The 4 Basic Must Haves – Professional Email
In our mini-series The 4 Basic Must Haves for writers, bloggers and entrepreneurs, we have covered what to include on your website, how to begin building your social media platforms and why you need a subscriber list and how to get one started. Today we are talking all things regarding our professional email.
We started with what people (your future customers and industry peers) will notice first – that is what do they see when they first discover you (on your website and social media). We talked about capturing their attention and how to connect with them.
When we are doing business, we want to be sure that we keep this very important rule in mind in everything we do:
Act professional at work, keep the personal at home.
We’ve made it very clear that we must make a separation between work and play, both in mindset and in how we handle our professional work. We keep that personal stuff off of our website, off of our professional social media accounts, and out of the emails we send from our business. (The exception being that your email subscribers will get an occasional behind the scenes look at the you behind the Professional you.)
Setting Up Professional Email Account
If you have a website, you can set up as many professional email accounts as you want with your domain name as part of the email address. You can also set up additional email accounts under any provider you wish to use – the key here is that you HAVE separate email accounts you use for business.
There a few crucial reasons for this:
- You want it to look professional.
- A pro email address keeps you from accidently sending out a very personal email to your entire clientele base.
- You can set business hours, eliminating the need to always be checking your email.
When your personal emails are separated from your business email, it makes it that much easier to manage your time and relationships.
Where to Use Your Professional Email
In our initial post in this series, we talked about the importance of your website visitors being able to find your contact information. You want people to find your email address easily and quickly. You can set up a contact form on your website for people to fill out their name, email address and their message to you, this protects your email from being spammed. Make sure your contact me here links are prominent on your website.
Also, be sure to include it on your social media accounts, there are places in Facebook for people to quickly message you either your FB inbox or your real email address.
If you have office hours, include them, so people will have an idea of how long it may take you to respond. Always try to return a message within 12-24 hours. You can set up an automated response letting them know you will respond as soon as possible.
Include your professional email on your business cards.
Use your professional email address EVERY time you are working in and from your business.
Add a Tag Line
Along with adding your email address to your website and social media accounts, you want to include a tag line at the bottom of your emails with additional resources to be found at.
An example might look like this:
Quick Links like: Website, Facebook, Twitter (Those would link to your accounts.)
You could also include your company motto or a favorite quote.
How to Write the Content of Your Emails
Don’t use fancy fonts. Make sure everything you include is easy to read!
Keep images in your emails to a minimum, this makes it easier for them to be opened and read.
Limit the links and topics in your emails.
For example: Share information about a product, include a link to it initially and then again near the end of your email.
If you have several things to talk about or subtopics, make an email segment (series), keeping each email focused on one big topic or two small ones. People can only retain so much, especially when they are quickly skimming their inbox.
Highlight or star the most important thing in your email. This helps readers target in on what they must walk away with.
Keep the language you use easy to understand. Even if you are emailing a top CEO, it is likely that there is an intern or secretary scanning emails first for relative importance and forwarding. Use fonts that are easy to read, and don’t use all caps or bold your words – this makes it look like you are yelling.
Keep your content focused on the purpose of your communicating with them in the first place.
Simple and to the point is most effective.
Important things to remember:
It’s easy for you and others to accidently copy and forward emails to others. Make sure your email content is professional – and you’d be fine if an extra 10,000 people saw it. This is why we keep the personal info out of our professional emails.
Write your emails with dignity, grace and respect. Even if you are replying to a nasty email – keep your professionalism top notch and respond maturely. Give people the benefit of the doubt – everyone has bad days or fails to understand things at times. Be patient and be kind.
Include important details and double check them. Send yourself a copy first to proof your emails. Ex: When providing important event or product launch information. Check your links, dates, and everything important.
Stand by your word. Whether you have erred or not, whether you have goofed up or forgotten some detail – stand by the promises you make in your emails with your customers and peers. Follow through.
Be sure to leave the impression you want them to have of you and your work. You are connecting with people through your emails and this is likely to impact future interactions. Write in a way that helps people feel good, competent and relieved to work with you. Setting up and properly using your website, social media, list and professional email is the foundation of your professional communication, image and connection with the world. I’m glad you’ve taken the time to value learning and implementing the tips in this series.
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