Let’s talk email

Efficiency is talked about often, and email is definitely one of the most efficient ways to communicate (in many ways too efficient, which is why it gets overused).

In the spirit of efficiency some people use email well.

And others do not. And it’s painful to watch (and read).

Rules:

  1. Learn what BCC: is all about. By utilizing the BCC line you hide everyone’s email that you’re sending your mass tome to. If, instead, you only use the TO: line then you are giving everybody’s email addresses to each other. God forbid somebody hits ‘reply all’ after that. Blind Carbon Copy is your friend.
  2. Conversely, Blind Carbon Copy can be your enemy. There are two clear instances when this happens. First is when you try to sound personal in a BCC email. “I wanted to reach out to you to ask an important question …” If it’s so damn important it should addressed to just me, right? Second, is when somebody is BCC’d into an email so they are allowed to be a fly on the conversation wall. If they don’t recognize they’re on the BCC line instead of the TO line then they have the opportunity to screw up the secrecy, announce info the second party didn’t know they knew, and basically put you and themselves in a bad position. Leave BCC only for mass sends when you acknowledge right out the gate “Hey everybody!” 
  3. When using copy and paste to build your emails to people, copy the whole of the email off a text edit program that can strip the formatting. Otherwise the email program may send certain words or lines that look dropped in and different from the others. Colors, fonts, formatting, etc. Worse yet, some people copy and paste via a previous email, adding little lines and bars that indicate it was a previously sent email. Not a problem if that is your intent, but a big problem if you’re trying to sound personal. This just happened to me, when a sales rep reached out to show me some wines. Not only was the core of the invite copied from another email (the bars on the side of the paragraph gave it away), and my name never used in the email (totally impersonal), but even ‘thank you’ was copied and pasted. In fact, the only part of the email that was not copied and pasted was the time frame he was looking to meet with me.
  4. Lastly, take a moment to update your email signature. Today’s email programs can rake your signature for contact information, and build a contact card instantly. If you don’t have the right info in your signature, it doesn’t end up in your contact info with your client. Name, address, phone, email, website are the minimum. Don’t hesitate to link to company Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. Make use of a good signature that conveys the information clearly.

Take email seriously. One or two dud emails with some of the problems listed above will cause your customers to open future emails less often, engage with you rarely, and not look forward to hearing from you.

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