Many of us send and receive work emails every day. In fact, the average professional spends about 28% of their time reading or writing emails.
There is often no training when it comes to email etiquette or email organisation. Most of us have to learn the ropes ourselves, which can result in us making certain errors along the way. Sometimes we may pick up on these errors by ourselves. In other cases, we may not be aware that we are making any mistakes.
This post lists a few of the common email blunders that many companies make and what you can do to correct these mistakes so that no harm is coming to your business.
Using a personal email address
If you’re communicating on behalf of a business, you should avoid using a personal email address like ‘JoeBloggs@outlook.com’. Such an email address may come across as unprofessional as may cause the recipient to question your legitimacy.
Many popular email services allow you to personalise addresses to contain your company name. An example could include ‘JoeBloggs@YourCompany.com’. This looks much more professional.
Not organising your inbox into folders
If you get hundreds of emails every day, it could be worth setting up folders to help you organise them by priority. Without folders, it can be very easy to focus on responding to the wrong types of emails (i.e. ones that may not need your immediate attention). Other emails could also get lost or forgotten.
This five folder system is a great example of how to organise your emails. This can help you to answer the most pressing emails and find information emails for easy reference.
Not securing your emails
If you’re sending or receiving potentially sensitive information in emails, it’s important that you secure these emails from getting into the wrong hands.
There are many ways to send secure email. One of the most effective is to use a VPN to make sure that your connection is always secure. This could be particularly important if you’re using public WiFi.
Not checking for spelling/grammar errors
Spelling and grammar errors can make you come across less professional. If it’s a marketing email, you could even be mistaken as a scammer for sending an email containing errors.
Always proofread your emails before you hit send in order to make sure that there are no glaring errors. For important lengthy emails (like newsletters), you may even want to use tools like Grammarly to help you reduce errors.
Forgetting to add attachments
A common mistake that many of us have made is failing to send an attachment with an email. This is another blunder that can make you look less professional when communicating with customers or suppliers.
If you’re going to be sending an email containing an attachment, consider getting into the habit of adding the attachment before you add the content of the email. Don’t leave it until the end, as you’re more likely to forget about it. On the topic of what order to compose emails in, it’s also worth getting into a habit of adding the recipient address last – this prevents you accidentally sending a half-finished email.
Not using CC/BCC correctly
It’s also important to know when to use ‘CC’ and when to use ‘BCC’. If you’re sending to multiple recipients, putting all their addresses in ‘CC’ means that each recipient will be able to see who else you have sent that email to. Putting addresses in ‘BCC’ hides these addresses from other recipients.
You should only put multiple addresses in ‘CC’ if all the recipients know each other and you’re happy to let them all know that you’ve sent the same email to all of them. If the recipients don’t know each other or you don’t want a certain recipient to know you’ve sent the email to someone else, it’s best to put the address in ‘BCC’. This stops you sharing private emails with other recipients without consent (which could get you in a lot of trouble).
Sending to the wrong the recipient
The final fatal email error that you want to avoid is sending an email to the wrong recipient. This can often happen if recipients have similar addresses, making it easy to mistake one of them for the other. In some cases, this can result in sensitive information being shared with the wrong people.
How do you avoid this? By always double-checking the recipient address before hitting send. If you’re unsure if you’ve got the right person, consider going back through your email history to see what you’ve previously emailed that person.
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