A professional email isn't enough.
Getting a firstname.lastname@example.org email address (when you previously signed up for all newsletters with your email@example.com) feels a bit like climbing the ranks from doorman to CEO. A domain? A custom domain email? How fancy schmancy of you! While I'll highlight the ways to obtain a custom domain email in another post, there are some ground rules for when you get yours.
The point of using a professional email for your professional business is because you're a professional! Sites that use a gmail, or heaven knows, a hotmail or yahoo address as the contact or customer service email can be written off as laughable at best. If you're not professional enough to get a custom email, what else can't you do?
Getting a custom email is the easiest way to make a smooth first impression. Once you have it though, don't forget the reason you got it in the first place- to be seen as a professional. See a pattern here?
Maybe it's because I have a lot of email etiquette pet peeves or because I feel like the world needs a refresher, but here are some of my "Musts" when using email.
Don't reply with a one word "thanks" or "k". Conversely, when you send an email, type a cohesive sentence that would make sense if said out loud.
It's 2016 people! So sad I feel the need to mention this but there is no reason a sentence shouldn't start with a capital letter. Make sure you capitalize the names of companies you mention and have the appropriate spelling. For example, Squarespace is spelled with one capital S. It's not:
- Square Space
- Square (entirely different company)
Imagine if I emailed a client about Squarespace and wrote it wrong. That would make me look like I don't know what I'm talking about. I mean, I worked there! Of course I know what I'm talking about. But with that one booboo, my credibility is out of the window.
If you pause for a breathe, use a period. If you pause for the dramatics of it all, use a comma.
No graphic signatures (but definitely have a signature!)
That little graphic with your company's logo is cute and all... until it doesn't load or takes up space in a marathon long email thread. A good signature has:
- Website link*
Read it over. Multiple times. And read it out loud.
You'll catch any mistakes or odd-wordings this way. Better yet if you read it to someone else or have them read it. I know some people who need to read everything they type (email, text) to someone for approval before sending confidently.
Avoid "Please Advise" at all costs.
This is my #1 most hated email response. You look dumb. Oh, and don't get me started on how many people say "Please Advice." That isn't even English! Argh. When being all business-y you want to come across as intelligent and aware. You can eliminate a lot of back and forth email questions if you just ask what you're looking for specifically. Don't dump a bunch of vague questions/problems in an email and say "Let me know!". Be detailed.
Do you already implement these tactics (well, really they're common sense) in your daily emails escapades? Congratulations! Email me and let's have a super fancy conversation that checks all the above bullet points.