Hope you're well. Just looping you in to keep you informed of the latest HR news around annoying email cliches. Per our last conversation, do confirm receipt of this message. Thanks in advance. Cheers!

If those starting sentences sound a little too familiar, it's because we tried to pack as much typical email jargon that we could, and admittedly, we're guilty of using most of this ourselves.

New research commissioned by Perkbox Insights has revealed that although we are in 2020, email is far from dead, and as a result, we continue to use clichés such as 'just looping in...’ and 'per my last email' to get our point across.

The study of 1,928 employed adults revealed that the following are the 10 most annoying email clichés:

  • ‘Just looping in...’ - 37%
  • ‘As per my last email’ - 33%
  • ‘Any updates on this?’ - 24%
  • ‘Just checking in’ - 19%
  • ‘Confirming receipt’ / ‘confirming that I have received this’ 16%
  • ‘Per our conversation’ - 15%
  • ‘Please advice’ - 8%
  • ‘Thanks in advance’ - 7%
  • ‘Hope you’re well’ - 6%
Evidently, we spend a lot of time checking and responding to emails. Per this study, most adults state that they spend between one-two hours of their workday checking and sending emails, 16% spend between two-three hours, while a shocking 15% spend more than five hours.

Not only do respondents check their inboxes frequently in work, but almost a third check their emails outside of work ‘every few hours’ while one in 10 also check their emails every hour.

All this time spent emailing means that many of us have clear ideas on how it should be done, for example, the majority think a 'Hi' is the best way to start an email. As such, the five best greetings for work emails are listed as:

  • ‘Hi’ - 49%
  • ‘Good morning / afternoon’ - 48%
  • ‘Hello’ - 21%
  • Dear - 20%
  • Happy [insert day]! eg Happy Friday! - 7%
Yet, there are many inbox greetings that don’t get such a warm welcome, the most disliked way to start an email being ‘To whom it may concern’. Ranked below are the five worst greetings for work emails:
  • No greeting - 53%
  • To whom it may concern - 37%
  • Hey - 28%
  • Happy [Insert day]! Eg Happy Friday - 23% (this option appears on both the liked and disliked lists)
  • Greetings - 22%
Now that you've started the email, how do you usually end it?

Top 5 best email sign-offs ranked:

  • Kind regards - 69%
  • ‘Thanks’ or ‘thanks again’ - 46%
  • Regards - 31%
  • Thanks in advance - 21%
  • Best wishes - 20%
Top 10 worst email sign-offs ranked:
  • Love - 57%
  • No sign off - 44%
  • Warmly - 31%
  • Cheers - 26%
  • Yours truly - 24%
  • Yours faithfully - 18%
  • Talk soon - 14%
  • Sincerely - 12%
  • Best - 12%
  • All the best - 9%
Finally, looking at general email etiquette, many don'ts become apparent. In first place of things to avoid doing within a work email is ‘using capital letters for words or whole sentences’ (67%). This is followed by ‘using kisses, or ‘x’s’ (65%) and CCing people who don’t need to be involved’ (63%).

The biggest email don'ts:

  • Using capital letters for whole words or sentences - 67%
  • Using kisses or ‘x’ - 65%
  • CCing people who don’t need to be involved - 63%
  • Using slang, eg ‘OMG’ - 53%
  • Using too many exclamation marks - 52%
  • Sending an email without proofreading - 50%
  • Sending very long emails - 29%
  • Using emojis - 29%
  • Not having an email signature - 23%
  • Double emailing - 22%
  • Using smiley faces - 22%
  • Using coloured fonts - 21%
Photo / 123RF