Whether for business or personal, email remains a primary mode of communication. However, email etiquette very often goes out the window in our informal world.
I do not share people’s love of texting. I do so with friends sparingly. But I do not text with clients. With them, it’s email. Email does takes more time, effort and thought – and that’s a good thing. Because done correctly, email can reflect more professionalism.
So below are some tips on better business email etiquette. It can be especially important if you are communicating with someone for the first time! On the personal front, much of this can apply too.
Use Your Business Domain Name Email
“Your public email address should be on your own business domain rather than a generic email service provider like Gmail.”
If you’re just getting started with your business and don’t have a website yet, utilizing a gmail address for email is often what folks do. It may look something like: 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. Plus it’s way more legit than some random gmail or hotmail address!
Good examples of branded email addresses are:
“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.”
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!!
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 Created Your Website Yourself…
If you created your website yourself utilizing a web builder (GoDaddy, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace etc), you may not know how to set-up your branded domain email account. You may not even know it’s often a free option that came with your domain/hosting services.
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 website admin and maintenance services.
If you’re having your website professionally designed, ideally they will address this with you during the creation process of your website.
You can still use your gmail or non-branded account for communicating personally with friends or family. FYI: you can have your business emails forwarded to your personal gmail account if you like. Just be sure to respond to business inquires from your branded email account
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.
Depending on the type of email correspondence, there may be a byline at the bottom of the email 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. 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!
Another all too common oversight is writing in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS! This is a terrible no, no. Not only is it hard to read, it presents itself as if you are SHOUTING! Sad thing is, folks do this all the time and it’s unprofessional.
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!
Keep it Personal – Respect Privacy
When it comes to communicating with friends and family, formality may not be as necessary. However, privacy still is. So if you feel the need to share something with multiple people at once, learn how to hide their email addresses by utilizing Bcc!!
I for one get livid when I see my email address exposed and amongst a long list of others it was sent to. You may not think this is a big deal, but it is. Furthermore, you could also be exposing others to spam – which sucks. So consider other’s privacy when composing and before you hit send!
Other Resources Worth Checking Out:
Written by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Graphic Designer and Nature Inspired Art photographer visually enhancing client’s print and digital media. Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place.