If You Wouldn’t Do It on Business Letterhead …
Then don’t do it in a business email.
I do print and radio interviews all the time. These requests increase when an email faux pas hits the mainstream media due to someone messing up at work or causing trouble by doing something with email that they shouldn’t have.
There is one question that is always asked at the end of practically every interview…
Can you advise our readers/listeners on how one can avoid doing this (insert topic here) again or in the future?
To which I always answer:
If you wouldn’t do it on your company’s business letterhead, don’t do it in your business emails!
For some reason there is this assumed informality when it comes to the use of email. Which causes us to not always take the proper approach when it comes to our business emails.
I get that when it comes to family and friends. But it is certainly not a wise assumption to make when it comes to your business email activities! To assume otherwise could cause lost business, lost opportunities and even your job.
For example, you wouldn’t use the same verbiage, grammar or emoticons in your business email that you do with a group of friends when planning a weekend event, right? Don’t worry about trying to be cool and hip (unless your brand backs that up) with business associates or partners. Business folks will always appreciate professionalism over an off-the-cuff unpolished approach.
If you ever wonder what the proper thing to do is in the context of your email communications, ask yourself “Would I do this on company letterhead?” The answer to that question will guide you appropriately and allow you to be safe rather than sorry!
Be on your best behavior with every single email you send on company time and when using your company email address. Forget the assumption about informality. There is nothing informal about success in business. Be the epitome of formality until which time you know relaxing your approach is acceptable. And in some cases that may never happen.
Strive for the highest levels of accuracy, clarity, proper grammar and professionalism. Nothing less should be settled for! That’s what professionals do. That’s the effort those with the desire and will to succeed never underestimate.
If you are new to the online business world, or even if you’ve been online for a while and may have underestimated the importance of Business E-mail Etiquette, why not read my article Business E-mail Etiquette Basics right now.