In the business world today, many of us rely on emails more than ever instead of phone calls, but how do we make our email successful? What does that mean? Is the recipient actually reading the email?
The best start to a successful email is a eye-catching subject line. Make sure it is meaningful and focused. Pique the reader’s curiosity and use power words. Next thing to do is get to the point. Don’t mince words. Business people have a lot on their plate and if your email is not short and succinct, it may just get looked over. A study showed that emails up to 50 words get answered fastest. Anything more than 100 words will see a rapid decline in responses. Be sure to ask a question or two so that the recipient feels the need to respond.
When closing your email, avoid the standard scripted ending such as sincerely. I personally like warm wishes or best regards. See what is more natural to you. Be clear on who the email is from. Include your full name above your company name. Don’t assume that your reader remembers you just by your first name.
One last note I want to add is PROOFREAD! Spelling and grammar errors can be detrimental to any business relationship.
Doing business via email has never been easier or more convenient. From laptops, smart phones, or tablets, you can read and send emails pretty much anywhere at any time. Despite how easy it is to send an email, it is extremely important to make sure that you are always presenting yourself in a positive light. When sending business emails, employees, associates, and customers will always appreciate courtesy and respect. These are our “Must Do’s” for proper business email etiquette.
- The Subject Line – Make sure your subject line properly reflects the contents of the email. If the subject is too vague, the email may end up being accidentally ignored. If it is not spelled and cased correctly, it could end up in a Spam box.
- The Greeting – Always include a greeting. “Good Morning –“ or “Hi (Insert Name Here)” will open your email with a friendly tone so you do not sound demanding or brusque.
- The Message – Keep your emails as concise as you possibly can. It is overwhelming to send huge paragraphs and people may skim over them and miss what you’re really trying to say. Always spell check and read over your email before hitting send. Remember the email is a refection of you and your business.
- The Closing – Always include a closing. As with the greeting, the closing indicates courtesy and keeps you from sounding too terse. Let them know you appreciate that they’ve taken the time to read your email or assist you. “I appreciate your help,” “Thank you,” or “Best regards,” are nice ways to close.
- The Signature – Do make sure you always include a signature in your email with your contact information so your recipients have this on hand without having to search for it.
Those are the most basic “Do’s” for composing a great, business appropriate email. Remember to follow similar rules when replying to emails:
- Reply in a timely fashion. If you do not have the answer or cannot reply when you receive the email, it is appropriate to reply that you have read the email and will find out what the sender needs to know and reply by (Insert time or date).
- Along the same lines, if you are going to be on vacation or unable to check your email for longer than usual, do set up an out of office reply with information on who the sender can contact instead while you are away.
The final “Do” is simply to always remain professional. Use the “Bcc” blind copy option courteously to hide contact info from large groups of recipients, not as a way to talk behind anyone’s back. Be careful of “Reply all” if you do not want everyone reading your responses, but always keep it professional regardless! Happy emailing! And don’t forget – for a birthday, anniversary, or holiday greeting, it’s always best to put down the smartphone and show you care with a physical card. Email is easy and convenient for conducting business, but it really shows effort, respect, and care to take the time to send a card for a special occasion!