Despite our personal texting habits, email communications are still a strong way to connect with prospects, customers and colleagues. Email remains our most formal means of digital communications, and it is only one step down from a written letter. Bear this in mind as you conduct your business. Here are a few tips.

What is Considered a Professional Email?

A professional email has a “from” label that matches your company name, a clear topic in the subject line and content that is focused on the subject matter. It has formal salutations and a professional signature block. It’s important to use CC and BCC correctly. Replies are an opportunity to show your professionalism and email knowledge, so take care to use Reply and Reply All appropriately.

Since an email can’t be edited after it goes out, it is vital to proofread every message prior to sending. According to Maryville University, “when you are representing your company, the importance of email etiquette, as well as one’s approach to customer service, marketing, and sales communication, can’t be underestimated.”

Email Etiquette Demonstrates Your Soft Skills

Soft skills are those that communicate to others what it’s like to work with you and your company. According to WikiJob, “soft skills are sometimes referred to as transferable skills or professional skills. As this term implies, these are skills that are less specialised, less rooted in specific vocations, and more aligned with the general disposition and personality of a candidate. Examples of important soft skills are communication, teamwork and problem solving.” Your attitude, problem-solving abilities, trustworthiness, approachability and more are transferred along with your words. Every email leaves an impression of your company with the reader. It’s important to embrace a customer care attitude in all your professional emails.

Recipients may not remember your qualifications or your degree, but they will remember how you made them feel. An impression of a company is largely composed of intangibles, which is why soft skills are so important. Every email is an opportunity to communicate your company’s vision and values in a consistent way.

Remember That You’re Speaking to a Person

Whether it’s a prospect, customer or colleague, there is a real person opening your correspondence and taking time out of his or her busy day to read your message. It’s essential to respect that person’s time. You don’t want to teach them that your emails are unimportant or worse. According to TopResume, “you need to check your emails, it may seem like a small thing, but double checking things like, having good subject lines, using the correct email, attaching carefully, and make sure you are saying exactly what you’d like to say, and not sending a message full of grammar errors.”

It’s imperative to stay appropriate and on message. We don’t know all that is offensive to other cultures, ethnic groups and gender identities, so it’s best to use humor carefully and sparingly.

Even after deletion, emails can resurface in forwards and old email threads. You don’t want any out there that are going to damage your company’s reputation or the public’s perception of your product or service. Keeping your emails professional in presentation, style and content will help you represent your business in the best way possible.

If you’re looking to expand your business and its marketing abilities, let Callahan & Toolen help!

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