Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

When are thank you eMails good manners and when are they spam?

For those of us who got manners it comes natural to say please and thank you. So every time I get a question answered in eMail, I have that reflex to hit the reply or even reply all button to say Thank you. I'm starting to wonder if that is still always appropriate. In IBM Connections we have a widget for " Giving thanks" that separates the process from the daily stream of eMail. Why do I think it might not be appropriate all the time: I just adds another item to a long list of items that want one's attention. Of course if the answer was a big help and you have to share how it helped a reply is indicated. Also you need to gauge the sender of an answer: do they fancy or expect a simple thank you for each message? I like the little thank you messages arriving in the blog comments or tweets and the occasionally larger thank you messages dropping in at quarter or year end, but I don't care too much about a thx in eMail for something obvious. And I definitely don't care for the thx someone else gives in a reply-to-all. After all I believe we all have manners by default . But I still wonder where and when to draw the line for that little thx in a reply.

Posted by on 20 June 2011 | Comments (3) | categories: Business


  1. posted by Brian Moore on Monday 20 June 2011 AD:
    I don't think the widget is a good thing. Thanks should be meant, and if I just automatically click a button, what does that mean? It's nothing more than a Facebook "like". If however, I take the effort to actually send you a note, then it relays that I actually appreciate what you have done.

    If you want to really show them you mean it, send them a written note in the post.

  2. posted by Stephan H. Wissel on Monday 20 June 2011 AD:
    thx for stopping by. I should have explained a little more on the widget Emoticon smile.gif We call it BlueThx and you specify which person you want to thank and why. So your thank you becomes visible to the whole community both how many people you have thanked and why and how many people thanked you and why.
    Now the big question there is: is it a personal/private thank you - probably the widget isn't the right place or is it a public acknowledgement how much you value the other person's help.
    Emoticon biggrin.gif stw
  3. posted by Nathan T Freeman on Monday 20 June 2011 AD:
    In online circles, I've come to never expect an actual thank you. Conversely, I find that if you ASK for an acknowledgement, it is almost always forthcoming.