Snake and Forbidden FruitAt a recent program in Calgary, I was talking about some of the difficulties with email. Emai is fast, but sometimes it is a two edged sword – we type a message, maybe in a hurry or perhaps in anger and hit that send key.


Email can kill – advancements, customer relations, careers, friendships and marriages. We may try to get it back but that doesn’t work all the time. An email recall could be attempted but it almost screams for someone to open it…and that’s when it hit me:

Could you get the recall notice to work in your favor?

The technique calls for some planning and sensitivity – but if there is an individual who you may suspect is not paying attention to your email and you’re having difficulty reaching them – it may be worth the effort.

Send the email and then within about 30 seconds, send them a recall notice.

  1. If they don’t open it, nothing lost because they were ignoring them in the past anyway.
  2. But if they do, and don’t open screams for someone to open it – you’ve got a neat chance to deliver a message.You could use a bit of humor (commercial accounts only) of deliver a straight and simple message.
  3. You ‘could’ follow up with an additional email: “Mr. Smith, we tried to recall an earlier e-mail, did you by chance not receive our recall notice and open and read the message?”I think you’ll be (pleasantly) surprised by how many replies you’ll receive. They will be wondering if they missed something.

Pithy Saying:

A book whose sale’s forbidden all men rush to see, and prohibition turns one reader into three. – Italian proverb