When emailing friends and family, it's completely okay to make a few spelling mistakes, use informal language, and generally dither a bit when writing, but in the business world? The rules are very different. Whether you're a marketing agency cold-emailing a new potential business partner, or emailing someone you've never met face-to-face in your own company, it's important not to make any blunder or mishap which could either get things off to a shaky start or ruin proceedings before anything has begun.
To ensure your business emailing "netiquette" is in top form, avoid these common mistakes before hitting send – it could mean the difference between a good response or your email sent to the trash bin.
- Using informal greetings or closing statements. If you've never spoken with this person before, saying "Hi Samantha" instead of "Dear Ms. Johnson", for example, is frowned upon. Same thing with "Cheers" instead of "Kind regards".
- Having an unusual or ambiguous subject line. Make sure the subject matter is enticing and informative, rather than something that could seem a bit spammy.
- Using a "high importance" tag when it's actually not that important, as this is seen as a cheap trick.
- Spelling mistakes, poor grammar, bad punctuation, or too much use of slang are all considered as annoying and amateur in the world of business. Understanding the business e-mail format and how to do it right can make such a big difference.
- Sending a follow-up email only the day after you've sent it. The person may not have been in the office or hasn't seen the email yet due to being busy, so appearing too needy by sending a follow-up email is a bit extreme.
- Other colleagues hate it when you click "Reply All" to a group email to what should have been a "Reply" to just one person.
- Not having up-to-date contact information in your email signature, or even worse, no email signature at all!
- Add a bit of personality and lightness to your email if possible to avoid sounding like a robot, but don't crack so many jokes or pretend that you're best friends with the recipient just yet. Keep it fun enough to make it stand out from others, but don't fall into informal territory email on the first attempt.
- Including emojis… these are best left for text messages!
- The length of the email is equally important to get right. Three paragraphs stating who you are, what your business does, how you can help, and how they can get in touch with you is enough. If they're interested, you can go into further details via another email, a phone call or a even face to face meet up. Sending incredibly long and convoluted emails is a surefire way to get ignored.
- Don't reveal too much about yourself and your business' methods without being sure that you can trust the person you're emailing. Security is a hot topic in offices, so just like with social media, don't share too much with anyone you can't trust just yet.
For more about avoiding common email mistakes, check out this post from Grammarly, who knows a thing or two about improving spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
Header Image: ActiveCampaign