It has become customary for many B2B transactions to start, develop, and end without any personal interaction outside of technology. Email marketing and email correspondence are a part of everyday life for many thriving businesses. However, those who overlook the importance of conducting electronic business as they would in person-to-person business can easily lose out on profits.
What Is Internet Etiquette?
Just because you are not able to look at a person in the eye when doing business, doesn’t mean you can forego basic manners and civility. How you present yourself online and through emails makes as much of a difference as it would if you were standing in a room of people. Email etiquette is important for any business and there are many ways a business can fail by acting improperly.
Avoiding Electronic Pitfalls
People who interact online are often more open because there a certain sense of anonymity with the Internet. Business owners, especially new ones, are eager to meet people and let them know about their products and services. However, many times their efforts are disregarded because they fail to remain professional and in some instances actually are offensive to potential clients or customers. Since many online business have little chance of creating a personal impression, it is crucial that online business marketing and communication be conducted in the utmost professional manner.
Here are some tips to get you started to better Internet etiquette:
Use Common Sense and Discretion
This is a popular topic for many. Funny jokes and silly forwarded emails may be hilarious to you and your friends. But think twice before sending it out to your customer database. What you may find funny, others may find offensive. Use common sense to control what you are putting out to the public as it all comes back to represent you and your business. If you have a particularly good relationship with some customers, use your personal email to send jokey messages and keep work email for work-related information.
Keep It Simple, Clean, Professional
Unless you are promoting your art or very specific creative services, you’ll want to keep your websites, emails, and blogs simple and to the point. Creativity is fine but don’t use several types of fonts, colors, pictures, and other designs on yourself if they will take away from the meat of the matter. You want people to focus on your professional business experience and not on your gallery of cutesy photos or crazy fonts.
Get to the Point
When you are sending out email marketing materials or announcements, write what you want to say in a concise manner and get right to the point. Don’t send your email list page long missives and large attachments. Make your content clear and easy to read. Don’t talk over people’s heads. Be personable and informative but know when to stop talking.
While it may seem like emails are just a bunch of words, people do clearly hear the tone in other’s writings. You’re objective is to let people know how your business can provide solutions. It is not meant for you to brag on and on about how great your company is. Speak respectfully in your writing and proof it before sending to make sure the right message is getting through.
Different industries will have different etiquette standards but overall politeness and professionalism are the two most crucial parts of communication when representing a business voice. Practice your etiquette with every email and social media action because you just never know who might be listening.