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Here’s something we’re guessing many professionals come across as they conduct more and more business communication online: the “Thank You” email and whether it does more harm than good.
Think about it. After a 17 email exchange back and forth with another attorney or professional, you receive an email indicating that everything is all set; something along the lines of “Ok. Sounds good. That will all go out in the mail tomorrow morning.” You may instinctively be inclined to hit Reply and shoot back “Thank You” or even just “Thanks.” But is that last email necessary? Does it possibly create more hassle than the thanks itself is worth?
Most likely, by email 17, you’ve ended most if not all of your emails with a closing “Thanks” or “Thank you.” At this point, should you choose not to send this final single-word email, it’s hardly likely the recipient would think you were ungrateful for whatever you worked on together. Additionally, the recipient may even be grateful to you for not interrupting their train of thought via their smartphone vibrating or their computer screen filling with a notification of a new email (or however they choose to be alerted). After all, if they notice that you’ve sent them an email, they will be inclined to stop what they’re doing and quickly check it–they’re under the impression that those 17 emails concluded business and will be curious as to (or dreading) what new wrinkle you might be adding with email 18. When they see that it’s just one non-substantive word, their frustration with the interruption may overpower any appreciation the actual message of the email was designed to evoke.
What do you think? Are single-word “Thanks” emails a necessary display of manners or an unneeded distraction on the recipient’s end? Tell us in the comments below. Oh, and, thanks.