Whether you like it or not, emailing has become a requirement in professional life. It can be the majority of interactions with some clients, so paying attention to it is important. I don't know about you, but I find that reading and responding to every email adds up and can take a large portion of your valuable time. These are a few emailing tips I have found useful that will up your level of professionalism and help you save time so you can spend more time on the things you want to work on!
1) Be concise. Though some emails require lengthy paragraphs, most are a simple exchange. Think about how many emails you receive in a day. Then think how nice it is when the email is short, sweet, and to the point. We are all busy, so save yourself some time when writing it and save the receiver some time when reading it by choosing your words carefully and keeping your email concise.
2) Have a professional, branded signature. Not only does this save you time, but it is another opportunity for display consistent branding. In addition to your name, title, and contact information, your signature should include your logo and reflect the rest of your branding. You can also provide an easy opportunity to visit your website or social media pages by including links.
3) Utilize voice text. How often do you have lengthy emails to send? I can tell you that when I am sending the first reveal of designs, it is accompanied by a long email. I also find myself driving from this meeting to that meeting. When you find yourself driving to and fro, create a new note, and voice record the first draft of your email. Or get out for some fresh air and take a walk while you voice record your email. I would recommend you always consider it a draft, then revisit it when you are in a stationary situation, but it will save you time in the end.
4) Proofread. Better yet, install a proofreading plugin. This may seem like common sense, but sometimes I have to remind myself to reread each email. Even though it happens to all of us, typos appear sloppy and makes it seem like you overlook details, so you should always, always proofread your email. If you want an even more advanced spell check approach, I highly recommend, Grammarly, a Google Chrome plug-in. While it won't catch everything, it does catch typos and grammatical errors as you type, saving you time!
5) Don't address an email until you are ready to send it. As stated above, reviewing your draft is important. It is so easy to write an email, read it once, and send it because you want to cross it off your list. However, if you leave the recipient blank and fill out the rest, you are giving yourself one more chance to review what you send before you send it and preventing yourself from accidentally sending the email before you're ready. Sounds simple, but this has saved me from a good deal of typos, especially for emails you draft and intend to send the next day.
6) Use canned email responses. More likely than not, you have a similar response to several types of email inquires. While I maintain a stance that you should personalize each email, there is no reason to retype the standard information you include in each response. For instance, when a potential client inquires about your typical process and pricing, have a response ready and revise specifics for the recipient.
7) Link your text. This is like the next level way to keep your email concise. Multiple lines of text in the middle of an email for a single link is an eyesore and makes your email look overwhelming. Utilize the link feature from your email provider. Not only does it make you, the sender, look more professional and on top of your game, but it makes your email much easier to digest upon first glance. In Gmail, it is as simple as highlighting the word you want to feature, then clicking the “Insert Link” button in the lower menu bar.