7 Essential Business Email Tips That Will Get You Ahead Of The Competition

Email is perhaps one of the most widely used forms of communication in the business world today.  On a daily basis we send and receive a slew of emails and of course the busier we are, the more we need to be sure that our emails are communicating our message effectively and professionally.  Without proper email etiquette, you could be sending the wrong message and making yourself look, eh... less than professional.

7 Essential Business Email Tips That Will Get You Ahead Of Your Competition

The following is a guide to help you use email wisely to enhance your reputation and build strong relationships with your clients.

Business Email Tips

1) Answer in a timely fashion  

Be sure you respond back to your clients within 1-2 business days.  If you don't have all the information they asked for, that's OK but letting is sit for a week before you respond, just leaves them hanging and wondering if you even received their email.  The more you make them wait, the less they will trust in your professionalism.

2) Answer all questions

This is a big one.  Do not simply skin over their email and fire off a blurb that doesn't address all of their questions.   This leaves the client feeling frustrated because they have to ask you again and then wait for your response.

3) Set aside time to answer emails from the office

Yes, we get email alerts many times a day right on our phones and that is great.  But if you don't have to answer right away, mark it unread and wait until you return to your office to respond.  This works well for a few reasons:

  •  If your client see's a bunch of misspelled words and a signature that say's "sent from my iphone"  it may not go over well.  Unless they are waiting for you to answer them immediately, then proceed with care or perhaps a phone call would be more appropriate.  
  • Reading an email over then waiting a bit to answer will give you time to consider the best way to answer their questions or concerns instead of firing off the first thing that comes to mind.  Step back and wait a bit to access the situation.  Be sure to mark the email 'unread' so you don't forget when you return to your office

4) Always keep your response precise and to the point

Be courteous but do not ramble on and on, or your email then becomes confusing and overwhelming.  Use an appropriate greeting and then directly and courteously respond.

5) Use an email signature

Be sure your signature is included and contact information is accurate, neat and tidy.  Don't include too much information and leave off the pictures under the signature.  Many times the pictures won't show up on peoples email anyway without permission to download.

6) Never add an entire list of emails to the "to" field and send to a group

If you are trying to send an email to an entire email list, use an email newsletter service such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact.  These types of programs allow you to not only include your email list, you can keep track of your campaigns and subscribers.  Technically you are subjecting those added to your "to" field to spam since everyone you send the email to can read their email addresses.  Read How to Get Started with Email Marketing for more help on newsletter services.  

7) Copy someone only if appropriate

If you are planning to copy someone on an email, make sure they understand what it is for.  Keep in mind they may not have been in the loop and will need to be informed as to what you are asking of them.  Don't assume they will just know.  Sometimes it is best to use a forward, so you can explain what it is they are being asked to do then they can read the email below the forward for the information they need.

Keeping your email communications effective and precise will be sure to help you maintain your professional image.  Hope you enjoyed these email tips and find they are helpful at building and maintaining your reputation which will put you way ahead of your competition.  Do you have any other tips to share?  Please comment below.