It is amazing to me how often we communicate via e-mail. It has become one of the most commonly used communication tools. I find if I have to write something by hand, it seems almost difficult. At our office, Henderson Insurance Agency, we communicate via e-mail very often. Some clients would like everything e-mailed to them. However, it also amazes me how often a client does not have an e-mail address nor do they want anything e-mailed to them. Unfortunately, e-mails are here to stay and as a business owner, you need to hop on board.
When e-mailing, use a professional salutation. “Hey there” or “Yo” will not make the cut unless you are e-mailing a friend. You should be formal and never shorten the recipient’s name unless you know that’s what they use. An example, James Smith. Don’t address him by Jim or Jimmy unless you know he goes by that. I have a friend whose name is Sandra. Occasionally, someone will refer to her as Sandy. This sets her off and you will never make that mistake again.
All the experts insist the subject line is the most important line of the e-mail. When we read the newspaper, you have to admit, you read the title and depending what that says, you will read the article. If you are reading my current article, you are probably interested in confirming that you do not make mistakes in your e-mails. Be sure to use the subject line as something the reader will be encouraged to read. David Erickson, Vice President of online marketing at Karwoski & Courage, states “People prioritize what e-mails they read first by who the sender is and second by what the subject line says. Ask yourself what will make your recipient interested in reading the entirety of your message and to weave that into your subject line.”
It is important to keep your e-mails, clear and brief. As in life, some people you meet go on and on before getting to the point. In e-mails, if you are like me, I usually quickly review the e-mail and determine whether it is worth reading. So remember, most of us do not have a long attention span, keep it brief and to the point. Limit yourself to one main question or point per e-mail. You should ask yourself before writing the e-mail if it would be better to just pick up the phone and call. In some incidents, this could be a better use of time.
Replying promptly to an e-mail is another error that is made. No matter what you may be involved in it is suggested that you respond to the e-mail you receive. It is courteous to send a response saying you received the e-mail and will respond soon.
The site www.businessnewsdaily.com suggests that you make the most of your signature. Your signature should include your name, title, company name and contact information. Sent from my iphone is not a professional signature. If you do a lot of responds on your iphone, there are apps you can add to give your responses a more professional look.
A reminder, proffread. Spelin is hart. (sic) Please, proofread. Spell check is not your friend. I could give many examples of mistakes made trusting spell check. Then, be careful before hitting the “send” button. Make sure that the e-mail is going to exactly who you want it to go to. On occasion, you might hit reply to all and your message could go to some one unexpectedly.
I hope this gave you some valuable tips on using this fairly new method of communication.