First published March 2003.
I thought it might be worth visiting some email etiquette for all as the majority of the readers of this newsletter are now on email.
It is important to consider that when emailing people you are on show, whether you like it or not, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is one of my â€˜petâ€™ subjects on which I speak when giving a public presentation about the Internet. I am constantly amazed at the number of people who have never thought about it, including secretaries, but once itâ€™s mentioned they say â€˜oh, yes, I hadnâ€™t thought about that!â€™ Letâ€™s face it â€“ many people use email at work AND at home â€“ but who they are does not change.
It is best to type messages in full, and do not use phonetic spelling or lots of abbreviated words and half sentences. I know it is common practice on chat programs to shortcut the process, but email is quite different, and these days, generally accepted almost the same as a written letter. The reason not to type email in the shortcut form is that it can become habit-forming and not something you would want to promote to prospective clients, bosses or other business associates. It is important to remember that your ‘professionalism’ is on show 24 hours a day via email – a small point, but important.
Another thing â€“ develop a signature block and let people know who you are and what you do! I have it set as an automatic feature whenever emailing, or replying to email, and sometimes forget to delete it when emailing my parents or other family members â€“ but that doesnâ€™t really matter. The thing to remember is that anyone is a potential business associate and letting them know who you are and what you do helps promote your business or your industry. It is a business card that is on show all the time.
Third â€“ take notice of the correct spelling of peopleâ€™s names. Iâ€™ve lost count of the number of times that people have replied to an email of mine and spelt my name as either Kathy or Cathy â€“ itâ€™s neither. In addition, Iâ€™m sure the spelling of your own name is just as important to you and it is quickly noticed when someone spells it incorrectly.
Itâ€™s these little things that make the difference between an average business operator and one who does that extra something â€“ every little thing counts when it comes to attracting clients and associates and keeping them. Taking the time to care about these things and looking after even a clientâ€™s name goes a long way to developing good business relationships. KMT