Are you being nice to the people who email you? If you aren’t treating them the way you want to be treated yourself, you may be damaging your reputation and your brand. Remember email etiquette is also a critical part of your communication strategies.
Here are five key steps to improve your email communications:
- Think before you hit send. The cliche “measure twice, cut once” applies to quality email communication. Is what you are sending necessary, helpful, and clearly stated? Remember written words do not have the benefit of facial expressions and vocal inflections.
- The regards line is your first impression. Make sure it is meaningful and makes your recipient want to open the message. “Your red tie is awesome.” or other complimentary statements worked well for an intern in my office many years ago but keep those types of statements for close colleagues, friends or family.
- Don’t shout. ALL CAPS and explanation points can give the impression of shouting in email communication. An email is a form of a conversation. You don’t yell at your patients or clients so don’t do it in the written word.
- Reply. This one should be easy for all of us. If a patient or client takes the time to email you, reply to them. Acknowledging the message and simply saying thank you for the note works wonders for your reputation.
- Keep it clean. Spelling errors and bad grammar are a direct reflection on you and your business. In addition to spell check, also proofread your message to catch any errors spell check won’t catch (think their, there, they’re) before hitting send. (The same applies to hitting post for blogs – I almost posted this one with the title “Five Tactics to Improve You Email Etiquette”). Don’t use special formatting, colored or fancy fonts and other fancy images. These messages take longer to load and are more difficult to read.
While there are a lot of other tips on email etiquette out there, these are fundamental ideas to keep in mind. Apply these and you can be assured you are making a strong first impression via your email communications. Inc. magazine offers a good list to keep in mind.
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