Email is one of the most powerful and yet potentially destructive forms of business communication. Emails can be misunderstood, misconstrued, copied and forwarded forever. A few inappropriate words in an email message can ruin relationships, sabotage careers and destroy companies. Have you ever sent an email that you immediately regretted, but had no way of undoing? Whether it’s a hastily worded response, an angry missive, or an ambiguously worded or incomplete message that leaves the recipient feeling confused, there are lots of ways for email to go wrong. Fortunately, there is a new feature in Gmail that will make life a bit easier for the email-senders of the world. Today Google announced that they are introducing a new “Undo Send” feature for Gmail that will give people up to 30 seconds to “undo” a message after hitting Send.
Here are a few reasons why Gmail’s new “Undo Send” feature is going to be a great new feature for small business owners:
Avoid the Dreaded Reply-All
Have you ever gotten roped into a never-ending email chain because someone on the cc: list accidentally hit “Reply All,” thus draining hours of productivity from everyone on the team and making themselves look technologically-illiterate? Never let this mistake happen to you; with Undo Send, you can avoid delivering an accidental “Reply All” that shouldn’t have happened in the first place – saving time and reducing frustration for your colleagues and clients.
Catch Last-Minute Typos
Have you ever been putting the finishing touches on an email to an important customer, a prospective client or a mass email to your customer newsletter list, and then hit “Send” – only to realize that you misspelled the customer’s name? Or accidentally misspelled some obvious word, like “Gratings” instead of “Greetings?” or “Thnaks” instead of “Thanks?” Or otherwise made an embarrassing typographic mistake that could derail the whole business deal? Don’t worry – now that Gmail’s Undo Send feature is here, you have a few last-chance moments to catch those typos before the email arrives in your recipient’s inbox.
Improve Anger Management
Have you ever been in the middle of a really bad day, when you get an angry email from a customer complaining about something that was totally not your fault, or where the customer is totally unreasonable, and, out of sheer frustration, you fire off an angry, exasperated, borderline-insulting email? Yeah, me neither. But in case you ever feel tempted to lash out in anger with the written word, Gmail’s Undo Send will help avoid the hassles, hurt feelings, lost business and bad publicity that can come from intemperate remarks being widely shared on the internet. You never know when an angry customer might try to damage your reputation by sharing your email on social media or online review sites – so it’s better not to give them any ammunition. Undo Send helps you take the high road and avoid feeding the trolls.
Reduce Inbox Clutter
How many times have you tried to send an email with an invoice or a budget estimate or a project deliverable attached, only to realize that you forgot to include the attachment? Then the client replies with “Please re-send – I didn’t get the attachment,” and then you have to write back with a third email apologizing for the missing attachment, and finally sending the attachment. (It’s just as convoluted and time-consuming as this last paragraph sounds.) Instead of wasting all that time, cut to the chase: Google’s Undo Send feature enables you to quickly undo an email message that is lacking the right attachments, helping you prevent inbox overload and communicate more efficiently.
The new Undo Send feature is not yet available for Gmail’s mobile app, but Google says it will be available for mobile in the future. Read more about the Undo Send feature and how to add it to your Gmail experience at this Google Apps blog post.
What’s the most regrettable email you’ve ever sent? Are you excited to use Gmail’s new Undo Send feature for your business? Leave a comment and let us know!