The Subtlety of Email: What your Emails say about you and your Company
Sending out email blasts as a marketing campaign is a common tactic for reaching a wide audience with a single message when your budget is low. Most companies review these email designs and language with a fine-toothed comb to ensure their audience will get the right impression. But day-to-day emails should warrant a similar kind of attention.
By following some simple format and execution rules, you can truly maximize both your internal and external emails. Wording becomes clearer, which leads to more precise communication and creates a much stronger impression with those not exposed to the company. People don’t waste as much time trying to figure out how to write a specific email. The back-and-forth inquiries when an item is unclear begin to diminish (as well as the worse option—misunderstanding based on poor language use). It even lends itself to a kind of brand recognition, with reliably organized emails going to your clients every time.
Some of the most important rules to follow for email success:
- Always include both a greeting and a signature with your name and contact information. This is common practice, but it never hurts to spell it out.
- Always include a subject line with a brief description of the email’s content or goal. This makes it easier to find when wading through that cumbersome inbox.
- Keep all emails relevant to a specific topic in one thread, and keep all your thoughts in one email at a time. Responding completely and in order prevents any straggling responses or forgotten tidbits.
- When including attachments, make sure to add a date and (if appropriate) version number to the end of its title. Also be sure to acknowledge that the attachment exists, and explain each one’s purpose–that way your attachments won’t get overlooked or misfiled.
- Keep each line or paragraph of text separated, and with its own topic. If you find your paragraph meandering into different topics–split it up!
- If you can use bullet points or a numbered list to articulate your points–USE THEM!
- Spell check. For the love of God, spell check.
- Save the emoticons for people you are familiar with. Again, this is (or should be) common practice, but with more and more millennials entering the corporate world, it never hurts to mention.
- Emails offer you the ability to truly think about what you want to say. Make sure you are concise and specific about your thoughts and ideas.
By following these rules, you can help keep your company’s email conventions running smoothly—preventing miscommunications, lost emails and attachments, and confusion on wording or format. It may be more mundane or seemingly less important than a broad email blast, but by tightening up your day-to-day email conventions, you’re sure to cement your clients’ impressions and keep your operation running smoothly.