Think Twice Before Hitting Delete


As we go through our daily activities at work, I’m sure that we all get inundated with a ton of emails from all sorts of people: marketers, vendors, partners, spammers, etc.

For the most part, many of these emails are visibly spam and can safely be tossed into the trash without any acknowledgment. But then there are those personalized emails that are very obviously coming from a legitimate address and person politely asking you to engage in some type of service they might be offering.

Unlike many others I’m assuming, I actually feel bad ignoring these types of emails that come from real people, and not some automated email system. Everyone goes to a job every day to support their lives and that email is a part of what they do, so would it really hurt to just simply respond to them? Even if it’s just a one liner? Of course not.

If they are trying to sell you something, that’s fine, you don’t have to comply, but a courteous response simply acknowledging the email could go a long way and will probably mean more to them than trying to generate a lead anyway.

Anytime I’ve taken the time to respond, I’ve always gotten a polite response back with so much gratitude for just responding – because it just doesn’t happen that often in this world of constant mail jail. Another benefit is that this interaction could potentially help expand your professional network. I’ve gained at least a few valuable contacts through the simple act of replying to these cold emails and making that human connection. Imagine what you might be missing out on if you simply just hit ‘delete’.

The same idea can be applied to when you’re on the phone with an agent regarding your bill and at the end of the call they have their 5 minute spiel on a special offering. Again, Bob, the agent isn’t trying to annoy you, he’s just doing his job, so instead of cutting him off and ending the call abruptly, maybe consider allowing them to simply finish and then politely decline the offering – or you may surprise yourself and actually want to ponder whatever it is they might be sharing. The point is, don’t hit the brakes without experiencing the ride.

So just some food for thought the next time you are pondering just trashing that note about offering Brita water services to your office or the memo from Sue Smith asking if you require any assistance after having downloaded a white paper. The simple act of just replying can go a long way.


The image in this post can be found here.


2 thoughts on “Think Twice Before Hitting Delete

  1. Well said. Emails, phone call from banks offering a certain free for life credit card, etc. We often call these things annoyances, and whenever we receive such, we are quick to dismiss them; often forgetting that the person is trying to make a living as much as you are.

    However I’ve been on the line with a really persistent sales person – demanding that I do whatever he/she said immediately. I can’t stand really pushy people.

    1. Thank you for your comments and yes of course you should only respond and interact at your discretion. Phone calls are similar in that depending on the situation, we should at least humour the agent while they give their spiel on whatever they are trying to sell, because we know it’s not them, it’s part of their job and then just politely decline if not interested. It’s not easy doing customer service and when you put the brakes on that upfront, it probably just dampens that person’s day and it’s just better to not add to that. 🙂

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