Why you shouldn’t say “per my last email”

A phrase we use all too often, here’s why you shouldn’t say it.

If you’re using this phrase, you could be damaging your work relationships with co-workers or even clients. While you may see it from time to time, it certainly should not be in your email vocabulary – here’s why.

It’s rude and passive-aggressive…

Quite simply, the phrase “per my last email” is rude and comes off rather passive-aggressively. Think about it, would you like to receive an email starting like this? It more or less conveys an expectation that you should have read the last email and should have either replied or looked at the email before receiving a follow-up.

There are much better ways of expressing a similar opener! Instead of “per my last email”, why not try “following up from last week’s email on x where we discussed y and concluded z”. Instead, this phrase provides a summary of the previous email(s) to those who have not had time to get around to reading them yet. This comes across much less rude, and instead offers a friendly approach that will keep everyone on the same page.

You’re assuming the recipient has read your last email 

Not only does it come off as rude and passive-aggressive, you’re also assuming the recipient has read your last email. This may reduce the quality of replies and information shared over email, or quite frankly not get you a reply in the first place!

As I already mentioned, perhaps go for something a little more welcoming, inclusive, and something that does not assume the recipient has read the previous email – even if you think they should have!

You’re not building good relationships 

If you’re expressing a rude and passive-aggressive tone over email (even if you don’t realize it) you may be damaging your relationships with co-workers, or worse, potential clients. To avoid a workplace spat or even losing a client, ensure to keep them up to date and update them again. Never assume a client is as clued up on the subject matter, always provide a mini-summary of the last email just in case they missed it!

You’re assuming the recipient didn’t understand your first email 

Not only may you be coming across as rude and passive-aggressive, but you’re also coming across as a little patronizing. Using this phrase assumes the recipient didn’t understand your first email, almost as if you’re emailing to follow up with their lack of understanding. While this most likely isn’t the case, avoid using this phrase entirely to avoid any fallouts – especially between clients – you don’t want to lose out on any potential business due to poor wording.