We spend so much time on email these days, that the less time we waste trying to wade our way through badly written emails the better. It’s not hard to be courteous and professional, but in the speed of saving time, spelling errors, mistakes and cryptic text creeps (Email is not SMS) in and we don’t have time to waste reading them again and again to try and make sense of them. But more often than not, this is what we are forced to do.
When you are in business, everything you do reflects on you and your business. How you write your emails, right down to how you style your email signature reflects upon you. If you have trouble constructing your emails, try the tips below.
Email etiquette guidelines
- Put an appropriate heading in the subject matter (don’t be cryptic).
- Let your recipient know what you want them to do with the email; start the subject matter heading with – FYI, For Action, Response Required etc. By doing this, the recipient knows what is required of them, and you are also helping them prioritise – it’s a win win.
- Never write an email when you are annoyed, angry or frustrated because it will carry across in what you type.
- Always read your email before you send it; generally, once is never enough (I read each email a minimum of twice before sending).
- Spell check, spell check, spell check, just because it is an email doesn’t mean we should cut corners.
- Remember to use capitals and punctuation, it does look sloppy and unprofessional otherwise.
- Don’t use SMS code in your email, you are not sending a text message.
- Keep your email short and to the point, if it needs to be more than a couple of paragraphs, consider sending a Memorandum as an attachment (how many times do you gasp at a long email and then only read the first and last lines?
- Your email signature is representing you and your business. Have it as professional as possible. Signatures made up of different fonts, sizes and different colours, looks unprofessional and detract from your message.
- Never use .gif in your email. It can delay loading for the recipient.
Create an email policy
Create an email policy that covers everything from usage, spam, passwords, chain messages, and opening attachments. Also include the points above. You may be a team of one at the moment, but when you take on your own VA, it is great to have the information at hand to share with them.
With over 27 years of admin experience, I am an SME to my clients and manage a VA network. To get updates and information on how you can create your own VA Project, click here to sign up for my newsletter.
I’d love to know your thoughts, please leave a comment below.