The invention of the email has been one of the most important technological advances in the business world. Snail mail took a back seat and the email became one of the best ways to communicate with suppliers, clients, and employees. Is your email etiquette professional?
First thing to always remember when it comes to email etiquette is to be concise when creating your subject line. Most people will prioritize opening emails based on the urgency of the subject line. Beyond that they also search based on the words in the subject. Keep subjects separated by beginning a new chain once the subject of the email has changed. I’m sure you’ve spent more than enough time trying to locate an email that was lost in a stream of random content.
When constructing your email it is really important to avoid using words like “Hey” when greeting. Depending on the relationship you have with the person, I suggest saying “Hello” or even “To Whom it may concern” if the person is a total stranger. Being polite and taking the time to greet a customer or supplier is vital when building rapport. Remember that body language and tone are not available to us when reading text, so things can be taken the wrong way sometimes. One-liner emails when responding is taboo in the business world.
Proofread every time
If you write an email and send it without reading it over once or twice you will one day regret that decision. Many times your message can mean something totally different to the recipient, without you even intending it to. Correct all grammar and spelling mistakes, but most of all make sure your message is clear and not offensive in any way. Reading your email out loud can help you identify communication issues that you would have otherwise missed. For important emails it is wise to get another set of eyes to read it over.
Never send angry emails
If there is a disagreement or issue, pick up the phone and deal with it verbally. If your recipient senses that you are upset they may internalize the email as an attack on them. This goes for personal relationships too. Pick up the phone to hash out any arguments, it is the respectful thing to do.
Replying to emails
The rules for replying is to acknowledge every single email that comes your way, even if it doesn’t seem important. Without the acknowledgement, the sender may believe you never received it, or you don’t respect them enough to send a short and sweet reply. All replies need to be prompt. How would you feel if it took a week to get a response from a business you associate with?
Use secure password protected emails to communicate sensitive information. You could ruin your entire business reputation if private information was leaked because you didn’t have time to add a passcode.
Email etiquette when signing off
Your signature seals the envelope and should consist of your title, name, company name, and contact info. This way recipients can contact you via phone or in person by simply pulling up your last email to them. Sign off with a phrase like “Kind regards”, or “Thank you.” Add a linked website address or even your social media icons to wrap up your email.
Use your email etiquette to showcase how professional you are, it’s most times one of the first communications you have with new people so make it a great first impression that validates your brand and your promise.