The rise of email as a communication tool has been critically important in the business and commerce world. It allows for instant dialogue between colleagues, clients and contractors, and it’s also free. For many companies, the wide reach of emails has allowed them to access a client base far larger than ever previously conceived, thus providing the potential for increased revenues.
Where paper copies of important correspondence and documents can easily be lost, every email sent and received is stored electronically, reducing the risk of accidental loss and providing a company with records of transactions made, orders raised and other important conversations that may need to be retained for future use.
Proper Email Etiquette Advice
There are a number of components that feed into proper email etiquette. First and foremost, all spelling, grammar and punctuation must be perfect. With the accessibility and ease of use of functions that check these attributes, any errors can be perceived as inexcusable.
The subject line should be relevant to the content of the email content and invite the reader to open the email. Each email is jostling to be noticed among hundreds received every day by colleagues and clients, so writing an ambiguous subject line may result in the email being overlooked.
Senders should write a brief, concise and to-the-point message in the body text—many people don’t have a lot of time to spend reading a long-winded email. Each email should be personalised to the recipient to make him or her feel that they are valued by the business.
Improper Email Habits
While email has enabled companies to market their businesses to a large audience, they should avoid spamming potential clients with endless messages. Instead, emails should be tailored to suit the interests of the potential client.
The sender should avoid ccing more people than is truly necessary. There is little that is more frustrating than being copied in an email when the content is irrelevant. Email should never be used to send personal or confidential information—once an email is sent, it can easily be forwarded on to anyone, and could fall into the wrong hands.
A sender should always avoid using emoticons (e.g., smiley faces) to convey emotions in a business email: this conveys an unprofessional impression.
Email can be a very effective and strong tool if used correctly. Knowing what to avoid is crucial to maintaining professionalism at all times.