Email Etiquette Part 1: Keepin’ It Real

In the midst of hundreds of emails each week (thousands for some), I think it’s fairly common to disregard the need for personable communication and correct email behavior. There is a laundry list of things to remember, so I thought I would break it up into a series of blog entries. Hopefully working on it one step at a time will improve your email etiquette.

Without the help of facial expressions, body language or tone of voice, emails can easily be misinterpreted and possibly cost you some business in the end. Remember, people you are communicating with are real humans too. I know, crazy. But our emails don’t always reflect this. Here a few things to remember:

  1. Ask about their life: A simple, “How was your weekend?” will do.
  2. Personally address your emails: We like to see our names and talk about ourselves.
  3. Always say please and thank you: This one seems easy, but the email takes on a whole new meaning with polite words. I’ll get into the sandwich method later.
  4. Don’t always use email: Yes I know this post is about email, but if we’re talking about the more personable approach, it would be the phone. It’s not always necessary, but make sure to use both.

From personal experience, I remember an email from one of our clients, Deidra McCall with Paint-A-Smile. I had briefly mentioned to her that my birthday was coming up in a few weeks and not only did she remember, but she sent me a happy birthday email.

I thought she was wishing me a happy birthday and would immediately follow with business talk, but the email was completely non-work related. I really appreciated her effort and she definitely moved up on my list of favorite clients.

Anyway, this just scratches the surface of email do’s and don’ts. See part two for more tips.

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