conversation as human beings. It's probably why so people will ring you soon after sending a message asking "did you get my e-mail?"

So, what can we do about this? How can you do a better job as a sender of e-mail messages?

Well, over the next few weeks, I'll write up and post an overview of the causes, impacts and solutions for each the other top 5 e-mail frustrations.

  1. Getting no response to your e-mail when you send a message that clearly requires a response (or response is too slow)

  2. People trying to resolve complex issues via e-mail

  3. E-mail interruptions when you’re working on other, higher priority tasks

  4. Procrastinators who wait till last minute to request something from you (when they’ve had ample time) and then they say it’s not their fault because they sent you the information

  5. Subject lines that are unclear or don’t match the message

Because of these survey results, and given that over 80% of business communication is now handled via e-mail, I designed the 7 Ways to Write More Effective E-mail program.

This program shows 7 ways (in fact, I recently added an 8th way) to construct e-mails so that you're much more likely to get what you want from every message you send.

The program can be delivered as short presentation (as done for 7 CPA Congress sessions Australia-wide over the past year) or as a training workshop or an on-line webinar.

Recent results and feedback have been tremendously positive – here are few examples.

“Your knowledge and enthusiasm were a stand out. Thanks for the useful handouts. Looking forward to implementing the ideas.”

“Great session….in fact I definitely would say that your session was certainly the one in which I got most out of.”

“What I liked about your presentation most was the quick and practical tips that we could take away and immediately start using. You were also a very engaging speaker which I think is always the biggest challenge for presenters!”

Let me know if you would like to discuss booking this or one of my other e-Mastery programs for your team in 2018.

All the best!

Steuart Snooks | 0413 830 772

Steuart Snooks