Horror Stories From the Inbox: Emails That Made Us Scream

November 1, 2013 Veronica Maria Jarski

In honor of Halloween week, I’m sharing the scariest stories that I’ve come across lately. Yes, we’re talking about frightfully bad emails.

Here’s a look at the latest horrors that took over my inbox. (If you want to avoid becoming an email horror story, check out my post about press releases that actually get read.) I haven’t put the names of the email senders because that’d be rude… but the quotes are, oh, so real.

The Adjective-Abusing Rambler

Being a tech-savvy blogger, I would be immensely delighted to work with your platform as a Guest Blogger, where I could unveil my core-knowledge and high-intellect to bestow resourceful-and-inspirational blogs for your end-readers. I’m sure that you would admire me, because of my proficient writing experience and fad for bringing the ingenuity in the write-ups about the latest web technologies & innovations going around in the Web Development & Design Realm, through my featured blogs that are as refreshing as morning dew!

Why It Made Us Scream

A well-placed adjective helps an image pop into the reader’s mind. The email sender quoted above, however, overused adjectives—tech-savvy, immensely, resourceful-and-inspirational, refreshing as morning dew.

The adjectives also make the introduction feel overdone. Someone offering to “unveil core-knowledge” (hyphen not needed) makes me feel like something weird and cult-like is going to happen. I just want to learn something or have a person share info with me. Nothing needs to be unveiled, please.

The email itself is chock-full of other oddities (what exactly does a “fad for bringing the ingenuity in the write-ups” mean?), but I wanted to focus on the adjective abuse.

The Monstrous Misspeller

Dear Eronica Maria Jarski,

Why It Made Us Scream

My name is Veronica—not Eronica.

The issue isn’t just that my name is wrong in the first line, but that the line shows (unveils?) the little importance my name has to the emailer. Typos don’t bother me too much (they should, but they don’t), but at least the name of the person should be correct. It’s the very least you can do and the most important first impression.

The Flashback Phantom

Hello webmaster,

Why It Made Us Scream: Does anyone still use this term? Also, I have a name. (No, it’s not Eronica.)

The Hybrid Insulter

Just wondering if you planned to publish the [...] article I sent you? I have had a few offers but would prefer it to go on My Daily Fix.

Why It Made Us Scream

This email was sent the same afternoon that I received the submission, so already, a tinge of desperation shows. Also, the email makes the recipient feel like he’s not the first choice for the prom. “You want to go out with me or what? You know, I can get another date… Sabrina is much cooler and Taylor’s way more awesome, but, FINE, I can wait for your answer.”

Also, the blog is not named My Daily Fix. It’s the Daily Fix. Again, the importance of using the right name cannot be overstated.

The Exclaiming Executioner

Hey there!

I came across your blog a little while back, and I really enjoyed the content of your posts!

The reason I’m contacting you (other than to tell you how much I enjoy your blog!) is because I saw that you were interested in accepting posts from guest authors, and I had a few questions for you!

Why It Made Us Scream

The above email is an example of what I call “Death by Exclamation Point.” The first one is fine. We can be enthusiastic! But then, every sentence is enthusiastic. And if you’re that excited about everything, you must not really be excited about anything. Every exclamation point after the first one feels like another little nail in the coffin of my interest.

The Confuser

Hello Ms. Veronica,

I would like to contribute my article here about the 7 Steps to Achieving Great Conversion Rate Optimization.
do you think this idea would fit on your websites?

Why It Made Us Scream

The email start is confused. On one hand, the author uses punctuation and makes a stab at being formal with Ms. Veronica, but on the other hand, if anything, I’m Ms. Jarski, not Veronica (and never Ms. Eronica) and the punctuation is all off. If everything had been in lowercase, I’d chalk the quirk up to an ode to e.e. cummings, but alas, the attention to detail then the lack of it is confusing.

Your Turn

Have you seen emails that made you scream lately? What did they get wrong?

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