In the corporate setting, email is the go-to communication tool. Nothing says “effective” and “professional” like an excellently written email. But what makes these emails effective? In lieu of a face-to-face interaction with your client, email etiquette is important to protect your relationship with the recipient. So the next time you send an email, go over it once or twice and see if you can check of these five things from your email etiquette list.
- A subject line that speaks for itself
Your email’s first impression begins with the subject line. It’s the first thing people will see and, depending on the person you’re talking to, the deciding factor on whether or not someone will open it. If you’re sending an email to, for example, request a meeting for a sales pitch, your subject line needs some wow factor—but hold off on the exclamation points and obnoxious phrasing. Be straight to the point and summarize the intent of your email. Make sure that your intentions are clear. Is it for a sales pitch? Say so, and mention the product or service you’re selling. Is it to request for an urgent meeting? There’s your subject line right there: Request for Urgent Meeting. Simple as that.
- A “toned” body.
As in your email’s body. Since you’re not there to set the mood and tone of the meeting in person, you need to pay special attention to how you write your email. Keep your language simple and polite—and that means to stay away from all caps.Emotional language should take a backseat. And don’t dilly dally.According to Inc.com, an online information provider on growing small businesses, the long email is “a thing of the past.” State your point in as short a sentence as possible; don’t be afraid to use bullet points. If something they mention bothers you, don’t react over email. Politely acknowledge the matter and offer to set a meeting for further discusson and reconciliation.
- The details.
If you’re asking for a meeting, offer your schedule for the week. This way, there’s less necessity for back-and-forth emails and you do the recipient a favor by making it easier for him/her to compare schedules and set the date. Also include the key points for discussion in the meeting, preferably in bullet or numbered form for easier reading.
- A timed reply.
According to Business Email Ettiquette, an online blog on the do’s and don’ts of professinal emailing, timing your email response is a “customer service issue.” Responding promptly sends the message that you are organized and allot time for all your clients. In a way, how long you wait before responding is an extension of your image as a professional. If you can’t answer the queries, simply acknowledge their email and tell them that you’ll email them back with the answers once you’ve ironed out the issues present. However, this is not a license to respond to emails in the dead of night especially if you find yourself only having free time after office hours. Evaluate the level of importance of the email. If it’s something that can wait until morning, wait.
- A seal of approval.
It goes without saying that you need to review, review, review your email before sending it out. In the heat of the moment, you might overlook some typos, wrong grammar, inappropriate punctuation or an unfinished sentence. Worse, you can be sending the wrong email to the wrong person. Be present. Focus on one email and one issue at a time to avoid mixing them up. Be sure to go over your messages especially if they are lengthly. Check your facts, starting with the list of recipients, the subject line, down tothe details in the body itself.
Do you have any tips for a fullproof business email? Share them with us in the comments section!