Email overload – ways to take yourself off distribution lists

Tuesday July 24th, 2012, 10:25 am

Removing yourself from distribution lists and CC’d email is a powerful way to reduce the volume of email traffic through your inbox and reduce the email overload.  Clearly if its an external newsletter the obvious way is to unsubscribe.  But what about all those internal (or external) lists about matters which do not really interest you?  It is no good just ignoring the email as that just leads to more of the same.  Here are some tried and trusted responses which people have used in different situations and which demonstrate good email etiquette too.

1. Taking yourself out of the loop when someone asks you for help but you are the wrong person.

The gentle approach – forward the email with something like:‘Could you help Frankie? By the way, I don’t need to be copied in unless there is a problem.’

The blunt approach -reply directly to the sender with something like:‘Thanks for contacting me. The person who can really help you is John whose email address is ….. I suggest you email them directly.’

2. Getting yourself off a distribution list.

The gentle approach:‘Thanks for keeping me posted about developments with the Widgets project. Glad to hear it is progressing well. I am no longer involved with this aspect of the business. At the same time I’m trying to reduce the volume of email traffic through my inbox. Please can you help me by taking my name off the distribution list. Many thanks.’

The more direct and blunt approach:  ‘Thanks for copying me in on developments about the Widgets project. What do you want me to do? If you are not expecting any input from me, please can you take me off this distribution list.’

What techniques and words work for you?  What is your company policy on matter like this one?

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