The details that create a positive business impression are essential to those who rely on email as part of their daily business activities. Moreover, the very same details are crucial to building trust in new and ongoing business relationships.
Those darned details like including a “Hello” as an opening greeting and signing off with an appropriate closing and your name. Details like using proper sentence structure, grammar, and spell checking. And prompt replies.
Add to that displaying your personality to reflect a living, breathing human being behind the words you type. And that you know the same is on the other side of the screen.
Those Darned Little Email Details
Little details can make a big difference in so many subtle ways. Unfortunately, considering many underestimate email best practices, they miss the elements that can give you that essential perceptional edge.
I know — we all have too many details to deal with. However, off-line details and responsibilities combined with working in an online environment demand you pay attention to all these little details.
It can be overwhelming and frustrating, right? But that’s online business folks — details. Success relies on details — and it isn’t easy. Whether you like it or not, your business success is greatly dependent on what details you choose to pay attention to and those you neglect.
Your Email is Your Brand
Welcome the fact that your email communications are an important pillar of your brand. Be enthusiastic about wanting to make the best impression that allows you to grow your business.
You know branding matters because you make decisions yourself as to where you spend your hard-earned dollars. With brands you trust. You want to be the brand that can be trusted, which means understanding that every keystroke contributes to that.
When it comes to using email for your business success, important details cannot be allowed to fall by the wayside. Being in a rush, assuming too informal of a tone, lax attitudes, and lack of desire to hone one’s skills can harm your brand and perceived credibility. And trust.
Online, the devil is in your details. How you email, what words you choose and how you choose to use them, and whether you decide to use punctuation and proper grammar will make a big difference. A positive difference — one you can take to the bank.
Every. Single. Communication.
This includes website contact forms. Imagine the positive impression you will make (and what a pleasant surprise it will be for the site owner) by not just hacking out form fields but completing the description and inquiry boxes in a professional conversational manner where possible?
I regularly discuss these issues because I see firsthand how folks email me — directly and through my website forms. If they checked out my about page, they would know that I am a seasoned online consultant who has talked about these topics for over two decades.
But they don’t and then proceed to communicate with me as though Business Email Basics do not apply. Who emails a business email etiquette website while not using any business email etiquette?
One person noted that my strong stance on the importance of the topics I discuss on this website “… is a ‘Judith thing’ — the real world doesn’t email like you say they should.” Wow.
I agree — that’s why I’m still talking about the topic. I thought discussing email etiquette was a limited-time engagement when I started promoting it decades ago. Who knew I would still be talking about the same topics 26 years later?
Outperform Your Competition
Business email etiquette is not a “Judith thing.” It is a “professional thing.” A “perception thing.” An “I’m educated thing.” And “I want to beat the competition thing.”
You put at risk the reaction you desire from potential partners, customers, and anyone you do business with if you do not pay attention to or minimize the importance of the details in your online communication. If you want to be competitive and be “the brand” for what you have to offer — you need to type as such.
Whether on website forms or in forums, lists, and groups — every single venue is a testament to your brand. A window into what it will be like to do business with you.
You can easily give your business a competitive edge and stand above the rest by being that company folks can trust and rely on because of your ability to communicate efficiently and coherently by email.
So how successful do you want to be?