Did you know that within five seconds of opening your email, the recipient has formed an impression of you and your organization?
Start thinking about what annoys you when you receive an email. For me, the things that bother me are long length, lack of readability, spelling and grammar, and emails that don’t get the point or benefit to me across.
If these traits annoy me or you, chances are they annoy your clients and prospects. In the past few years it has become a trend that our first communication with prospects may be by email rather than a phone call or a face to face meeting.
Email Etiquette can be what makes or breaks your relationship with a prospect. It can set you apart and give you a competitive advantage, or be your downfall.
As one article I’ve read recently put it “ You email etiquette is your electronic dress code.” I don’t know about you, but when I meet someone I want to do business with, I make sure I look professional and neat.
Many things bother prospects including:
- Spelling mistakes and poor grammar
- Tacky greetings or sign offs
- Lack of greeting or sign offs
- Overuse of smiley faces
- Unprofessional fonts
- Too lengthy
Some rules to go by:
- Use a good subject line that states exactly what is in the email
- Include a signature in every email
- Use a proper opening and closing
- Make sure your message is clear, and short. Keep it simple.
- Avoid jokes and sarcasm that might not be interpreted through text
- Use professional fonts and colors
- Try to stay under 15 lines.
If possible always include your prospect or clients name in the email. And please don’t use tacky text message or slang terms like LOL or gr8, for example “ r u gonna be @ the meeting” is not acceptable.
This all may seem like common sense, but many people do not follow it, especially after they have emailed a prospect back and forth a few times. Try to remember, even if the person you are emailing doesn’t use proper etiquette, doesn’t mean you can revert to the dark side.