How you and your employees say something is as important as what you say, if not more so. Email can be impersonal and often relies on the way that the reader will perceive or imply the tone of the message you’re conveying. Additionally, waiting too long to respond to an email, or worse never responding, can leave a client feeling like their business doesn’t matter to you. Don’t let needless conflicts develop between your employees and a vendor or a customer because of poor email etiquette. Helping your employees understand the basics of email etiquette can help you avoid a lot of headaches (and lost revenue).
Be professional with email etiquette
Professionalism should be a no-brainer when it comes to your company emails, particularly those sent to individuals outside the company like clients, customers, and vendors. Taking a few steps to ensure that your email is as professional as possible is your first line of defense to ensure that your messages are always well-received and understood.
As a matter of course, you should always start your email with a relevant subject line. Your subject line should convey clearly what the message is about. If your email contains important information or a deadline for necessary action, be sure to include that so that your recipient knows to read and respond quickly to your message.
You should always avoid becoming too lax in your greetings. Even if you’ve known a client or worked with a vendor a long time, a greeting like “Hey you guys” or “Yo” is almost never acceptable. If you’re comfortable or have a good working relationship, a simple “Hi” followed by the individuals name is perfectly acceptable.
Our email should also always end with an acceptable sign off. A simple “Thanks” or “Have a good day” will suffice in most situations. If the tone or topic of your email is more formal, just go with the standard “Sincerely” or “Thank you for your time”.
Finally, your email signature should include your full name, title, the company name, and your contact information, generally including phone number. Try to avoid anything too cutesy like doodles or artwork, unless it’s your logo.
Watch your tone
Your tone is how you express your attitude in an email message and influences how your message is received. You should always strive to come across as respectful, friendly, and approachable – curt and demanding tones have little place in dealing with clients or customers. Try rereading your message several times before you send it. If you still have questions about how the message may sound to the recipient, have a coworker read it before sending the message.
Avoid using all uppercase letters in an email. It comes across as shouting and can be offensive to the reader. Unless you’re conveying excitement about a new product or project, it’s best to stick with standard upper- and lowercase letter usage.
Keep it brief
You and your employees are busy people and so are the people you’re sending emails to. Be respectful of your and their time by keeping email as brief as possible. That said, don’t leave out pertinent details. Make sure that your message clearly conveys the reason you wrote it in the first place and that you include any details that the recipient needs. Nothing wastes time like having to send a follow-up with additional information that could have been included in the first message.
Spelling and grammar matter
Always proofread your emails carefully – you’re never too busy to ensure that your spelling and grammar are correct before hitting send. To avoid serious embarrassment, always doublecheck the names of your recipient and their company as you’re proofreading. Spellcheckers and editing tools can be a big help, but often don’t notice when a word is used incorrectly (as in “I have to examples of this for you,”).
Let Sheakley help
Communication is key to building business relationships and to growing your company. Don’t let sloppy email communications ruin relationships with vendors, customers, and clients. Sheakley’s team of Human Resources professionals take the guess work out of email etiquette by helping you craft an industry appropriate email etiquette policy in your company handbook. Having Sheakley as a partner allows you to meet the needs of your employees, while remaining focused on the daily demands of your business.
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