- Got a great smile? A winning personality? Before that first face-to-face meeting, you have likely already made an impression. And if your introductory email came across as unprofessional or inappropriate, you may not get a second chance. When your written communication is sloppy, it won’t matter how well you present in person. That sense of dissonance will linger- your personal brand will seem inconsistent. So how to impress in a business email?
1. Assume a polite and formal tone.
- After several emails have gone back and forth, you may notice that the person you are corresponding with lowers the formality of their language. Only then should you adopt a more conversational tone, but to be safe, don’t drop it down too far. Be respectful.
2. Avoid using slang, casual language or, for pity’s sake, emoticons.
- These are fine on Facebook and other social media but in a business email, they will come across as immature.
3. Apply correct grammar!
- You may be the smartest cookie in the cookie jar, but crummy grammar will make you seem less than sharp. And make spellcheck your friend.
4. Answer important questions first.
- Give information about who you are and why you are writing at the beginning of the email. Finish with what response or action you are hoping for.
5. Add a memorable sign off.
- Formal choices (best for first contact emails) include “Sincerely,” “Best Regards,” or the “All the best,” while more personal but still appropriate ways to conclude your message include “Cheers,” or “Take care,” or simply “Thanks.” If the person your are writing is in a higher position than you, stick with the formal endings. (If you are emailing through a work account, the sign- off may be included in your email signature.)
6. Always read every email over carefully before pressing send.
- Until they invent an UNSEND button, pause before you press!
- Remember, marketing yourself means managing all of your communications, both written and face to face.
- Read about face to face communications here.