How to Stop the “Uh Oh!” Email: Tech Tool Tuesday for Salespeople

Have you ever realized, immediately after hitting “Send”, that you have just sent an email to the wrong person?

Radio Advertising Salesperson horrified at computer

Photo by Flashgun/dpc

Not long ago, I wrote an email expressing significant concerns about a particular person – and, due to my own inattention, entered that person’s name as the recipient of the email. Luckily, I caught my mistake and corrected it before the email went out.

It was a very close call.

This prompted me to go to Google to see if there was a way to delay outgoing emails for a few minutes… just to buy myself a little time and prevent some heartache.

It turns out that Outlook, the program I use, offers a “delay” mechanism as an option. I knew that there was a way to delay individual emails, but it turns out that you can create a rule that delays all of your outgoing email.

You can find written instructions for delaying your email messages here. The instructions are a little tough to follow, so I’ve put together a short video to show you how it goes:

Direct link to the video is here.  I have used this method with Outlook 2013 and 2016 — I’m told it also works with Outlook 2010.

Instant gratification has a significant downside. There are many reasons why we might want to add a short delay to our outgoing emails:

  • We’re about to send it to the wrong person by mistake.
  • We’re about to Reply All by mistake (read about another tool, Reply to All Monitor here)
  • We’ve written a message in anger, or without thinking things through.

Making things just a little less instant by adding a short delay to each of our emails can prevent significant heartache.

Three Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. If you have Outlook 2010, 2013 or 2016, watch the video and then set your own delay rule.
  2. If you use a different email service, Google “How to delay outgoing emails in [name of your service]”.
  3. Share this article on your favorite social media site.

Question: What’s the worst email you ever sent — or stopped at the last minute? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


Sign up for my blog updates and never miss a post. I'll send you the first two chapters of my new book, Breakthrough Prospecting, as a thank-you.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Your Chance to Be Heard -- Comment Here!