Email is quickly becoming one of the most common and convenient ways for businesses to interact with customers. However, email etiquette can be tricky, and bad habits can actually wind up driving would-be buyers away. Here are five of the most common email faux pas and how to avoid them.
1. FAILING TO SPELL CHECK EMAILS
Not only is correct grammar and spelling a sign of professionalism, it can also highly impact the clarity of your communication. If your emails are riddled with typos or confusing grammar, customers may fail to understand your meaning and miss out on an important call to action as a result. The more you check for errors, the more easily your writing will be understood.
2. USING IRRELEVANT OR UNSPECIFIC SUBJECT LINES
Most email users quickly scan their inbox to look for important messages, particularly if their inbox frequently fills up with spam or other unnecessary messages. With this in mind, you should always make sure your subject line is concise and straight to the point. Avoid spammy subjects like “I thought you would be interested in this” or “See for yourself.” Instead, speak to the contents of the email itself, such as “Reschedule Times for Meeting Next Week” or “Invoice for Order #12345.”
3. INCLUDING A LONG OR UNNECESSARY SIGNATURE
Inspirational quotes or cute emoticons have no place in a professional signature. Trim the fat when it comes to your e-signature, and only keep what’s truly important. If you have frequent correspondence with your customers, these signatures can get old fast or their messages may not be in line with your customer’s tastes. As a rule of thumb, it’s best for your tone to remain neutral in business emails.
4. ABUSING CAPITALIZATION
Whether you’re typing in all caps or in all lowercase, incorrect use of capitalization can send the wrong message. All caps, even for urgent messages, reads as screaming and is poor internet etiquette. Similarly, all lowercase is unprofessional and can be difficult for your customers to quickly scan. No matter the circumstances or the tone of the email, always type in correct capitalization to avoid confusing or annoying your customers.
5. SENDING CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION VIA EMAIL MARKETING
The fastest way to cause your customers to lose trust in you is to send confidential information in an email. Email is an unsecure method of communication, so sending credit card information, passwords, or social security numbers over the web can unnecessarily put your customers at risk and alarm them as a result. Save your sensitive conversations for phone calls or face-to-face meetings.
While one of these faux pas on its own may not turn customers against you, committing them on a regular basis (or more than one at a time) can call your professionalism into question. Keep your customers comfortable and satisfied with your service by avoiding these common email errors.