The informality and low cost of email has changed the way we communicate—but not always for the better. In a post at her Marketing Interactions blog, Ardath Albee reminds us that we should craft personalized, thoughtful messages when making initial contact with prospects and journalists. Too often, she says, we don’t. And here are a few sure signs you’ve gotten lazy in the email department:

Talking only about yourself, not your recipient.
Using clichéd buzzwords to rave about your product or service.
Asking intrusive questions that presume you already have an established relationship.
Placing yourself on the recipient’s calendar—without permission—by promising to follow up with a phone call.

“By being lazy,” she notes, “you’re telling your [recipients] they’re not worth … your undivided attention. Although you’re expecting them to give you theirs.”

But that’s not all. A narcissistic approach to email composition sends a clear signal that you’re just as self-centered in your day-to-day work life. “Oh, yes,” says Albee, “every interaction you have with them speaks to your credibility and is an example of what they’ll come to expect. Why blow it so early in the game?”

Source: Marketing Interactions.