These are the 9 most annoying phrases you can use in an email, ranked

Think twice before sending that next email.

New research conducted by employee experience platform Perkbox Insights took a look at what drives workers to the edge when it comes to receiving email at work. The study, which included 1,928 employee adults, found that email is alive and well, with nearly 75% of respondents saying it’s their preferred way of communication around the office.

While most respondents said they spend around one to two hours per workday checking and sending their email, there’s a clear way with how respondents felt emails should be worded.

Starting an email with a greeting such as “Hi” was received the most positively by respondents with nearly half agreeing it was the perfect greeting, according to the survey. “Kind Regards” was also found to be the best way to sign-off an email (69%). “Good morning” and “Good afternoon” also ranked highly as nice ways to address email recipients.

Do not send an email starting like this

Whether you’re speaking with your boss or introducing yourself over email to a new client, a simple “Hi” goes a long way. But more than half of respondents said receiving no greeting (53%) was the worst greeting for a work email, according to the study.

While no greeting can be viewed as rude or just uninterested, 37% said starting an email with “To whom it may concern” was also a terrible greeting, with “Hey” (28%), and the corny “Happy [Insert day]!” also ranking poorly.

As for the most annoying cliches, that’s a toss-up. Most workers can agree there’s an internal cringe any time an email is sent using any of these phrases, but what peeves workers the most is the dreaded “Just looping in…”, according to 37% of respondents. “As per my last email” annoyed 33% of respondents as did “Any updates on this” to 24% of respondents.

The most annoying email cliches are:

1. ‘Just looping in…’ – 37%
2. ‘As per my last email’ – 33%
3. ‘Any updates on this?’ – 24%
4. ‘Just checking in’ – 19%
5. ‘Confirming receipt’ / ‘confirming that I have received this’ – 16%
6. ‘Per our conversation’ – 15%
7. ‘Please advise’ – 8%
8. ‘Thanks in advance’ – 7%
9. ‘Hope you’re well’ – 6%

The don’ts of email

While 14% of respondents said they never felt it was appropriate to use an exclamation mark in a work email, other words and phrases are also deemed big no-no’s. Capitalizing words or whole sentences was the most popular no-go for workers with 67% of respondents saying so. Using kisses or ‘x’ (65%) and CC’ing people who aren’t or need to be involved in the conversation also was seen as a no for workers.

1. Using capital letters for whole words or sentences – 67%
2. Using kisses or ‘x’ – 65%
3. CC’ing people who don’t need to be involved – 63%
4. Using slang, eg ‘OMG’ – 53%
5. Using too many exclamation marks – 52%
6. Sending an email without proofreading – 50%
7. Sending very long emails – 29%
8. Using emojis – 29%
9. Not having an email signature – 23%
10. Double emailing – 22%
11. Using smiley faces – 22%
12. Using colored fonts – 21%

Another recent study found that keeping emails on the pithy side can go a long way. Emails with a subject line containing just one word were found to be 87% more likely to be responded to.  It was also found that emails that were 50 words or less boosted reply rates by more than 40%.