Is late night emailing now rude due to nightstand smartphones bleating?

47 Replies

I was just about to hit send on a group email announcing an open house when I remembered my wife commenting that people now sleep with their smartphones on the bedstand and an late email alert is like a late night call, rude. Is this true, or am I an ignorant old luddite and most people are clever enough mute their email alert at night? Given that most people couldn't set their VCR clock back in the day, I'm hesitant to make assumptions. The no landline, hyperconnected trend is changing many patterns, and it's hard to keep up.  

No. This is why phones have options including: silent, airplane or off.

I agree with you that lots of people are less than tech savvy, won't know how to do that. However, they are the same people that get tons of spam email so their phone is going off all night long anyway. I send them late all the time. 

One of the best things I've done in the last few months was turning off the notifications for emails. Now I check email on my own time. So much simpler.

I know that doesn't answer your question, but this thread reminded me of that.

I have a great plugin called boomerang, that's let's me schedule an email I'm writing now to be sent later.

I don't like sending emails at 2am for certain purposes because they get buried behind 8 hours of spam until seine checks their email.

Also some people ask me why I'm up at 4am lol.

Better just to queue until 9 am or so the next morning.

Originally posted by @Johann Jells:

I was just about to hit send on a group email announcing an open house when I remembered my wife commenting that people now sleep with their smartphones on the bedstand and an late email alert is like a late night call, rude. Is this true, or am I an ignorant old luddite and most people are clever enough mute their email alert at night? Given that most people couldn't set their VCR clock back in the day, I'm hesitant to make assumptions. The no landline, hyperconnected trend is changing many patterns, and it's hard to keep up.  

 @Johann Jells

I think everybody is different. Just used email campaigns, such as mailchimp, constant contact, etc., and set up a time for early morning. I personally schedule announcements to be send at 7:30am or 5:30pm depending of the campaign. Also, people wakes up in the middle of the night to check phones (I'm guilty of that!). Plan in advance, and prioritize your campaigns. This will keep you organized. 

Schedule your emails.  You can write them whenever you like, and have them delivered at a particular time.  Aside from the issue you mentioned, many of us receive many, many emails over night.  There is a far, far better chance that I will read your email if it arrives during the day.  When I check my email for the first time in the morning, I highlight and delete anything that is not obviously non-spam.

I'm probably more Luddite than you. I don't know about where you are, but in my world there are A LOT of Boomers sleeping with the phone on near the bed in case their teenage/young adult children have a need. Or something comes up with their elderly parents.  

That being said, email is not the same calling or texting.  Email is not typically emergency communication. I never worry about sending emails at late hours.  I don't get email alerts on my phone either.  I check my email when I want to.  Anyone who keeps their email notifications on at night is risking endless disruptions.  Even with the best spam controls, some will get through.  That's really not your problem.  :)

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That's a really interesting point. I guess to some people it really could be an inconvenience, but as many PP said it isn't exactly difficult to put your phone on silent during the night. This definitely has me rethinking my own late night business emails.

Thanks all. Sometimes you overthink this stuff.  But you never know what will bite you. Boy, I just got my butt kicked just trying to send a group Bcc open house announcement to my craigslist ad responders using Window Live Mail or online Outlook. Copying and pasting the addresses did not work! There seems to be no way to do it without making all of them contacts, which is ridiculous.

i would be annoyed by a late night email and yes, i do NOT know how to turn off the notification. i used to build my own computers and can repair houses, but the last thing i think about (until it goes off) is that darn notification buzz next to my head at night.

I think it is rude personally.  I keep my phone on all night because I manage my own properties and need to be accessible in case of emergency.  If we were engaged in an active conversation and you replied late at night fine.  But if you are marketing or selling something I do find it rude to email after 8pm

Brie Schmidt, Real Estate Agent in Illinois (#471.018287) and Wisconsin (#57846-90)

So Brie & George come down on the other side from most of you. 8pm seems bit early, but your point is taken supporting what I was worried about. The migration of email from the desktop to the phone has made a mess of things.

I'm certainly not going to have the motivation to pen a somewhat manic and ill-conceived (aka. potentially brilliant) idea in the middle of the afternoon.

My best writing happens after dark, but maybe that has something to do with having two craz...errrr...wonderful children under the age of 4.

Originally posted by @Kenndy Mendoza:
 @Johann Jells

I think everybody is different. Just used email campaigns, such as mailchimp, constant contact, etc., and set up a time for early morning. I personally schedule announcements to be send at 7:30am or 5:30pm depending of the campaign. Also, people wakes up in the middle of the night to check phones (I'm guilty of that!). Plan in advance, and prioritize your campaigns. This will keep you organized. 

 I cannot find any way to do as you suggest in Windows Live Mail or the online Outlook, the best I can do is go offline till morning, but I don't want to do that!  Do I need a more sophisticated mail client? 

Hey it is good to see a fellow investor in Chicago... It used to be said that the best email marketing is launched before 6am in the morning.... However now that everyone uses that method sometimes it is best to email right after midnight so that it shows up as an email that is unread from today... 

If you email right after midnight you may find yourself at the top of the list for the next day to the intended reader!

So my answer is "no" it is not rude it is savvy!

You know when is always an inconvenient time for me to get phone calls?  1:30PM is always a tough time yet people call me around then all the time.  While conversely I am almost always up at 1:30AM and could generally take a break from whatever I'm working on then, yet nobody has the courtesy to call then...

Seriously though If you can't/won't turn off the alert or pick one that isn't so loud and obnoxious that you can't sleep through it then turn off your phone.  If you won't turn off your phone because you WANT people to be able to contact you at all hours of the night then that is the choice you are making.

Shaun Reilly, Real Estate Agent in MA (#9517670)
1-800-774-0737

If its not really important I wouldn't send out a group email late at night. Personally I shut my ringer off at night, or anytime I want to get work done.

If you are an actual client of mine or I am an actual client of yours and we are currently doing business together then I understand late night emails.  If you are marketing or selling me something and do it I will just unsubscribe.  I see it as not being respectful of my time.  Just like people put my email on a distro list because it is public on BP without speaking to me first I immediately unsubscribe and add them to my contacts as a company I will not want to do business with.  Maybe I am a brat... 

Brie Schmidt, Real Estate Agent in Illinois (#471.018287) and Wisconsin (#57846-90)

I mute email notifications and in fact tell people that email is the communication of choice for "Important but not urgent" topics late at night. I do keep my phone nearby because I have two very young adult children (18 and 20) and a mother with Parkinson's. Texting me at that time will annoy me if not urgent. Calling with a non-urgent topic will get you quite an earful. But emails .... type away.

The whole point of email is that you can send it whenever you want without interrupting the other person. And read it - or not - whenever you want. 

A phone ringing at night is intrusive.  An email, not at all.  If someone chooses to leave their phone by their bed without learning how to turn email alerts off, well then it must be ok with them to hear email alerts all night, because most spam is sent at night.  

You can never please everyone, so don't try.  Just go with the norm.  And in this case, I think, as do most, apparently, that it's fine.  

I'm wondering if there is a generational difference on this. Or varying work experience with changing technologies.  I'm of the mindset that my phone and my email are not the same thing.  Even though I can use my iPhone to check my email, my phone is a phone that accepts calls and texts.  Phone calls and texts are for people I know, people I'm doing business with and emergencies.  My email goes to a mailbox. That mailbox doesn't bother me or call attention to itself unless I let it.  

Lots of agents write offers and send them via email to me late at night. If I'm up I might see it, if not I'll see it in the morning.  It's like an inbox at the office.  Now if those same agents called or texted me in the middle of the night I'd think there was an emergency, and if there wasn't I would think they were clueless. Or drunk.

In my line of work we set our emails to go out at 2am so people think we are diligently at our desks plowing through contracts and important client files.  Anything after 2am and they will think you are too tired, and anything before 10pm is slacker territory. 

With that said,  it is crazy to me that people that choose to get emails on their phones have a problem with emails that come in at night.  Anyone sending them assumes you won't read it until the next moring, so turn your phone off and get some sleep.... Or don't.  Thats why the silent option was made.