Top 5 Email Mistakes to Avoid

Email mistakes run rampant, but they don’t have to. At any moment, you can seize the day and correct some of the mistakes you might be making in your email correspondence. Below are my top five email mistakes to avoid:

1. Too Long. The number one reason emails don’t get read is that they are too long. Whenever you can, keep email messages short and to the point, use bullet points and short paragraphs.

2. All Caps. If you don’t already know, using All Caps in an email message is equivalent to screaming at the top of your lungs. Only use All Caps if you really need to make a strong point, but be careful, you might risk upsetting the person you’re emailing in a big way.

3. Long Subject Line. I’ll readily admit, my eyes gloss over when I receive an email and the subject line is so long, Gmail cuts off the end of the description. Keep subject lines straightforward, to the point, and as short as possible.

4. No Call to Action. Unless you’re writing a personal letter, most business and ministry correspondence should include a simple call to action, or reason for the email. Make sure to spell this out clearly in the first paragraph and restate it near the end.

5. No Graphics or Background Colors. If you’re still using pink email background colors and cute cursive fonts, please stop it right now. When a person replies to an email that is “decorated” the text color is difficult to ready and it makes it very tricky to re-format causing the recipient to have to create a new email instead of “reply to.” Save the floral backgrounds and cute graphics for Grandma, not business.

So there you have it, my top five email mistakes to avoid. Hope these were helpful to you!

Lauren Hunter is a freelance writer, church technology consultant ( and founder of the blog ChurchTechToday (, Technology for Today’s Church.

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About the author  ⁄ Lauren Hunter

Lauren Hunter is an entrepreneur, freelance writer, and founder of ChurchTechToday, where she encourages churches to better use technology to improve every aspect of ministry. She's also a wife to a pretty awesome coach, mom of four great kids, worship leader, and poet.


  • Reply
    K. C. Lowe
    July 6, 2012

    It might also be helpful to attach any attachments before beginning the text of the email so you don’t forget it and then have to send a follow-up apology.

    • Reply
      Lauren Hunter Author
      July 6, 2012

      Hi K.C., I totally agree! Remembering to attach the attachment is super important. I use Gmail, and there is a nice feature that prompts you to include your attachment if you wrote the word “attachment” in your email text. This has save me a couple of times. Blessings, Lauren

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