I get asked this all the time…
How do I nicely ask someone not to keep forwarding me jokes and non-business related emails to my business email address?
Cordiality Reflects on You
I think it is telling that folks ask me how to ask “nicely.” I guess that reflects their frustration with folks who do not understand that sending feel-good causes, political or “informational” type emails are not those you send to someone’s business address.
We all know how to ask nicely. It is as if they know no matter how nicely they ask, the other side will be upset and there will be hurt feelings. Or in the case of business, a client or customer may take their business elsewhere.
In my decades of experience this is a viable concern. Subsequently, they are unsure of how to proceed.
No matter how “nice” you may be, some contacts will take your request personally and get upset or have hurt feelings. And if they don’t get mad; many times they will completely disregard your request and keep on forwarding.
The thing is “forwarders” do not do so maliciously. They really believe they are sharing something with you that they want you to know. However, the difference is, do they consider if it is something you need to know — at work. Probably not.
When initial requests that ask not to send these types of emails to their business account are not honored, next comes…
Please guide me so that I don’t say what I really want to say!!
Work Address = Work Emails
Explain that you would appreciate it if they will remove your business email address from their lists of non-business-related forwards. Let them know that you have a large workload of emails that you need to get to and prioritize.
For this reason, this is why you need to have only work-related emails to be in your work inbox. Next, offer your personal address as an alternative.
You can also send them to this article: 5 Rules of Forwarding Email. When sending contacts to my article you could state something like:
I found this article that taught me a thing or two about what to consider when forwarding business emails. Thought you might find it helpful too!
When all else fails, I have an article on my general email etiquette site specifically created for this purpose. This article covers: How do I ask someone to stop forwarding me all those silly emails?
Hopefully, this conversation will cause them to honor your request. And they may even become more courteous and responsible about what emails they forward and how they forward them. We can always hope.