Your business has a great website. You’re using social media to your advantage. You may even be improving your bottom line with e-commerce. But, are you using the most basic Internet service wisely? Here are 7 rules to follow when you’re using email in your business.
7 Rules to Follow with Email
You may not even remember what it was like when we didn’t have it. You may have grown up with it, but email changed the way we communicate. It can save the day or get you in deep trouble. Follow these 7 rules and be email safe!
- Be careful. You can’t take it back. Email feels impersonal enough that you might “say” more than you would if you were face-to-face. Think before you send. And, remember what you say doesn’t go away. It can be saved; it can be forwarded to someone else and it can be retrieved. Think of email as permanent and use it accordingly. Always be your best self!
- Address with care. Be respectful if you’re sending out a group email. If you have a long list of recipients, consider using the blind-copy (Bcc) function so that only their one address is visible. Some people don’t want you to display their email address to others and that happens when you use “to” or “Cc”.
- Subject, please. Today’s workers are overwhelmed with email. Make your message clear so they can handle the communication correctly. Don’t use “urgent” if it’s not and don’t leave the subject line blank. Give them a clue.
- Emotions – or emoticons as they’re called can be displayed every so cleverly. Your recipient may wonder why that little yellow guy is winking – what the joke? LOL may be funny to you and a mystery to your recipient. LMAO may simply be inappropriate. Email isn’t subtle to begin with and things can easily be misconstrued or simply frustrating to the receiver. Save the emoticons and LMK for your friends – especially if you are asking a question and really want your colleague to “let me know”.
- A strong close can make the sale and make your email work. Recap what you need or want in a very few words and then make sure you give the recipient information on who you are and how to contact you – name, company name, position, address, email address and a phone number.
- No yelling. Seriously, caps in an email translate as yelling and may give your message a whole different spin. Also, be careful that you don’t let your choice of words reflect anger, frustration or lack of respect. Write with care and re-read before you send.
- Human contact still counts. When it is appropriate, go face-to-face – like if you’re considering asking the boss for a raise or your email recipient is sitting in the next desk. If the person you want to reach is not available in person – like an e-commerce customer – remember that the personal touch still counts. Think about a nice email sent to directly to them thanking them for their business or, even, a phone call.
There is a lot of power in email. With great power, comes great responsibility. Use it wisely. After all: Friends don’t let friends email poorly.