Do You Make This Mistake When Emailing People?

Lately I’ve been getting some emails that have started with an apologize. I’ve got emails where the first sentence has been something like these: “Sorry for mass emailing you…” or “Sorry to email you again, but…”

Sorry for emailing me something I wanted?

I really think that newsletter sending should NOT start by saying sorry. Not even if you send couple of emails in a row. Not sure if I’ve apologized sending several emails it in the past, but I’ll (hopefully) don’t do that in the future.

Basically, the reason why this kind phrase in emails is not good boils down to these two points:

  • If your newsletter (or email) has something valuable for the reader – why should you apologize it? If you bring me value – why should you feel sorry about that?
  • On the other hand, if your email is useless and doesn’t give me any value – then why the heck are you sending it?

Make sure your email has value, and send it. If you have nothing useful to say – then trash the email.

There’s no need to apologize when you provide valuable content.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. @GBGames: Hmmm most of the time I do the same thing? Is this a Canadian virus I wonder?

    I do usually preface calls to friends with a bit of an apology, because I know that I’m interrupting someone else’s precious time. They’re not just sitting by the phone waiting for me to call..:)

    Basically what JJ said.

    With email and/or newsletters I’m a lot less apologetic, because an email IS read at the other person’s convenience 100% of the time.

  2. Juuso… in original context it would sound more properly as “Sorry to bother you, here’s 100$ for you”. Notice that apology is made for disturbing, and not for a reason disturbance is made for: “Sorry for *mass emailing* you…” or “Sorry to *email you again*, but…”.

  3. Yeah, it proves some guilt somewhere (which is an obstacle to making lots of money), it’s misplaced manners.

  4. JJ., I think there’s a slight difference. Let’s give a concrete example:

    If I would give you $100, wouldn’t it be bit silly to say “Sorry for giving you these $100”?

    It’s same with providing value. If I get valuable newsletter… why be sorry about sending it?

  5. This is what are called good manners. It is like saying “thank you”, “good morning”, “good night”, etc.

  6. You better say your sorry, ‘else I’m not talking to you.

    Say it!

  7. When I was in grade school, I had a best friend who would preface every phone call with “sorry to bother you”, and I was always flabbergasted. You’re my friend! You’re not bothering me when you call!

    I think the apology-before-delivering-something-useful comes from feeling guilty about marketing or doing business. This guilt can come from a feeling that doing business means cheating people out of their money, which is an unhealthy perspective to take.

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