How To Not Suck at Emailing
There’s no denying that emailing is a core part of doing business. It’s how we can efficiently communicate and essentially do our jobs. This is true for me — I’ve used the same email address and platform (G Suite) since I started my business 7.5 years ago. With the exception of spam, I don’t delete my emails. Being able to refer back to old emails and clients keeps me organized, professional, and sane.
With tens of thousands of emails and nearly 20GB of space later, I rely on my email to run my business and get things done. My inbox works as a task list and responding to an email is like checking off a to-do item. I know I’m not alone in relying on emails to such an extent. With that said, I’ve come to see many things that we can all improve on. We can all suck less at emailing.
Here are email tips to make you a better emailer:
1. Don’t forget to say “please” or “thank you”. It’s not fun working with people who ask for things and don’t say “thank you” after the job is done. I always make sure I show gratitude to everyone I work with. People will take better care of you if you do.
2. I don’t go by a letter, so please don’t refer to me as “S” or “SC”. My name is Sinoun. It’s 6 letters. It’s not that hard to type.
3. For the love of God, please stop changing the subject of the email every time you respond to one. Doing this starts a new thread. And if it’s not necessary, there’s no need to write a NEW email every time you think of something — use the current thread! It’s inefficient to have to check so many email threads when it could have been compiled into one. I can’t tell you how many times I get five different emails in five minutes because people think email is a chat box. Also, I can’t count how many times people start a whole new thread just to respond to my email. It’s annoying and weird.
4. Your email subject sucks.
5. Stop using images in your signature! It’s an email signature, not a web page. Images takes up unnecessary storage and sticks through the whole thread for others that are merely responding. For example, if you have social icons in your signature, every time anyone on the thread responds, it continues to attach the icons even though they don’t have images in their response. It’s like a piece of toilet paper that is stuck on the bottom of your shoe and when you try to remove it, it just gets stuck on the other shoe. Your images are a nuisance.
6. If you insist on using annoying images, don’t put your phone number in the image and provide it as plain text. That way people can just click on the number if they need to call you or it can be easily copied.
7. If you are BCC’d, don’t respond to everyone in the email. It means you were blind copied so the original receiver doesn’t know YOU are receiving the email too.
8. Proofread your emails. We all make mistakes, but there are some people who have typos about 95% of the time they send an email. This just makes you look like you can’t read or write very well.
9. If it’s a primary email that you use to correspond with people, don’t set your business name as the sender. Use your name. It’s more personable, which is what email is. It also makes it easier for people to find old emails because it’s natural for people to search by name.
10. If you are a business professional, make sure you use an email with your site’s domain like “firstname.lastname@example.org”. It’s unprofessional to use your Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc. account. Another plus with using your domain as an email is that you advertise your site at the same time.
11. I hate to break it to you, but Outlook and Apple Mail sucks. We’re not in the early 2000’s anymore. These programs duplicate your emails onto your computer and takes up unnecessary space. It’s clunky and complicates email. Email should be simple. Webmail is the way to go.
12. Do yourself a huge favor and don’t rely on your web host for your email! I can’t stress how much of a problem this will cause in the future. Even hosting companies recommend G Suite or Office 365 over their own solutions. What if you’re like most professionals and don’t want to delete your emails for record keeping? Can you imagine the bill for 20GB of storage? If you use your host to serve your emails and you decide to use a more stable and reliable solution (like G Suite) in the future, you most likely won’t be able to migrate your old emails. Email softwares from hosting companies are also very dated. Your emails (and managing them) are essential for your business so consider a more permanent and reliable platform and solution — NOT your host.
13. There’s no need to add “please advise” in every email. Please stop.
14. Please read the email before responding. I’ve had clients who were notorious for asking questions that were already answered. I’ve also worked with people who obviously didn’t read my previous email before responding. Missing something happens to everyone, but there are some people out there who just don’t read and it’s a bit peculiar. It feels like you’re talking to someone you know doesn’t listen.
15. Remember that emailing is awesome. Why do I prefer emails over phone calls 90% of the time? Because email keeps record of everything so it will save your ass and keep everyone on the same page. Phone conversations are necessary sometimes, sure, but after the conversation, I’ll send a recap of it through email. Most of the time, that conversation (or even meeting) you think you need to have can be efficiently done through email.
Thank you for reading my very first Medium post! I hope you enjoyed it. Please do let me know what you think. :)