Hello everyone! Hope you all are having a wonderful day so far! Today’s blog is all about emails. I spend so much time encouraging everyone to go for their dreams. But there is something that is so small that people forget. Something that may just count in your success factor and that something is email etiquette.
Yes, email etiquette. I know what you’re thinking, “what the heck!?!? How will emails encourage me to achieve my goals?”
Well, if you want to get anywhere in this world, you’ ll have to communicate with others. One point of communication is email. Emails can either make or break your relationship with others.
Networks and relationships are a very important tool when it comes to achieving your goals. You never know who has connections that could possibly help you in the future. And email may be first way you may communicate with the people you just newly networked with.
The importance of email etiquette is especially true if it is your first point of communication. I’ve also seen enough memes about passive aggressive emails to know how much of an impact a simple email can make.
So, trust me as you always do and keep reading. At the beginning of the month, I received an email from a client that inspired me to write this post. I am sure most of you already know how to start an email. But there are some things that fall through the cracks when it comes to emails.
So, here is a list of simple do’s and don’ts using a combination of personal experience and things I have learned from others.
Number 1: Start Your Email With The Proper Greeting
People are going to judge you by your email. Please do not start off the email on the wrong foot.
Please do …. for me. Thanks.
You lost me at “Hey Boo.” I don’t know you. We are not friends (Well, you all are, but the person I was receiving the email from was not. Yes, this was a real situation). I was so thrown off by the beginning of the email that I had to bring myself back to figure out what the point of the email was.
Do not be so casual at the beginning of an email especially if you don’t know the person personally and especially if that’s not how you talk to each other face-to-face. Also, this email I received was a business email so… I don’t even know what to say. You do not need to write, “Dear Ms. Tamaklo,” but you can also write:
- Hello [Name Here],
- To Whom This May Concern: (You have no idea who is receiving the email)
- Hi [Name Here],
Even a “Hey [Name Here]” would suffice, but, please, no terms of endearment. That is just plain weird. Who wants to be called boo by a complete stranger.
Number 2: Space Your Sentences Out Appropriately
You ever open an email to see a whole storybook for you to read and then sighed? Who told them they could do that? Well, that’s how others feel when they look at your long email.
If you have a lot to say, space out your sentences so it’s easier to read and skim through. People do not like to read seemingly long blocks of text. Anything that looks sparse and scannable is easier on the eyes and mind. So, write your long story, then break it up.
You’ll find that people are more likely to respond to all your inquiries and understand you better. Every 3 to 5 sentences may be a good general rule to follow for breaking up paragraphs. That’s actually how I break up my blog posts.
It also makes it mobile-friendly for those of us who like to check emails on our phones. If you can, write bullet points. Make people’s lives easier.
Number 3: Proofread Your Emails
I don’t mean to pressure you, but I’m totally judging your grammar and spelling when I read your emails. I’m sure you do it too. When you read that email with that misspelled word, your respect for that colleague automatically went down.
Don’t they double-check their emails? Is that how they treat their work at XYZ Company too? I thought they said they were a perfectionist. Yeah, somebody’s probably said that about your email too.
Everyone’s sent a bad email at least once. Just don’t make it a frequent habit because people will notice. And some petty people will send you an email back with grammar corrections.
Take a 5-minute break from your email if possible. Some emails are urgent so breaks are not possible. But, try to come back to your email with fresh new eyes. It helps to read the email out loud. Reading it out loud will definitely show you how much sense that paragraph doesn’t make.
Trust me. I’ve written enough blog posts and emails at late hours, then came back to them later and thought, what the heck did I just write? The person reading your emails was probably thinking the same thing too. Thats how you lose credibility.
You also look like a scammer. Scam emails always have spelling errors. That’s how I check if an email is a scam or not. Usually the first sentence has plenty of errors.
Number 4: Get People To Take An Action
You ever need someone to do something in an email? Just add a deadline. Adding a deadline with a date and time will get people to actually do what you need them to do.
Please send the attachments back signed and filled out.
Please send the attachments back signed and filled out by Monday, 5 PM.
Which one gives you greater urgency to act? The second one, easily. If there’s no deadline, there’s no urgency. Yes, there is the question of considering the time of others, but not everyone considers others so you have to lay down the law.
When I tried that out, you would be amazed at the responses I got from my emails. Instead of getting no response from people who couldn’t send me what I needed by the deadline, I got responses from everyone including those who just needed to tell me their excuse and when they could send me the documents. That way I wasn’t left waiting forever on some documents. So, this is actually a tip that makes your life easier.
Number 5: Be Clear And Concise
Sometimes there is no need to have long paragraphs and stories within your email. Be clear and concise. It’s hard to explain things via email. If it’s so complicated you may just need to alert via email and then explain via telephone or a face-to-face meeting.
Emails are meant to be an efficient means of communication, not a lengthy one. The best emails are straight to the point. Everyone is clear on the point of the email.
A few sentences are fine. No one will be offended by a one-sentence email especially if that’s all the email requires. Time is money. People are busy.
No one has thirty minutes to spend on translating an email. Even if they did, no one wants to spend thirty minutes reading or writing one email.
Number 6: Address The Most Important Issue First
When writing an email with multiple topics to address, you need to prioritize. Put the most important issue at the top. Your reader is more likely to read the first thing with full attention.
Later as their eyes drift through the email, it becomes less reading and more scanning for important words. You know how it is. Don’t act as if you’ve never read an email before.
Number 7: Don’t Forget To Put Your Contact Information
If you are emailing someone, don’t forget to put your contact information. Yes, you put your salutation on the email, and they can probably email you back by hitting reply but, maybe their reply is not so clear-cut. They might have questions that are easier to answer over the phone rather than back and forth through email.
So put your contact information at the end of your emails. Make a signature for your emails that include your name, contact information(i.e, phone number, fax, office number), and position(s) (if relevant). You are sure to look fancy in your email and it makes your life easy.
Number 8: Don’t Overthink It
Now that you know all these things. You are probably feeling some pressure especially if you rarely write emails yourself. But don’t sweat it.
Your email does not have to be long and fancy. A one sentence email with a simple greeting and salutation will do. But, now that you have some new tools, go and flourish!
Write beautiful and efficient emails that will impress your colleagues! No one will ever sigh in disdain as they open another one of your emails again!
Thanks for reading my rant,
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