Hundreds of emails fly in and out of your account every week as a small business owner. Getting into the habit of clicking “reply” and responding with a short, simple message gets the job down fast, but what about the quality?

How you email your potential clients, existing customers, and employees is extremely important. To avoid sabotaging your relationships with these people, follow our 16 tips to perfect your email etiquette.

  1. Always respond. If your secretary emails you to tell you that your mother called, an employee is sending a quick reminder, or a client is sending you requested information, you should always respond to acknowledge their message. A quick, “thank you,” goes a long way. “
  2. Don’t address anything personal. You never know whose hands your email is going to end up in. Keep every email professional and deal with your personal matters later.
  3. Introduce yourself to clients and customers. Not every client or customer will remember who you are or your title. Include a brief introduction about yourself at the beginning of a new email.
  4. Don’t overdue punctuation. Having one too many explanation points, double question marks, or unnecessary ellipses can make the reader think you are coming off in a way you did not intend.
  5. For confidential information, meet in person. As mentioned above, you don’t want your email ending up in the wrong hands. For your safety, talk about confidential matters in person..
  6. Be professional. Avoid using slang, shortcuts of real words, curse words, and smiley faces.
  7. Watch who you copy into. Don’t hit “Reply All” unless every single person in that message thread needs to see your response. Also, ask yourself who needs to know the information you’re about to send out. Don’t just send it to everybody for the sake of having a bigger audience.
  8. Get off your computer for important matters. Meetings in your office and quick phone calls make everything a lot more personal.
  9. Keep it short and sweet. Get to the point of your message. You’re saving time for you and your audience with a shorter message.
  10. Include your contact information. Many people put their contact information in with their signature at the end of their message. This includes a logo of your company, your email address, work number, cell number, and social media accounts.
  11. Always review your email.When you’re typing, you have a million thoughts in your head about what you want to include in your email. Read the message out loud to yourself to be sure there are no mistakes.
  12. Do not type in all CAPS. The receiver of your message can take it as your shouting at them, or are angry with them. Keep it natural.
  13. Include a greeting with their name. Always include a “Hello,” “Hi,” “Good afternoon,” “Greetings,” etc., before you address their name.
  14. Offer advice. If you’re sending an email that could come off as confusing, say “See me for further questions or comments.” Your recipients will feel more comfortable asking you their concerns.
  15. Address different topics separately. If you need to talk to one particular person about more than one topic, write more than one email. Having all of your concerns addressed in one email, even if they’re organized, can look cluttered and will make it hard to read. Avoid your messages being overlooked by doing a new email for every topic.

If you’re a small business owner in the Vineland area and are looking for more advice, give us a call at 856.794.8400.