We all know the age-old adage: timing is everything. This is never more accurate than in the case of communicating via email. The timing is crucial regarding when you send an email and will reveal facts, intentionally or unintentionally, about your relationship with the clients, candidates, colleagues who receive your message.
There are many online resources for assisting with the writing of a perfect email. Grammar and word choice can be supported by a multitude of online programs, extensions and websites. Yet, none of those protect senders from the aspect of email crafting that often gets overlooked yet has as big on an impact: timestamps.
While your revisions and drafts may be invisible at the time your email is sent, every email contains the unavoidable, sometimes incriminating, timestamp that silently reveals the priority, thought, and respect for the receiver and the topic at hand. If actions really do speak louder than words, then watch the clock before you hit “send”.
Beware: Do not be The 5:00pm Email
We have all been on the brunt of receiving this communication flaw. When a promised follow up or response is sent to us at or near the end of business day. If you have committed to a reply or message, work to send that communication before the societal “shut down” time embarks.
Beware: Do not be The Off-Day email
We have all been abruptly burned from the mistake of checking emails on a weekend to find a supervisor or colleague who has chosen to send requests, initiatives or updates when they hoped no one might notice. The signal of sending important emails during off hours hints at a desire to skirt the tough conversations, check off an unwanted “to do” item, or not face the topic during the working hours.While you may be innocently working on a weekend yourself simply for a personal preference, sending an email to others who are not available at that time may not show the level of respect you truly hold for their personal time.
Societal norms of weekends, observed holidays, and after standard work hours are all time ranges that you should avoid when possible.
How Can You Avoid the Timestamp flaws when crafting an email?
Taking the time to revise and edit word choice and grammar reflects positively on you as an email sender. However, taking the time to consider the nonverbal messages the timestamp on your email sends an even greater impact.