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Email Business Etiquette

By BB Lee
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Email etiquette is fundamental stuff...for most Online Business people. In fact, think of how you respond to Online messages as important image management. Handling your messages the correct way will make you appear professional while building your reputation Online as a responsive, attentive, business person, who really cares about his customers. In the long run this will surely build your "rep" and your income.

Researchers estimate up to 75% of business people Online do not use good email etiquette. They risk their Online messages seeming rude, offensive, blatant sales pitches, or plain annoying. Here are a few suggestions to adapt to your situation.

1. Keep an open line of communication running between you and your customers or subscribers. Post your contact information in clear view on your web page. This will make it easier for people to email you if they have questions or problems.

2. Answer all important email within a 48 hour period. If you don't this would be considered poor business practice or just plain rude.

3. Do not respond to angry email with like behavior. You have much better things to do than start a "flame war." Instead ignore their remarks and block their messages using your email program. Or simply let them have the last word. This will prompt an immediate end.

4. I've seen this far too many times. Do not respond to an email message in all capitals packed with exclamation points. This is rude and very unprofessional. I don't know about you, but all capitals LOOKS LIKE SCREAMING TO ME!!!!!!

5. Spell check all your email before hitting the send button. Why risk a bunch of typo's turning off a potential customer? Most email programs have a spell check included. Use it!

6. Don't answer a client's email with a dozen affiliate links at the bottom of your message. Do I have to explain this one? This marketing method is prone to backfire and turn off potential customer's and subscribers.

7. If you must use an affiliate link, tie it in with the senders' question. If the sender asked for information on low cost widgets, you could easily include your list of widgets along with a link to your widget affiliate program.

8. Don't respond to a subscriber's or customer's email with a dozen follow up messages promoting your affiliate programs. Many marketers disagree, thinking this is a great opportunity to get their message across. I disagree. In fact, the average person will automatically delete your email after two or three follow-ups. So you are wasting your precious marketing time.

9. Handle customer/subscriber complaints promptly. Don't let problems build up until you are simply overwhelmed with too much work! Often,all is needed is a short response with needed information.

10. Use your sig line modestly. Don't clutter your signature file/line with several lines announcing all your affiliate programs. This is also very unprofessional and might dramatically reduce your business image to the reader.

11. Be exceptionally polite to all your customers especially when corresponding by email. Go the extra mile. This will build your reputation and perhaps attract new customers.

12. Keep your business email professional but friendly. Don't get overly chatty and chummy with off the wall humor. A few people might be offended by your wry wit. You also don't want to sound stiff and phony. Keep communication real and honest.

About the Author
BB Lee is Editor/Publisher of SmallBizBits Home Biz Newsletter! Packed With Real Business Start Up Ideas For Real People! Subscribe FREE Now! Online:(


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