Sending and receiving email messages is a routine part of the workday for Calgary residents. It’s such a routine part of networking and online marketing, in fact, that you can almost do it without thinking. When you send a receive many emails each day, it becomes easy to overlook some of the finer points of email etiquette. That may not sound like a big deal, but it turns out that etiquette makes a major impact on whether your email has the effect you’re looking for when you press the send button.
The most well-optimized, impressive subject line in the world makes little difference if the content of the message offends or confuses the reader once they click through. So it’s a good idea to brush up on your email etiquette from time to time, and understand how the small details impact the reader’s perception of you and your business. Let’s take a look at the basics of email etiquette in 2015, so that you can make sure the message you intend is the one your reader receives.
Mind Your Spelling and Grammar
Unlike many trends from the early days of the Web, email has only grown more popular over time. Mobile devices play a huge role in that popularity. You can now send and receive email almost anywhere you go. That convenience is great, but it also leads to some less-than-perfect spelling and grammar, at times. No matter which device you use to send an email, spelling and grammar are crucial to how your message is perceived.
- According to survey data compiled by Hubspot, close to 80 percent of respondents consider spelling and grammar errors to be the “most unacceptable” email-related offenses.
- Punctuation matters, too. 70 percent of participants in the same survey found excessive punctuation unacceptable. Save the em dashes and semicolons for another day.
- A misspelled word or poorly constructed sentence may not offend in the traditional sense, but it will absolutely diminish the value of your email in the eyes of the reader. Take the time to proofread every email you send, and don’t rely only on spellcheck to catch errors.
- Weeding out spelling and grammar errors isn’t just about perception. It’s also a clear demonstration of your attention to detail.
Finding the Right Font, Format, and Message Length
It’s possible to have exquisite grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and still lose your reader before they finish reading the first paragraph of your email. Hubspot’s data raises a few interesting points on this front, especially regarding email length and font choice. The good news is that font and format are relatively easy to get right, if you follow a few simple guidelines.
- Email is not the place for fancy fonts. You’re trying to get a message across clearly and concisely, so anything that works against those goals has to go.
- In addition to sticking with simple fonts, you’ll want to pay close attention to font size. Readers value consistency, so try to use the same font style and size throughout the body of your email text.
- Avoid using bright or unusual colors for email fonts and backgrounds. You don’t want to overwhelm the reader.
- It likely comes as little surprise that readers prefer shorter messages to long ones. The same applies to subject lines. Aim for brevity to increase the chances of your message being opened and read in full.
- Always send email messages from a full name. If your return address starts with “no-reply@” then you can’t expect readers to truly engage.
- The right tone for an email is highly dependent on the situation. Always be conscious of your target audience when setting the tone of your message.
- For marketing emails, always include an easy unsubscribe option. There’s nothing to be gained by keeping someone on your list against their will, and in Canada, it’s against the law.
Individually, many of these tips might seem like relatively minor details. Add it all up, however, and you’ve got a guide for how to send email messages that won’t offend your recipient. The numbers show that readers prefer short emails with clean grammar, correct spelling, clear formatting, and simple fonts. Get those details right, and you’ve already gone a long way toward generating a positive impression from your reader.