Sales Solution: Email Etiquette = Email Effectiveness



Email Etiquette = Email Effectiveness

With your clients' inboxes bulging with hundreds of unread messages, you want your email communications to stand out from the crowd. Moreover, you want them to get read.
To do that, go back to the basics. Believe it or not, there are some core email do's and don'ts that business professionals have let slide in their day-to-day communications. However, if you emphasize your email etiquette, you'll be surprised how much it will help your messages get read by and resonate with your clients, partners, coworkers and professional peers. Let's take a look at some key rules:

  • Treat your messages with the respect they deserve. If your message is going out to partners, peers, clients or other important business contacts, then keep the tone professional and avoid all the informalities of electronic communications, such as emoticons, texting abbreviations and the like.
  • Keep it concise. Remember that your recipients are as busy as you are. Stick to the key facts of the message and avoid building a case or any extraneous information that can make reading your message a chore. Your goal is to deliver your message points in as few words as possible. If any recipients need additional information, don't worry, they'll send a reply asking for it.
  • Know which communication method works best. Too often, people try to employ email as a real-time communications method — don't. Realize when an email exchange needs to morph into a real-time dialog and suggest a quick five- or 10-minute call to hash out the details. This will reduce annoying email tennis and resolve an issue in the quickest fashion. Just make sure to keep the telephone exchange focused on the topic at hand.
  • Never contact a client at his or her work email address unless he or she has given you permission to do so. It can be an annoyance at the least, or could even be seen as an intrusion. If a client has given you permission to send email to his or her work address, make sure to recognize your appreciation for that fact. You can do that quickly and effectively through your salutation. "Hi Bob, Thanks for letting me contact you at work. ... "
  • Proofread your messages before you send them. As professionals, we have grown too reliant on spelling and grammar checkers. Take a moment to read your email to yourself and ensure it makes sense and uses proper grammar and punctuation. To manually check your spelling, read your message backwards; you will always pick up the spelling errors that your eye might otherwise skip over.
  • Pause and reflect before you send, and never reply when mad or heated. It's tempting to fire off a reply to an email that struck a nerve with you, but don't. Instead, use the 60-minute rule and let your email sit as a draft for an hour. Talk to a couple of trusted coworkers or peers about how you feel and get their opinions. Then, re-read your email and try to create a communication that is diplomatic, positive and polite, but carries your message across.
  • Never try to retract a message. The idea is to send a message out correctly the first time. If you have an error and try to retract it, the process rarely works due to the variety of email software used by your distribution list. Moreover, recipients often receive a notification announcing that you are trying to retract the message, and you wind up looking as though you're doing a poor job of covering up an embarrassing mistake. Instead, if the mistake is minor, such as a punctuation goof, let it slide. If the mistake is major, such as listing incorrect dates for an event, then send out a second, corrected email with "CORRECTION:" inserted before the original subject line, and preface the body copy detailing the error and what the correct information should be.

These rules sound like common sense, but in today's fast-paced business world, it's a wonder they get followed at all. Consider sticking a Post-It note listing these reminders to your monitor so that you can keep them in mind, building a habit that will ensure you send effective emails through an emphasis on etiquette.

Mark Ott

Loan Officer

W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital Corp.

Office: 928-775-9330

Cell: 928-713-9639

Fax: 928-775-9331

NMLS: 189552

License: BK-0903998

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