Three mistakes to avoid when sending out business emails

Good email etiquette and good business email skills will help you form better relationships, and get more results from your messages

Three mistakes to avoid when sending out business emails
Photo by Brett Jordan

Although there are now lots of ways we can keep in touch with those important to our businesses, such as through social media and by using IM apps, email is still one of the things we tend to use the most when engaging with clients, customers, partners and others. Whether you are emailing a prospective customer to try and make a sale or begin a relationship, or emailing someone you have worked with for a long time, how well you communicate and how your emails are perceived can make a big difference.

Here are some mistakes a lot of people make, both as business owners and employees, when sending out work related emails:

Unclear subject lines

If you are emailing someone you regularly have email or other conversations with, then it may be acceptable for subject lines to become casual, for example, ‘Quick Question’ or ‘Next Monday’s Meeting’, but in general, your subject line should give the recipient an idea of what the content is going to be about.

If it is a cold email you are sending to people you have not already got a relationship with, for example for marketing or prospecting purposes, then it may be tempting to try and tease the reader with the subject to make them curious enough to read the full mail. However, just as web articles with ‘clickbait’ headlines annoy savvy readers, receiving an email that feels like it is trying to bait with its subject line can also be off-putting. Avoid vagueness, but at the same time, be concise – you have the whole email to flesh out details.

Lack of personalisation

Sometimes, when you have to send something to a large mailing list for information, for example, to share the notes from a big meeting, or to inform all customers of a new offer, emails that have clearly been sent in bulk are fine. However, this is not the case when you are sending something that should feel personal to the recipient, for instance, a pitch. You may want to introduce yourself to a whole bunch of prospects you researched and found email addresses for using services such as, but you still need to make each one feel like a unique email addressed to the reader rather than a generic one sent to a Bcc list of what could be hundreds.

Lack of options for response

Some people love corresponding by email and hate taking phone calls. Some people do most of their communication on a messaging system like Whatsapp. More still would rather have a video call than write an email. However, your email will generally be better received if you provide all of your contact details in your signature, so people can choose their preferred method of getting back to you, rather than just being able to send an email in reply because they don’t have your phone number or social media contact details.

No matter who you are emailing, and what your goal is, good email etiquette and good business email skills will help you form better relationships, and get more results from your messages.

This content is a joint venture between our publication and our partner. We do not endorse any product or service in the article.

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