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The email clichés to stop saying NOW – and how to respond instead


From ‘just touching base’ to ‘as per my last email’: The cringeworthy workplace clichés to stop sending NOW – and how to respond instead

  • Office workers often turn to frequently used statements when writing emails
  • Common clichés include ‘as per my last email’ and ‘just checking in’ 
  • But career coach Sue Ellson said these often hint a passive aggressive tone 
  • Instead she suggested a list of alternatives that can be used  

Those working in professional corporate environments tend to get in the habit of using cringeworthy email phrases that often hint at a deeper, more passive-aggressive meaning. 

Australian career coach and LinkedIn specialist Sue Ellson said email clichés including ‘as per my last email’ and ‘kind regards’ have an underlying negative tone and should be avoided.

Ms Ellson, from Melbourne, encourages employees to pick up the phone and call the person directly if possible.

‘Speaking directly to the person in a two way conversation can save hours of email tag,’ she said, before offering a list of alternative email phrases to use instead. 

Australian career coach and LinkedIn specialist Sue Ellson said email clichés including ‘as per my last email’ and ‘kind regards’ often have an underlying passive aggressive tone and should be avoided (stock image)

Sue Ellson (pictured) shared a list of alternatives that can be used instead of the common email cliches

Sue Ellson (pictured) shared a list of alternatives that can be used instead of the common email cliches

‘As per my last email’

The overused email statement ‘as per my last email’ is deemed to be a slightly aggressive way to highlight something has been said before. 

Instead Ms Ellson suggested writing: ‘Apologies if you missed the previous email. Can you please let me know…’

This suitable alternative is not only far more polite but will likely generate a swifter response.

The terms ‘as stated below’, ‘kind regards’ and ‘let me clarify’ can also come off as somewhat rude.   

Ms Ellson, from Melbourne, encourages employees to pick up the phone and call the person directly if possible

Ms Ellson, from Melbourne, encourages employees to pick up the phone and call the person directly if possible

‘Just checking in’

Those who turn to the ‘just checking in’ cliché are often in a hurry to receive a response from a receiver who they believe is ignoring their emails.

Ms Ellson recommends highlighting the urgency of the matter and explaining that a quick reply would be appreciated.

She suggested writing: ‘This is now an urgent matter and if you cannot complete it by xx/xx/xx, please let me know immediately’.

‘Sorry for being unclear’ 

The term ‘sorry for being unclear’ often begs the question whether the sender is being sincere or not.

Ms Ellson suggested: ‘I understand that my original email may have been confusing. Would you like me to call you? Alternatively, would you be able to let me know what extra information you need? Thanks in advance.’

Common email cliches and what to say instead: 

‘As per my last email’ – ‘Apologies if you missed the previous email. Can you please let me know…’

‘Just checking in’ – ‘This is now an urgent matter and if you cannot complete it by xx, please let me know immediately’

‘Sorry for being unclear’ – ‘I understand that my original email may have been confusing. Would you like me to call you? Alternatively, would you be able to let me know what extra information you need? Thanks in advance.’ 

‘Kind regards’ – ‘Regards’, ‘Kindest’ or ‘Thank you’ 

‘Thanks in advance’ – ‘Thank you’ 

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