No matter what industry you work in, you’re going to be sending countless emails every day, especially if a large part of your job revolves around following leads and making sales. Email has become a main way for people to communicate with one another; whether you’re sending out emails to secure potential sales, talking to your clients, or emailing coworkers or your manager, you’re going to be spending time emailing. It’s used in personal, professional, and academic communication, so you should understand the etiquette that goes along with it. Here are some reasons why email etiquette is so important and how it impacts your career.
In most instances, the first time you connect with someone these days in a professional capacity is through email. You might meet someone at a networking event or in person at the office, but you’re often going to need to first reach out to clients, potential employers, and others through email. If you haven’t had a chance to meet someone in person, your email is going to be their first impression of you. Using sloppy grammar or being slow to respond can make them think you’re not interested in working together or organized. Be on top of your email game so you can make the best first impression possible when communicating with leads, business partners, or others within and outside of your company.
Email (or electronic text-based messages in general) have become the norm for communication. Many people, particularly in younger generations, prefer communicating through written options instead of speaking on the phone or face-to-face. Email is efficient and also allows you to think over what you’re writing and make sure it is concise and easy to understand. Since email gives you this ability, make sure you take advantage of it by crafting clear emails that get your point across. Email has made communication more efficient, but there are also issues that have arisen that aren’t present in verbal or in-person meetings.
A great benefit of communicating through email is that you have everything in writing. After a phone call with a client or a meeting with someone in your company, send a follow-up email outlining what the two of you discussed. This way, you can avoid getting into he said/she said arguments. What was discussed will be clear and known to both parties if an email clearly states these points. While it’s not nearly the same as a contract, being able to reference written communication to show that a topic was discussed or agreed upon can help prevent any future misunderstandings.
Finally, no matter what position you hold at your place of business, your email etiquette reflects the company as a whole. If you’re slow to respond to emails or don’t read over them before sending them, you will likely look unprofessional. If you’re trying to make a sale, you want to upload a great company image and make your potential customer feel comfortable with the business. Teach other people at your organization, particularly your sales team, the importance of this skill; consider holding periodic email etiquette presentations so people understand the importance of a quality email and how to create one. You’d be surprised by how many people have no clue how to write an email!