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Emails continue to be one of the primary ways people communicate with each other. Whether it’s between friends, families, or in a business setting. When you’re sending an email between professionals, it’s essential to lock down your email etiquette.
Why is email etiquette important? Let’s break it down one point at a time.
Using proper email language will convey a professional image. When writing an email to colleagues and clients, do you think typing “sup dude” would be appropriate?
Email etiquette is there to ensure people take you seriously. According to Hubspot, 86% of business professionals prefer to use email when they’re communicating about business. That’s a lot of individuals who prefer to use email to communicate things like business plans, project management, and more. You want to keep things professional and on track.
Knowing good email practice will protect you and your company from potential lawsuits. Having an awareness of email practices is the best way to prevent any issues from leaking out.
Email security involves not disclosing sensitive company subjects, accidentally including an external user into an email chain, and more.
Emails that are concise and to-the-point are more well-received than emails that are long-winded and full of irrelevant information.
Would you prefer spending 10 seconds understanding an email about your next project or 10 minutes reading irrelevant information regarding it?
I think the choice is clear.
So what are some of the etiquette rules that you should follow for good email practices?
An email reply should address all concerns and anticipate new ones. If you are unable to answer it at the time, be sure to inform your counterpart of that fact so that they are aware of this. The temptation to just write a “one-size-fits all” email that will be sent en masse is strong. The problem of answering all emails in one go is that you’ll end up receiving more emails following up on questions that you didn’t get to answer, which is a waste of everybody’s time.
Anticipating new questions is also a great way of remaining proactive and being efficient. Team members will be glad you put some thought into your project and clients will be impressed with your willingness to go the extra mile.
Regardless of what the topic is, make sure you try to be as detailed as possible without being overbearing.
We said that you should be detailed in the last point, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep things short and sweet.
You don’t always have to create flowery prose or long-winded passages for people. The faster you can convey your message, the better. That’s why your emails should be concise and to the point.
That doesn’t mean it can’t be long, but you better have a reason for making your email that length. As long as all of the content of your email is relevant, your recipient will thank you.
Who likes receiving automated emails? Not me, and your recipient doesn’t either.
When sending emails, be sure to make it as personal as possible. This doesn’t mean just using your recipient’s name and calling it a day. The content you put in an email should be customized for your counterpart.
While we did say that you should make responses personal, and that mass emails can pose new problems, that doesn’t mean you can’t employ the use of templates as long as you know their strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s say you consistently write emails to a variety of clients with an onboarding process. You can use a template to create the bulk of your email while you input small tidbits of personal, customized content to fill the void. Now you’ll have an effective email that was also easy to create.
Do you know the difference between there, their, and they’re? You better.
Good email practices consist of writing an email that is well-prepared. Can you imagine sending a grammatically-incorrect email to your boss, or the potential problems such an email would cause?
Now mistakes happen, but in a professional environment, making mistakes doesn’t reflect very well on you if you’re continually making spelling errors or missing punctuation.
Sending large attachments through email is usually not a good idea. A lot of mailing systems have filters that will stop emails that have large attachments on it. The reason behind this is that a large attachment being sent through an email can potentially cause problems on a person’s server.
If you can, try to compress your attachments or you could even send them links of the file if you upload them to cloud servers, such as Dropbox, Google Docs, or Onedrive.
When was the last time you received an email back from someone within a few minutes of sending it out? Felt pretty good, didn’t it?
Being quick to reply is an excellent way of building rapport with your clients or team members. Of course, not everyone can respond to an email within a few minutes. Aim to have a response within 24 hours of receiving your email. Any longer and you’ll end up testing the patience of your recipient.
Don’t create an email that’s hard to read. Reading from a screen (especially phones) is much more difficult than reading a piece of paper.
When sending emails, be sure to write in short paragraphs and use line breaks to open up your email. Also, use bullet points and numbered lists when necessary.
Everything might feel like a high-priority to you, but that might not be the case for others.
Only flag a message as high-priority if it really is. You don’t want to constantly send out emails with that flag and suddenly have a situation where no one reads it because that’s just how you “send emails”. As Spiderman’s Uncle once said, “With great power comes great responsibility”.
I know it seems like it makes an email excessively long, but the reason why a message thread exists is to provide context for your recipient.
The only reason why you should delete a message thread is if there’s information that you don’t want to leak out. Such as an internal conversation that happened prior to looping in a new contact.
If you’re trying to build your brand, improve your social media presence, start or improve a company blog or website, we at LMG Marketing Solutions would love to help you. We know how important your business is, and we want to make that critical difference your company needs.
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