Email etiquette very often goes out the window in our informal world. And with email as a primary mode for professional business communications, you should pay a bit more attention to some important details.
Realistically, email takes more time, effort and thought. Which is a good thing. That is if you want to reflect professionalism by better engaging with business owners or customers. Texting, imho, is like speaking in grunts and clicks (and why I do not do it with clients).
So the following business email etiquette information is important. It’s especially so if you are communicating with someone for the first time!
Use Your Domain Name Email – NOT Gmail
If you’re just getting started with your business and don’t have a website yet, utilizing a gmail address for email is pretty common. You may just use email@example.com or your firstname.lastname@example.org. At least initially you have a way to communicate via email.
However, once you do have a branded domain name like: www.mycoolbiz.com, it’s time to lose the gmail, yahoo or hotmail address. Use your domain name email address instead. It’s far more professional for business communications.
Not sure what a branded domain name email address is?
A quick explanation…
Once you get your domain name and web hosting in place, most come with a free email account. That means you can set-up a much more professional way to communicate using your branded email name.
Good examples of branded email addresses are:
Way more legit than some random gmail or hotmail address!
If You Created Your Website Yourself…
If you created your website yourself utilizing a web builder (Wix, Weebly, Squarespace etc), you may not know how to set-up your branded domain email. You may not even know it’s a free option that came with the purchase of your domain/hosting. So if you’re not sure how to set-up your branded email account, reach out to your web hosting provider. They should be able to assist you. You can also contact a local web person who offers site admin, maintenance services.
If you’re having your website professionally designed, ideally they will address this with you during the creation process of your website.
For the record, you can still use your gmail or non-branded account for communicating with friends or family. And you can have your biz emails forwarded to your gmail account if you like. But just be sure to respond to business inquires from your branded email.
If you have a domain name, Google now allows you to use gmail with your branded domain name. Learn more via Get custom email with Gmail for work.
Include a Signature in your Email Correspondence
Including an email signature at the end of your correspondence can further legitimize your business.
Your Email Signature can include:
• your name, company name, business location
• telephone number (mobile too if you choose)
• website address, and social profiles too
It looks more professional and gives folks an opportunity to research who you are. They can visit your website, or call you directly if they so choose.
Do note, depending on the type or email correspondence, there may be a byline NOT to forward the information provided. That means that the info within the email is FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. So be sure to respect that or you could be in violation of privacy!!
Be Polite and Please Don’t Write in ALL CAPS!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how rude many folks can be in their email communications. Why would anyone want work with or do business with you? Would you want someone to treat you like that?
Another all too common oversight is writing in ALL CAPS! This is a terrible no, no as it comes off as if you are shouting! Sad thing is, folks do this all the time and it’s unprofessional.
When it comes to email etiquette, think before you hit the “send” button. Maybe take a day or two to chill-out before you respond to a potentially heated situation. Be professional. Consider it good business ethics. It may save your butt in the long run too!
Be gracious and don’t overlook the power of a simple “Please” or “Thank-you”. A little courtesy, respect and politeness goes a long way.
And most importantly, DON’T abuse an email address!
Basically any hack can have some random gmail or hotmail address. And more often than not, spammy, illicit stuff is coming from these types of accounts. There is little way to trace them back to anything or anyone. With a branded domain email address, folks can go to your website for a little bit of validation This can build trust and credibility – that’s good!!
So now, if I receive an email from someone I do not recognize, the first thing I do is check if it’s coming from a branded domain address. Then I WILL go to the website to further check things out. If it’s coming from a gmail address under the guise of a biz, it gets deleted pronto! Bottom line, having a custom domain email address makes you appear far more professional.
“If you want to be a professional, you need to act like one. That means setting up a branded domain and website for your business. Potential clients will see that you mean business, and they will be far more likely to work with you.”
Other Resources Worth Checking Out:
Written by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Helping businesses grow through better design and search visibility solutions. From creating your business identity, designing and maintaining your print/digital assets to the importance of SEO for your website.
Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place with their products or services.