Email communication is an integral part of work and daily life whether you are a marketer, boss or freelancer. In particular, this is the most common way of communication between freelancers and clients. So it is good to learn the email etiquette tips which help you to attract and retain clients.
Practice quick response
Some professionals (e.g. freelancers) communicate with clients almost entirely depending on email. The quick response has become an expected standard, except for special reasons.
It would be best if you always aimed to respond to all emails within an hour. If this is not possible, you may try to respond within the client's working hours that day.
Clarify the main points
Suppose your customers need to read your email multiple times to understand the point of view you are trying to express. In that case, you should learn how to express your point of view more effectively.
Please clearly state your main points at the beginning of the message, whether in the subject or body.
First, the topic should be short and specific.
Second, use bullet points in the text to emphasise your most important details.
Check grammar and spelling carefully
Even the most experienced professionals can make grammatical and spelling errors in emails, especially when typing on a smartphone. However, customers will not get a good first impression from such mistakes.
After composing an email, you can read the email aloud to find grammatical errors.
Alternatively, you can also apply online tools (such as Grammarly) to correct errors.
However, you should not use any online tool if you do not want any third party to read every word you write. Though Grammarly does not actively access and collect your data, it will read your data while you are using its service.
Keep it simple
If you are a writer, writing in gorgeous language is commonplace. However, reading an email full of magnificent language is like decrypting code for people.
So, please keep your email simple, write it down in short sentences and use words that almost everyone knows.
It is best to arrange a virtual meeting or conference call if you have to convey a lot of information.
Answer all enquiries
It would be disrespectful to skip any questions from clients.
Make sure to reply to questions for each part of the email in separate sections. Therefore, clients will know that you have read their emails carefully.
If you cannot answer a question immediately, please mention when you can respond to your clients in your reply.
Use a standard format for business emails
The ideal business email format shows respect for your clients. At the same time, it makes your messages easy to read.
Please make sure to use the same font, font size, font colour, and text structure for every email.
You can use fonts such as Arial, Calibri, and Verdana for business communications. For font size, 12 is the most appropriate.
Black may look boring, but it's the safest and easiest to read option. Colour fonts are not recommended for professional communication.
Minimise text highlighting and the use of bold, italics, and underlining. These effects can help highlight important information but can be chaotic if used too often.
End an email with a professional signature
Attaching an email signature with your contact information at the bottom of the email will help your clients remember you so that they can contact you immediately if necessary.
Adding a personalised signature at the end of an email is easy and will make you look more professional. And remember to add your contact information in the signature.
A professional signature includes the information:
Use an out-of-office email template
It's essential to notify your clients before you go on vacation. In addition to notifying them by email, you must set up an automatic reply email. If clients contact you before returning to the office, they will receive this email.
In the template, you can write when you will be back in the office and when is the deadline to reply to the email. It ensures that your clients know when they can expect to receive your response.
Always follow up
When you are expecting a response from a client but have not received a response, it is always good to send a follow-up email. In the email, you can copy any relevant information and reattach any key files to help the client easily find the necessary information.
Use the proper language
It's best to use standard professional language when you are communicating with clients. You may be careful when using casual greetings such as "Hey" or "Hi". While casual, friendly greetings are appropriate in many types of emails, make sure you know what sort of recipients you're addressing.
Avoid using emojis in formal conversations.
Start the email with a polite greeting and address the client directly by name.
Do not use all caps or abbreviations, such as ASAP or RSVP.
In addition, please do not use the client's name abbreviation.
Avoid replying to emails when upset or angry
You may feel frustrated and angry after receiving an email from a client. Your instinct is to reply immediately. However, when you are emotionally dazzled, please always avoid answering any emails.
Your tone of emails is always read as more negative than you intend. When you write a neutral email, it is very likely perceived as being negative. Your suggestion for improvement can be read as criticism. And when you write a slightly critical remark, it is perceived as intensely critical. Often this may result in damage to your business relationship with clients.
So it is best to stay professional and respond after calming down first. You can compose an email draft but not send it. Leave it as a draft and go back to it a few hours or a day later. Make sure you don't fill in the address because you may accidentally send the email.
Use other communication methods when needed
Don't just rely on email when sharing any time-sensitive information. Always pair email communication with any form of real-time communication. Suppose a situation is urgent and you expect to get a response immediately. In that case, it's better to make a call instead of sending an email.
Be careful with using humour
It is safer if you don't make any jokes with clients through emails.
Any humour used via email can easily get lost in translation without a corresponding facial expression or tone of voice. Unless you know the recipient very well, it's best not to use all forms of humour in professional email communications.
Also, what you personally find interesting may not be interesting to others. In some cases, humour may even appear rude or hurtful. So when you're not sure, it's best to leave it out.
Don't skip replying to any email
Delaying replying to an email or skipping it can cost you a profitable business.
What caused this to happen? Probably because you only use one personal email to contact everyone. And you use this email to register online accounts and receive a lot of advertising information. So, you're more likely to ignore important client emails if your inbox contains sales emails and unnecessary newsletters.
How to solve this problem?
Registered a business email address
You shouldn't use just one email address to contact clients, families and friends. You should create at least one work-only email address and only use it to communicate with clients.
The best method is to register a business email address as your work-only email address. It not only helps you not miss any important emails but also makes you look more professional.
A business email address requires you to use your business domain name. However, creating and maintaining your email system can be expensive and time-consuming. Hiring an online security expert to secure your email system can cost you unimaginable money. Does it sound like having a secure business email address is impossible?
No worries, as long as you own a domain now, you can integrate your domain with Liverado secure email. Without creating your website, you can start to use your secure business email address.
For example, your domain is bob.com. You can create ten inboxes (such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.) on Liverado and enjoy unlimited virtual aliases. Only $5 per month.
Liverado is an encrypted email service, all emails between Liverado users are end-to-end encrypted. Liverado zero-access encryption ensures only you and your recipients can read your email. Even Liverado cannot access and read your messages.
Learn more about why data encryption is necessary for your business.
Keep your inbox tidy
Keep your email inbox clean and tidy for quick access to your work-related emails. Reading and replying to every message can waste time and effort. A cluttered email inbox is full of old, unopened or unimportant messages. Not only will it frustrate you. It prevents you from maximising your time and distracts you from other obligations.
Mark important or existing clients as favourites
You can also mark emails from existing clients as Favourites so you can always keep them at the top of your inbox.
If you like these tips, you can apply them in email communications. They will help you present yourself better and communicate more efficiently with potential and existing clients.