What skill is underrated or ignored that you think is and important key to success?
269 billion emails are sent and received every single day but nobody talks about email etiquette. The people who are good at it shine. The people who aren’t have a disadvantage and they often don’t even know it.
Nobody has time to read a novel. Keep your emails short, to the point, use bullets and other formatting if necessary and keep your paragraphs small. No email should be over 150 words.
If you are sending an important email to an important person spend just as much time reducing its size as you spend writing its contents. Sending a super concise email is a great skill so spend time and energy removing as much fluff as you possibly can.
If you draft and email and its too long go through it line by line questioning if each sentence or paragraph is absolutely necessary to get your point across. Nobody will read an email that is too long. Nobody will read an email with paragraphs more than 4 or 5 lines. Make it short and sweet.
It goes without saying that proper grammar and punctuation is important. Make sure it is well written.
Ditch the comcast, AOL, hotmail, etc. That shows everyone you are living in the stone age. Set up a professional email address using your domain name and setup “send mail as” and a forward to your gmail account. This way you get the professionalism of your own domain with the features of Gmail and the Google suite of tools like Drive, Analytics, Voice, My Business etc.
Set up a professional signature:
Don’t make your title CEO unless your company has 30+ employees. Its obnoxious and is not a good look.
Set up your phone email the same way with the same professional signature so nobody can tell if you email from your phone or your computer. Make sure to delete the “sent from my iPhone” at the bottom of the signature.
“CC”ing and “Reply All”
Carbon copying people is a great way to keep someone in the loop even though no action is required from them. I do this with my partner on nearly every email I send. Don’t overdo this. Especially if it is a sensitive email or corrects someone for a mistake they have made. Its similar to criticizing someone in public. Never acceptable.
When you receive an email with other people carbon copied it means that they want to keep someone else in the loop. Make sure to REPLY ALL. This is the most common mistake that I see people make. Replying to only the sender when the sender wanted to keep others in the loop on the communication.
The cold sales email
I get hundreds of cold sales emails a year. Most of them are too wordy. Most of them put their hands out saying ME ME ME ME please help ME.
Set yourself apart by customizing it. Do a little online research on the owner. Read the about us section of their website. Add value first by offering to do a little bit for free or giving some real tangible advice without worrying about charging for it. Gain some trust and show the owner that you really can provide some great value down the road.
Use exclamation points and emojis. I know you don’t want to do this but its important. Too many customer service reps come off as cold and rude when its so easy to sound energetic and positive. Always thank them profusely for reaching out. Always end with a personalized touch.
Canned responses are great for this. Shortkeys can insert pleasantries before and after any message. Deal with the same customer service questions often? Develop the perfect canned response your reps can insert with a keystroke.
Emails are amazing at keeping a record. They are searchable. They are easy to bring back and forward.
If you make a deal with someone in person or over the phone follow up with them by email and ask for a confirmation response. If you don’t have a record of it it didn’t happen. CC your partner if it was a big deal and you want them to be in the loop.
Lay out tasks and have someone else agree to do something important for you? Confirm by email.
Somebody agree to help you with something and promise a date? Confirm by email.
I can’t tell you how many times this has come in handy when there was a disagreement later. Sometimes when I send an email after a conversation we disagree and have to clarify tasks that were just agreed upon! It saves tons of headaches and miscommunications down the road!
You can also send yourself emails to have in your records with attachments that are important.
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