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Remove Me from Your List (Politely)

In writing seminars, people frequently say they need a polite way to ask coworkers not to email them jokes, inspirational quotes, and other messages they don’t want or need. Here are a few polite version templates of that “please remove me from this email chain / ¬†email list” message. I hope they give you ideas for your own version.

A graphic of a woman lifting up her hand in protest with the caption: "5 templates of messages politely asking to be removed from an email list.

Example 1: The Brief Request
Natasha, I am working hard to manage my email better. That is why I am asking everyone to take me off lists for jokes, word of the day, and all other email that is not must-have information. Would you please remove me from your lists? Thanks.

Example 2: The Very Polite Request
Marsha, thank you for thinking of me with the quotations of the day. Some of them have had powerful messages, and I have been glad to read them. Right now, though, it is important to me to get a handle on my email, and I am asking people to remove me from their distribution lists unless it is a work-related message.

Would you please remove me from those who receive the quotation of the day?

Thank you very much.

Example 3: The Straightforward Request
Don, thanks for forwarding the board meeting minutes to me. I am actually getting my own copy of them from the board secretary, so it is not necessary to include me in your forwarded email. You may remove me from your list. Thanks!

Example 4: Another Straightforward Request
Chandra, I am no longer working on the Repro project. Therefore, please remove my name and email address from the list of those who are included in project updates. Thank you.

Example 5: The Unsubscribe Explanation
Colin, you may have received a notice that I unsubscribed from your e-newsletter. I believe it has very useful content, but I am receiving far more email than I can read and manage. I have decided to subscribe to only those ezines and mailings that relate to my current goals. Thanks for understanding.

Example 6: Please Do Not Reply to All–Individual
Sylvia, I would like to ask you not to use Reply to All when you respond to Bart’s requests for feedback. Bart typically reviews everyone’s suggestions and then sends all of us a summary. When some of us Reply to All, everyone is tempted to respond that way, which means everyone will be buried in email we don’t have to have.

I hope my request is reasonable to you. Please email me if you have any questions or comments about it.

Example 7: Please Do Not Reply to All–Team
Dear Team,

I have noticed that many of us are using Reply to All in response to one person’s question or message, and I want to suggest that we use Reply to All only when everyone actually needs our response. Example: Recently I received eight messages from people who were responding to Mackenzie about the agenda, but I did not need the information in any of them. I believe only Mackenzie needed those replies.

As a first step, in response to my suggestion, would you please reply to me only? I will then summarize people’s responses in a message to the team.

Thanks for considering my suggestion.

Do you have other methods for reducing unwanted email? Are there better ways to say “Remove Me from This Email Chain?” Please share them.

Lynn

Further reading: New Rules of Email Etiquette

Posted by Lynn Gaertner Johnson
By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English. She grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

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