Should we reply to "thank you" e-mails with "You're Welcome"?

Throughout the day folks ask for our help on one thing or another.  We often use e-mail to communicate the completion of the task, or provide the required information.  More often than not, we get a short e-mail in reply with "Thanks" or "Thank You". 

In the era of e-mail overload, should we reply back with the "You are welcome" response, or let it lie with their "Thank You" e-mail? 

I am asking for the majority of cases where the thank you is brief and there is no additional context that needs to be tagged onto the "Your Welcome" reply.

Lately I have not be sending the "You're Welcome", but I am not sure what is proper and effective.

Let me know what you think.



RichRuh's picture
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A High S will appreciate it.  Otherwise, no.

mikehansen's picture

Had not thought of DISC in this case, but that is a great way to address it.


raulcasta's picture

I believe that even "thank you" emails should be avoided...

Even though the DISC profile could play a part in this decision,  I try to stay away from email communication as much as possible.



Jazzman's picture
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Bottom line: Don't do it.

Because you pointed out the overload of e-mail, I get a sense that you're post is "tongue-in-cheek" and that the "You're welcome" e-mail is a way to say, "See how it feels to get an unnecessary e-mail?" 

A "Thanks" only e-mail usually isn't necessary.  "You're welcome" in the sense I described is just trying to fix bad behavior with more bad behavior....which is generally bad behavior.

Even if the recipient is a High I, there's not a whole lot to say about "You're welcome."  Unless you've got more to add, and how it can help them, don't bother.

Caveat Emptor: I am a High D/C...the "i" that I do have wants to say thanks but doesn't care to hear it from anyone else.  :)


jhack's picture

You should tailor your communication to the listener.  For some, it's not just information transmission, but a relationship.  

John Hack

Peter.westley's picture
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... where the expression "You're welcome" is almost never used. As far as my travels and experience have provided me, the North America is about the only place that actually does this habitual "You're welcome" thing.

I'm not saying that it's not polite, just highlighting that there are many cultures that don't think it's necessary.

Having said that, I think the gist of the answers above would be my advice: it's all about the person and the relationship you have or want with them.

What do they need?

-- Peter

DISC: 2564

tenacious_bc's picture

This is a great question. I can't resist sending the you're welcome response email. It's just ingrained in me that when someone says, "thank you," that you should say, "you're welcome." Although, I wouldn't think twice if someone didn't send me a, "you're welcome," back so maybe I should stop it.

Len's picture

I get way too much non-substantive e-mail, and I appreciate it when colleagues observe economy in this form of communication.  I don't even like receiving the "thank you" e-mails.  Opening them and reading them is just one more non-productive action for me. 

But here's the biggest annoyance: hitting "Reply All" to send a "Thank you" or an acknowledgement that you received an e-mail.  Example: somebody sends an e-mail informing 20 people that the boss wants their annual objectives by Tuesday, instead of Wednesday.  A half dozen of the recipients hit "Reply All" and send messages with content limited to words like: "Will do!" or "Got it!" or "I'm on it!"  What a huge time waster. 

jcook's picture

I hate "thank you" emails too and would never send a "you're welcome" email. I have only rarely received "you're welcome" emails too, perhaps some of that is a culture thing (I am in the UK).

I do sometimes send out "thank you" emails myself though, as I know that other people appreciate it. I limit it to a small number though and hope that people then realise I am genuinely grateful, rather than sending out a standard reply message without thought. 

Sometimes I will write a "thank you" email in the style of positive feedback. That way the person can understand why I am so appreciative and encourages that behaviour in the future. I tend to save this for situations where someone has been extra helpful, or their help has made a big difference with something perhaps they didn't realise their impact.

Otherwise anything that keeps down the number of emails is a good thing in my mind!

- Jane
DISC: 6317