Business cards used to be the first impression of an individual and their work. You would go to a networking event and hand out your card. Now, the new first impression is based on your social media posts and the very first email you send to someone. An email can make or break a potential opportunity for you, so send and respond to them wisely!
Follow these 7 ’email etiquette’ rules and you will have a higher chance at getting the response that you want! Plus, you will significantly improve your email relationships…
1. Say My name, Say my name
Always address the person you are emailing by name. I get multiple emails a day from media, pr firms, intern applicants that address me with just a Hi- or even Sir/Madame. Really? Look it up- I’m a female! If you can’t find the name, then don’t email.
2. Auto Replies can do more damage then good
Most people have their auto replies on more than not. People will start to think that you aren’t in business. There’s a time and place for an auto-reply- when you’re traveling out of the country, on your honeymoon, or absolutely not reachable for the day. No need to have an auto-reply always on stating you’ll be in touch soon. You can write them back yourself to say you are out but will be in touch if you’re worried about timing.
3. Punctuation can make or break the opportunity
Nothing is worse than when you receive an email and it feels cold! An email has to relay the sentiment you are trying to get across in order to build a relationship and get what you want most from the recipient. Therefore, period after period after period,
4. Keep it Short and Sweet.
Don’t send a long email when you are trying to connect with someone who is probably very busy. They will get overwhelmed by a lot of information, and if they don’t have time they will freeze and just not respond for awhile… which could turn into never!
5. Follow Up
If they don’t respond- give it a week and follow up again. Don’t be afraid to practice the art of “the follow up”. It’s nice to give others the benefit of the doubt- maybe they never saw the original email, or it went to their junk mail, or they were on vacation and are just catching up.
6. Don’t take your sweet time to respond
If you don’t get back to someone within 48 hours it can send the message that their email isn’t important! Carve out an hour of your day to maintain incoming emails. If an email requires a lengthy response that you don’t have time for, write the person back to let them know you’ve received their email and will be in touch. An overdue email response can be a lost opportunity! The sender loses trust which can compromise the relationship.
7. If it’s private don’t put it in an email
You never know who will see that email! It can accidentally be sent to someone else and you would never want something documented that could come back to bite you down the road.
We all have different approaches to how we communicate and correspond with others. Be cognizant of how your email is potentially being received and how and when you choose to respond!