Email is the lifeblood of today’s business landscape, but how many of us understand proper email etiquette?
According to research by the Radicati Group, office workers sent 36 emails a day in 2014. That number is expected to reach 43 in 2018. Combine that with expected average daily emails received to hit 97 and that makes for a whole lot of emails!
To ensure your emails reach their target with the messaging and feel you intend, check out these business email tips:
Provide Context - Maybe you met at a trade show or exchanged emails briefly while one of you was at another company. Whatever the case, remember to mention your connection.
Double Check Your Attachments - Hitting send on an email you’re proud of, only to realize you forgot to include the attachment is deflating. Even worse when you don’t realize your mistake and you contact has to send an email asking for the attachment. How embarrassing!
Avoid Becoming Spam - The above report estimates that 14 out of the average 97 daily emails be received in 2018 will be spam. This doesn’t count the amount of spam that email filters already pick up. Make sure your subject line is short and descriptive. Avoid using ALL CAPS and unusual fonts and colors, and limit embedded pictures or videos. Instead, create a template to ensure viewability.
Use a Legitimate Email Address – There are countless gTLDs (generic top-level domains) these days, but the 30-plus-year-reign of the “.com” extension is still the most recognized and preferred. Learn how to get a .com email.
Reply Proactively – Don’t reply immediately to emails. It’ll seem like you’re not giving the email proper thought. However, you should respond in a timely manner, usually within a day. If you’ll be away from your computer for longer, it’s best to create an out-of-office message. Be sure to set the message to only reply to emails in your contacts.
Avoid Overly Enthusiastic Tones – You might think you’re breathing fresh air into their day by typing “Amazing to hear!!!” or “I’ll be sure to do just that! ☺.” Overusing superlatives and exclamation points can irritate users, causing them to take your message less seriously. Instead, adopt a casual but professional tone that communicates a sense of warmth.
Proofread for Spelling and Grammar - This may seem like a given but many people rely on their email client to detect spelling mistakes. Still, this doesn’t solve grammar issues or awkward phrasing. Read your emails aloud before you hit send. If you struggle with writing but need to make a good impression, a tool like Grammarly may help.
Check Your Humor - Avoid humor in your emails. The only time it’s acceptable is when you’re emailing with someone with whom you already have a relationship. Otherwise, you can never predict how someone will respond to your humor, so it’s best to leave it out of the equation altogether.
Know How to Close – This doesn’t mean how to close the sale (though that’s important, too). Rather, how do you end your emails? Do you provide action items, or do you leave things unclear? If you’re looking for a reply back, state it. If no reply is necessary, say that too. It’s important to end with something professional, such as “Best,” “Kind regards,” “Thank you,” but you don’t need to overthink it. Anything professional-sounding will do. Lastly, make sure to include an email signature with your full name and contact information.
Knowing how to communicate professionally through email is an important tactic for any SMB owner and employee to master. Delivering customized messaging with proper etiquette will make your emails better received, net you more working relationships, and over time, can improve your business’ bottom line.
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