Email is a quick, convenient, and easy way to keep in touch with clients, prospects and colleagues. But, you need to put some thought into those emails before hitting “send” to keep your reputation intact. “Experts agree that your email behavior has the potential to sabotage your reputation both personally and professionally,” writes Lindsay Silberman in an Inc. article. To help others craft the perfect communication, Silberman sought the advice of etiquette experts and shared 25 of their tips, a few of which are below:
- Don’t angry email. Because of its informality, email is not the vehicle for delivering messages that involve angry emotions, bad news (like a firing), disparaging others, or reprimanding. Those types of communications work best when done in person. Not to mention, written emails “can last forever.”
- Briefly introduce yourself. Don’t assume that the recipient knows who you are and what you do. Kicking off your email with a quick introduction can also serve as a refresher for those who may not have communicated with you in awhile. But, keep it concise (a biography isn’t necessary!).
- Don’t shortcut your language. While emoticons and acronyms now have a place in other electronic messages, they don’t have a place in professional emails.
- Warn about large attachments. Give the recipient a heads up if you plan to send an attachment that is larger than 500KB. You don’t want to clog his or her inbox, which causes other emails to bounce.
- Maintain privacy. If you need to protect the privacy of an email list, don’t forget to use “Bcc.” Additionally, think twice before giving out others’ emails to third parties, such as Evite.
Each and every email you send is a reflection of you, so keep that in mind when you craft these messages. Mistakes, disorganization and unprofessional language can chip away at your image, so take a moment to vet each message before sending.