Wheth­er you’re plan­ning to email a top influ­en­cer about a col­lab­or­a­tion idea, or you’re think­ing of send­ing a pitch to an investor, there’s one import­ant thing you have to keep in mind — these people have very lim­ited time.

They’re not going to spend the whole day read­ing and reply­ing to all the emails they’ve received, they have more import­ant things to do. So how do you make them read and reply to your email?

The simple answer? Keep it short, simple and pro­fes­sion­al. And don’t, by any means, fill your mes­sage with jar­gon or over­used cliches.

To help you with your email out­reach efforts, and to save you from poten­tial embar­rass­ment (and dis­missal of your mes­sage), here’s a quick guide by Aaron Oren­dorff (made with Visme) on the top 21 phrases you should nev­er (ever) men­tion in an email.