Is Email Etiquette Critical to Your Success..?

No matter what business you’re in, the fact that email has become one of the main channels of communication, is something all will agree.

This amazing communication channel lets you send messages around the world almost instantaneously and allows one-to-one communication – to many, almost for free.

Email helps in quickly disseminating information and providing fast response to the sender(s).

People communicate regardless of their location or time zone schedules, easily and effectively via email.

While writing an email may seem simple enough, the need for email etiquette has become very critical, to make it effective.

Also, while you might find yourself clicking “reply,” typing up a quick response, and hitting “send” without giving so much as a thought, about what you’ve just written, your email behavior can potentially affect your reputation both personally and professionally.

The minimum expectation of the email activity is that the recipient of the email would read, acknowledge and respond, which is not an exaggeration.

Yet most of us, more often than not, just scan through a few of the incoming emails while ignoring the many which remain unread… and most don’t even acknowledge the time and effort that the sender has taken to write the email to us. (Of course, I’m not referring to emails received through the email marketing tools, which are so impersonal and often so calendared events that the emails are triggered even when the sender’s sleeping)

Your response, to someone’s email, speaks a lot about you and your opinion about the sender. Be it positive or negative.

If you wish that your emails are paid attention to, by the addressee(s), then you need to get into the habit of consciously replying to each of your emails and see the magic unfold, with your efforts of reaching out to your potential prospects and clients.

The adage ‘What goes around comes around’ applies here. If somebody has shared a piece of their life (in terms of time and effort, thinking about your well-being) for you in the email, then it’s only very fair that we do at least a quick read through. And the very least we can do is to acknowledge the receipt of the email and clearly articulate our intention. Even if you’re not keen or not interested, it’s so much better to say so, than to remain silent or show no response…

Maintaining consistent standards in business communication is a sign of professionalism.

Poorly structured and untimely responses make customers feel under-appreciated and under-valued and can potentially result in lost business.

Therefore, observing proper etiquette while responding to emails is a key component of communications for any organization.

It is good etiquette to responding to an email in 24 hours. If a concern is negative or powerfully expressed, a phone call, if possible, maybe a more appropriate response than a return email. Implying that you consider the matter too. Just hearing a human voice can help the other person feel respected.

Every email you send, adds to or detracts from your reputation.

If your email is scattered, unorganized, and has plenty of errors, the recipient will be inclined to think of you as a scattered, careless, and disorganized person.

The impressions you create and the opinions you help form is their perception of you. And that is critical to your success in that situation.

Following are some of the email practices to follow as part of email etiquette:

  • Include a clear, direct subject line – People often decide whether to open an email based on the subject line. So choose the one that lets readers know you are
  • Use a professional email address – Use your company email address. Even if it’s your personal email account, be careful to choose a proper address.
  • Refrain from sending one-liner mail response – “Thanks,” and “Oh, OK” do not advance the conversation in any way.
  • Use professional salutations – Don’t use laid-back, colloquial expressions. Such as, “Hey you guys,” “Yo,” or “Hi folks” or short names, unless you’re certain he prefers to be called, by it. The relaxed nature of your writing shouldn’t affect the salutation in an email.
  • Use exclamation points sparingly – If you choose to use an exclamation point, use only one to convey excitement. Exclamation points should be used sparingly in writing.
  • Be cautious with humor – Humor can easily get lost in translation without the right tone or facial expressions. In a professional exchange, it’s better to go away humor out of emails.
  • Respond timely – It’s not necessary to be available to respond the instant an email arrives. However, responding within 24 is acceptable.
  • Train your staff – As business owners, please ensure that your staff is trained in e-mail communications. Don’t just assume they know what they’re doing and what is considered professional. Set up e-mail standards that everyone at the company should abide by.
  • Always include a signature – You never want someone to have to look up how to get in touch with you. If you are social media savvy, include all of your social media information in your signature as well. Your email signature is a great way to let people know more about you. Especially, when your email address does not include your full name or company.

Your email etiquette is a reflection of you. Every email you send adds to or detracts from your reputation. If your email is scattered, disorganized, and with errors, the recipient will be inclined to think of you as a scattered, careless, and disorganized businessperson. Other people’s opinions matter and in the professional world, their perception of you is critical to your success.

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