The Do's and Don'ts of Email Etiquette + How to Craft a Response Worthy Email
Due to an unexpected seasonal cold and the intense preparation of midterms, I had intentionally avoided doing work for Fearfully Fashioned during these past few weeks. Every time I saw an email, I politely filed it away because I knew that I didn’t have the energy to answer it gracefully. But as I caught up on these emails, I realized that it wasn’t my sickness that kept me away, it was the fact that I dreaded the idea of opening them. Here's why:
A lot of them started off like, “Hi Jenell,” (which is clearly NOT my name), consisted of “I want exposure,” and commonly signed off with “sent from my iPhone.” Now, there is no judgment here and I say this with the utmost love, but that is completely unacceptable when you are emailing someone with the goals of trying to establish your personal brand and/or network. These type of emails definitely won't garner you a response.
As I developed my blog over the years and as I worked for a boutique marketing agency, I noticed that a lot of people lack email etiquette. If you’re seeking to collaborate, network, or find a mentor, there is a way to professionally and respectfully reach out to somebody. It’s all about your manner and delivery. A lot of people have good intentions, but aren’t communicating them because of their poor email etiquette. Don’t be that person whose email is automatically marked as spam or trash because of these simple mistakes. Here is your guide to the Do’s and Don’ts of Email Etiquette.
CLICK QUOTE TO TWEET
DO spell their name correctly.
It is extremely disrespectful to address someone by the wrong or misspelled name. I know that my name can be found on several pages on my website including my about page and contact information. Do the research and address that person by their proper name. Although I still respond, many people will not respond or won’t be willing to work with you if you can’t even get their name right. Always, always, always double check on your spelling before you hit that send button.
DO introduce yourself.
How do you expect someone to want to work with you, if you don’t give them a proper introduction of who you are and what you’re about? It doesn’t have to be paragraphs long; keep it simple. An introduction is a great way to break the ice and make the other person feel open and comfortable to the possibility of working with you.
DON’T make it all about you.
It’s important that you don’t make the email all about yourself. Ultimately, you’re reaching out to a person for what they can do for you (otherwise you wouldn’t be sending them an email)! If that person doesn’t know you personally, the worst thing you can do is ramble on about yourself and your expectations without complementing them or sharing how that person’s life or work is inspiring or influencing you. You get more flies with honey than vinegar, so make sure that you lay the foundation with sweet talk, sharing how you can add value to that person -- not how that person can add value to you.
DO build the relationship.
I know personally that I’m more likely to work/collaborate with those who I know. To a lot of content creators, their blog and business is their baby in a sense, and they’re not going to let just anyone walk into their space without knowing who and what type of person they are working with and their motivations and intentions. Before you email someone asking for favors, make an effort to get to know them. Ask them how you can support them as they continue to build their blog, ministry, or business. When you take the time to establish and nurture the relationship, they will be more like to collaborate, support, or even endorse you than if you were to just start out immediately asking for favors.
DO find relevant ways to offer them value.
If you know that what you have to offer that person aligns with both of your brands and audiences, find a relevant way to offer them value. For example, if you feel like you have a service or product that the other person’s audience can benefit from, or you have a collaboration idea that they could possibly benefit from, share that with them. Again, make it more about how you can add value to them, not how they can add value to you.
DON’T email them a “book.”
No one has time to sit there and read your autobiography. Bloggers, ministry, and business owners get an influx of emails every day. Keep it short and simple. By making your email short and concise, you can get your point across quickly and effectively without making them feel like they have to read a short novel. Communicate just enough relevant information to help them make a decision.
The most unprofessional emails demonstrate poor spelling and grammar. Always triple check your emails for proper spelling and grammar. It's painful to read through an email that you can't understand because that person failed to proofread before they hit "send." Do yourself and the other person a favor and make sure that your emails are clear and error free.
You don’t want to be that person whose email gets trashed because you’ve failed to use the proper email etiquette. That’s why I’ve provided a swipe file of an email template that you can use to reach out to other bloggers or ministry and business owners. Click the button below to download your free email template!
Do you have any tips on email etiquette? Share them with me in the comments below!