When growing up, we learned our inside fork from our outside fork, that children were seen and not heard, we were told to offer a firm handshake and to never put our elbows on the table. Mother always ensured that our best manners were brought out around strangers.
But, where do we learn about email etiquette?
Welcome to the SMTP2GO Finishing School for Emails. Here, we’ll elaborate upon the finest email manners (and we don’t care where you put your elbows.)
Mind your P’s and Q’s. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
Before you ever even think about hitting send on any email EVER, take a few moments to read back through it. Check your spelling, your grammar, your punctuation and make sure that your high school English teacher would be proud of you for it. If you want to be taken seriously, your writing needs to be coherent.
The subject can be subject to change.
Have a think about your subject line. Does it draw the reader in? Does it pique their curiosity? Does it leave them wanting more? If not, change it! If you can’t grab their attention with the subject line, they’ll never read your email.
Essential etiquette: Greetings…
Where are your manners? We should hope they’re in the opening line of your email! A quick hello never hurts, and while you’re at it, consider personalizing the email with your recipient’s name. It’s a personal touch but can make a big difference.
… And goodbyes.
Your goodbyes are just as important! You want to be remembered when your recipient closes their emails. A little politeness can go a long way.
Hello, my name is…
In Japan, it is customary not to introduce yourself, or to do business with strangers. Business is a lot more successful when introduced by a third party. The same should apply to email etiquette. Avoid emailing contacts out of the blue. Unless they’ve requested contact from you, cold-calling and emailing is unlikely to drive success.
Please find attached… My lack of interest.
If you’re trying to grab your recipients’ attention, don’t make them do all the work. Instead of sending emails with attachments, where possible include the content in the body of your email. That way they’ve got everything right in front of them and your content is more likely to make an impact.
Give ‘em the warm and fuzzies.
Keep your emails friendly rather than fussy and formal (where appropriate!) Your tone can have a huge impact on the reader’s opinion of you and your company.
Mirroring for success.
Mirror your client’s use of language and syntax. If they get in touch using short questions and sentences, then try to answer them in the same way. If they’re a fan of emojis, then smile away 😊
What do you want from me?
At the end of your email, always include a call-to-action. Let your client know exactly what you want from them. Whether you’re looking for a response, feedback, or even for them to visit your new website, make sure to tell them.
Show your gratitude.
If you’ve asked for feedback, or something that requires an action on the recipient’s part, don’t forget to thank them! By sharing something with them like a special offer or a bonus, you’re much more likely to get a response.