Reduce Your Passive-​Aggressive Emails with These Tips

BY Amanda Levin
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Email has become a crucial part of our everyday communication, but the phrases you are using could be damaging your prospecting efforts. In fact, the exact phrases you include to be polite, respectfully, informative, etc. are actually painting you as passive aggressive!

Minda Zetlin perfectly identifies such passive aggressive phrases in her article on Inc​.com as, “the kind that can impose an obligation, express ire, or even deliver an insult in such a nice and nonchalant way [your prospect] won't even know what hit [him/​her].”

If you want to make a true connection with your prospects, make sure you aren’t using the following 10 phrases in your emails because what you’re REALLY saying is:

  1. Thanks in advance.”

Since I thanked you in advance, you must do what I am asking even though you haven’t agreed to it. Alternatives to this phrase include: “…I’d be most grateful,” and “Looking forward to…”

  1. Can I send you some information?”

When it comes at no cost to you (i.e. sending information digitally over email), asking for permission to send information aims at creating a commitment that the recipient will pay attention to the information. So just include your information from the get go to save everyone time.

  1. I hope you don’t mind…”

This phrase is a major red flag. When you use this, you are basically say, I know I should have obtained your permission before doing whatever I have done or am planning to do. If you need permission before acting, make sure you actually ask for it.

  1. Checking in/​Circling back.”

Using these phrases is like a two year old repeatedly calling out for mom. In other words, I am going to keep emailing you until you respond.

  1. FYI”

Think about the times you’ve used this phrase. Normally, it is followed by something the recipient won’t be happy about. So instead of sending a quick “FYI,” try crafting a brief message explaining the information in your own words.

  1. Let me clarify.”

If you use this phrase you are inadvertently calling your prospect an idiot! Instead of using this lead in, dive right into the additional detail or explanation you need to provide to address your prospect’s concerns or complaints.

  1. All the best.”

This sign off implies the conversation is now complete. So make sure you remove this from your automatic signatures. For continuing discussions, use open-​ended sign offs such as “Best” or “Sincerely” instead.

If you want to get more responses to your emails, remove these passive aggressive phrases from them asap!

All the Best.