Email Rules of the Road:
10 Tips for Looking Professional in Business

Keynote Speaker – San Francisco – Los Angeles - Ventura

A business wants to be remembered for the excellent service they provide or the fantastic product they offer not the e-mail that one of their representatives send. Here are a few guidelines that everyone in your company or organization should follow whether they are communicating with your clients and vendors or with one another.

1. Avoid using all caps.

In e-mail speak this is shouting and no one wants to be yelled at.

2. Watch who you cc or bcc.

Does everyone on your list really need to be included? If not, don’t add them.

3. In replies use Reply to Sender – Rather than Reply to All when you can.

Others on the list will thank you.

4. Create guidelines so that everyone from the same company uses the same “Signature.”

As much as some people might have fun getting creative with fonts, colors, backgrounds, and images, your business is NOT the place for random creativity. Keep your messages AND your e-mail signatures consistent.

5. Change the Subject Line when the subject has changed.

Your e-mail may have started out as “Urgent Message…” but 3 or 4 exchanges later it has become something else. Change the Subject Line to reflect what the nature of your e-mail is now rather than what is was.

6. Avoid Spamming people.

If you are sending a Newsletter or solicitation to someone who has not given you expressed permission to send them this information, then you ARE spamming them.

7. Include Unsubcribe links in your bulk emails.

Make sure in any mass mailing, newsletter, tip sheet, etc. that you include an “Unsubscribe” link or information about how to get off your list.

8. Put your email and phone number in your signature.

You want to make it as easy as possible for your potential clients to connect with you.

9. NEVER complain about your children.

And don’t discuss that they are disallowing you from getting work done in a professional e-mail (that is unless you are asked about them by your client or supervisor).

Kids and work for the most part go together like drinking and driving. It’s not that it never happens it’s just better if it doesn’t. In a professional e-mail there isn’t generally room to talk about your kids that is unless they are on payroll and are an integral part of getting work done.

10. Absolutely never share anything about your financial difficulties.

As much as you might feel like you are really struggling, money issues this is N O T something you should include in a professional e-mail (under any circumstances).

Do you have an e-mail “issue” that we didn’t cover?  E-mail in your ideas in for the next e-mail article update.


Jennifer Martin is  Zest Business Consulting’s founder and lead San Francisco Business Coach and Small Business Consultant. She helps small business owners, leaders, and managers worldwide understand how to build thriving companies they love.