Like most businesses, you’re likely sending and receiving hundreds to thousands of emails a week. And although the convenience of email can make communication easier, employees often forget that every correspondence represents a company’s perception. If a little extra time isn’t put into writing an email, it can cause more problems than it solves. There’s nothing worse than having a miscommunication with an important client.
We’ve put together some useful tips that can help your company always show it’s best side.
Tone is one of the most important aspects of an email. It’s how a client perceives your intention. In some instances, you may have not intended to come off as rude, angry, condescending, etc.; but the client may interpret it that way. It’s important to follow some basic rules regarding tone when writing emails.
2. Choose Your Words Carefully.
Many words have double meanings, connotations, or can trigger a certain emotional response. These are usually referred to as “loaded words” because they carry more than just their intrinsic meaning. Choose your words carefully to ensure your message is read correctly.
3. Always Greet the Recipient. A courteous salutation says a lot. Without a proper greeting, emails sound curt and abrasive and set the perceived tone for the rest of the email. Also, it never hurts to ask your client how their day is.
4. DO NOT USE ALL CAPITALS! Sorry for yelling, but… Never type an email in all capital letters, even if it’s just a word or sentence. When clients read the email, they’ll hear you yelling in their mind. If you want to stress a word to make a point, you can bold it, or underline it, but never capitalize it.
5. Use Exclamation Points Sparingly. Exclamation points can be used to display joy, excitement, or frustration; so be mindful of the tone of the sentence that precedes it. Otherwise, like tip #4, the reader may think the author of the email is yelling at them. Use them sparingly.
6. Use Emoticons in The Right Situation. Emoticons can be used to lighten certain sentences that may otherwise come off harshly. In certain situations, it can also come across as condescending. Be mindful of your audience and the situation you’re using it in. Is this a professional client? Is this your first time speaking with them? Consider the environment, as it can diminish the professionalism of the email.
7. Always End the Email with a Proper Good Bye. Using a “Sincerely”, “Thank you!”, or “Best regards” can go a long way. Just as in #3, it can come off as curt otherwise.
8. Always Respond with More Than One Word. If a document was requested of you, never respond with just the document or “Here.” If someone asks a question, don’t respond with “Yes.” It can give off the impression that you don’t have time for the person.
9. Email Composition
How you compose an email is just as important as the tone. A sloppy email will cause the recipient to think the person is uneducated, impatient, and/or lacks attention to detail. These ill impressions can affect a client’s general feeling of a business. Make sure to always have these tips in mind when writing an email.
10. Spell Check! This one is important! Emails with multiple spelling errors take the attention away from the intended message. It looks like the composer didn’t have the patience or the time to correct his/her mistakes. And – let’s be honest – when we read an email with multiple spelling errors, we start to wonder what other mistakes the business allows…
11. Grammar… It’s always necessary. Emails don’t have to impress a pompous English major, but they do have to make sense. Make sure punctuation is present and appropriate words are capitalized. Don’t start a sentence with a lower-case letter. If a sentence reads awkwardly and you can’t fix it, try rewriting it.
12. Reread an Email. Do it out loud if necessary. This is the most important thing you do before you press “send.” You’ll be surprised by the little mistakes you missed when you wrote the email, and you’ll often find better phrasing and/or missing context. Treat every email like an important research paper.
13. Pick Your Subject Line Text Carefully. This is the best way to get someone to look at your email. Make sure it captures the heart of the email’s overall subject. As in tip #4, don’t use all capital letters.
14. Only “Reply All” If Necessary. If you’re included in a group email and you have a question for a specific person, only reply to that person. Most people get a lot of emails every day, so the last thing they need are irrelevant emails.
15. Use an Easy-To-Read Font. Use a font that’s common and easy to read. Don’t use a cursive font. They are difficult to read and can take away from your message’s meaning. Try and use the default font on the email program you’re using. And whatever you do, don’t use comic sans. It’s not funny!
16. Everything Else
There are some other tips to keep in mind when writing emails. These are just as important as all the other tips, so don’t forget them!
17. Sometimes You Just Need to Pick Up the Phone. Yes, this is about writing emails, but sometimes it’s necessary to communicate verbally. When the subject matter is critical or important enough, a miscommunication cannot occur. This is when a phone conversation can save time and quickly solve problems.
18. Always Respond in a Timely Manner. Even if it’s just to say you’re checking on the issue or request, make sure you respond. This way the client knows that their problem is important and being taken care of. Also, people just like to be acknowledged. Who likes to feel ignored?
19. Never Send Sensitive Data. The emails you send can easily be forwarded or shared, and are usually archived on the email program’s server. Keep this in mind when you send something outside of your organization. Always ask yourself, “Would I be comfortable with this published on google?”, if not, you may want to reconsider.
20. Don’t Write an Angry Email. You probably shouldn’t call either, but an email is permanent. It can be shared online, with other clients or employees, or just as an embarrassing reminder. Relax, find an appropriate solution, and then construct an email with the above rules in mind. Make sure every email you send conveys the best you!
Emails should be an efficient method of communication. If your employees use these simple tips, clients will always see the best side of your business.
For more information on this subject, and other ways your business can thrive, contact BizAssure at: [email protected]