Email. If you’re in business today, you likely depend on it to correspond with your customers and colleagues. But, because it’s become second nature to hammer out multiple emails each day, it’s easy to forget that every email you send from your business account (hopefully an account that’s branded with your domain name!) leaves an impression on its recipients.
To draft the most professional and effective emails possible, consider using these eight best practices:
- Use a compelling subject line. A subject line should summarize your message and encourage recipients to open the email. If you’re sending an important email, make sure your subject line suggests a sense of urgency. You don’t want your email to get skipped over or sent directly to the Trash bin due to a misleading subject line.
- Get the point across. Don’t distract your recipients with long, confusing emails. Instead, get to the point quickly by addressing the meaning of your email in the first sentence or paragraph. In the busy world we live in, nobody has time to read lengthy, drawn-out emails. Keep your email clean and concise by summarizing your message in just two to four short paragraphs (if possible).
- Proofread before sending. Before sending a typo-ridden email to a colleague or customer, read over your message, use spellcheck, or ask a friend to look at it. If you don’t correct grammar- or punctuation-related issues, you’ll risk your credibility.
- Include a signature. Wrap up every email – as you would a professional letter – with additional contact information like your full name, title, phone number, email address and business address. But remember to keep it simple and professional by avoiding funky fonts and colors or distracting images.
- Double-check your recipients. There’s nothing more embarrassing than sending an email (especially one that’s confidential) to the wrong person. It’s easy to misspell names and addresses, especially if two people have similar emails, like gmartinez@ and gtmartinez@. So do yourself a favor and give the “To” field a look over before hitting “Send.”
- Reply promptly. To show commitment and respect to your colleagues and clients, it’s important to respond to emails in a timely manner – roughly the same amount of time you would respond to a voicemail or text message. If you need time to research and draft a message, send a quick initial response to let the sender know when they can expect their request.
- Be accurate. When email messages are used for business purposes, they’re considered legal documents, which is why it’s important to make sure all of the information included in your message is accurate. You don’t want to make the mistake of promising or accepting something by mistake. For example, if you’re drafting a proposal and mistype a price or forget to add legal guidelines, you could be held to the agreement.
- Use CC and BCC appropriately. The CC and BCC fields can be very useful, but only when used correctly. The CC field should only be used to loop in an important recipient, and the BCC field can be used to include a recipient without the main recipient knowing. It’s important to use both with caution. You don’t want a CC’d recipient to feel like an afterthought or the BCC’d recipients to think you’re being secretive.
It’s important to use your intuition when drafting an email and to be sensitive to your recipients’ expectations. Take the time to make a good impression and professionally correspond with your coworkers and clients. For more information about email practices for small businesses, see Create an Email System That Grows with Your Business.
This article was provided by a Go Daddy Small Business Expert.