The details that create a positive business impression are so very important to those who rely on email as part of their daily business activities. The very same details that 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. Displaying your personality to reflect there is a living breathing human being behind the words you type — and that you know the same is on the other side of the screen.
Little details that can make a big difference in so many subtle ways. Considering many underestimate email best practices, doing so can give you that important perceptional edge!
I know — we all have too many details to deal with. Off-line details and responsibilities combined with working in an online environment that relies on you paying attention to all these little details. It can be overwhelming and frustrating, right? But that’s online business folks – details. And 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
Accept the fact that your email communications are an important pillar of your brand. You know branding matters. You make decisions yourself as to where you spend your hard-earned dollars. With brands you trust. You want to be a brand that can be trusted and that 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 have a negative impact on your brand and perceived credibility. Trust.
Your business electronic communications can enhance or detract from your brand.
The most important details are those that reflect you care about how you are perceived. Online, the devil is in your details. How you email, what words you choose and how you choose to use them, as well as whether you choose to use punctuation and proper grammar will make a big difference. A positive difference — which 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 actually completing the description and inquiry boxes in a professional conversational manner where possible?
I regularly discuss these issues as a reminder because I see first hand how folks email me — directly and through my website forms. If they checked out my about page they would know that I am an seasoned online consultant who has talked about these topics for over two decades. But they don’t and proceed to communicate with me as though Business Email Basics do not apply.
One person noted that my strong stance on the importance of the topics I discuss “…are a ‘Judith thing’ — the real world doesn’t email like you say they should.” I agree — that’s why I’m still promoting the topic! I thought talking about email etiquette was a limited time engagement when I started promoting it decades ago. Who knew I would still by talking about the same topics 20 years later?
Business email etiquette is not a “Judith thing” – it is a “professional thing”, a “perception thing”, an “I’m educated thing.” An I want to beat the competition thing!
You risk the reaction you desire from potential partners, customers and anyone you do business 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. Website forms, forums, lists, groups — every single venue is a testament to your brand and 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. How successful do you want to be?
Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.
? Stephen R. Covey