4 Email Etiquette Tips to Make You Stand Out

As positive as email is, it’s important to understand proper email etiquette in order to avoid business pitfalls. When we let the rule slide you risk unintended consequences.

4 Email Etiquette Tips to Make You Stand Out

Email etiquette tips

To make sure you never fall afoul of digital communication, here are four things to keep in mind when emailing potential client or customers.

Avoid using the term “unfortunately” | Email etiquette tip #1

Unfortunately, businesses use this word all the time in emails. It’s a tricky term because it draws a line in the sand. In essence, you’re saying you can’t, and won’t, help.

From a customer service perspective, this is frustrating. You want them to feel heard and cared for. “Unfortunately,” doesn’t accomplish this task. The trick is to say “no” without saying no.

Try and find some sort of win, or at assure them you care and are looking into the matter.

Avoid being rude | Email etiquette tip #2

Regardless of what someone says over email it’s important for you to remain professional.

This doesn’t mean you become a doormat or put up with abuse but there are ways to terminate a conversation without putting your professional reputation on the line.

Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet

By the way, if you get stuck on coming up with ideas for email, I’ve created a worksheet to help you with this. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password for my resource library. When you’re there, navigate to the writing category and download the “How to Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet.”

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Eliminate outdated information | Email etiquette tip #3

I’ve talked about creating a digital business card with your email signature before and while that’s important there’s also the risk of not updating your digital signature and confusing potential customers or clients with outdated information.

Take a quick look at your email signature and update as necessary.

If your email signature changes with some frequency, consider outside help like https://www.templafy.com/templafy-email-signature-manager/.

Avoid typos and grammar mistakes | Email etiquette tip #4

Another way to appear unprofessional is to send an email with typos and other errors. Although there is some forgiveness when typing on a mobile device, you risk being seen as lazy or worse.

As harsh as it sounds, an unintended consequence could be your client wonders if you’ll deliver a professional service if you don’t even bother to spellcheck your emails.

For a quick overview of how to catch typos in your own writing, here’s a helpful checklist.

Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list but if nothing else, I hope it will convince you to pay attention to how you come across when you email customers and clients. A little goes a long way.

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As positive as email is, it's important to understand proper email etiquette in order to avoid business pitfalls. There can be unintended consequences when we let the rules slide.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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As positive as email is, it's important to understand proper email etiquette in order to avoid business pitfalls. The can be harsh consequences.

How to Get Your Email List Started (and What to Send)

If you’ve been a freelance writer for any length of time I’m betting someone has told you it’s time to get your email list started. I’m right, aren’t I?

How to Get Your Email List Started

How to start an email list (and what to send)

I know you thought about starting an email list. And you would but…what on earth do you send? Right!? Am I reading your mind right now?

Is there a certain number of subscribers you think you need before starting? Well, there is no reason to wait. Even one subscriber is worth starting for. I have two reasons why.

First, that subscriber has no idea they’re the only one.

Second, by starting small you’ll get good at emailing. Get the bugs and make mistakes when your audience is small, it’s so much less intimidating.

Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet

Are you stuck for ideas? I have a worksheet for you! You can read the full training on How to Brainstorm Ideas or check out the free fillable sheet in my resource library.

Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password for my resource library. When you’re there, navigate to the writing category and download the “How to Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet.”

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Three ideas for getting your email list started and what to send to your subscribers

1. Share your latest article, video, podcast, etc.

Tell subscribers about a piece you published. And link to it. It’s an easy way to let people know what’s going on without putting on too much pressure.

2. Write an exclusive article or essay about a topic the people on your list want to learn more about

This could be extra work, true. But it’s a nice way to make your subscribers feel special. If you don’t know what they want why not ask?

3. Curate a list of articles based on your audiences’ interests

Get to know your audience and their interests. Nail the topic and your email subscribers will love you! Research and freelance writing go hand-in-hand, making this both easy and fun. Just remember to share what you find with your audience.

How to Get Your Email List Started (and What to Send)

These are a few quick ideas to get you started with emailing your list.

Maybe you’re not sure you need it. I get it! You’re a freelance writer, what do you need with email subscribers? Well I have a few reasons why getting an email list started is in your best interest.

I wrote an article over on Story Board called Why Freelancers in Marketing and Communications Should Have an Email List. Here’s the quick version. Check out the post for the explanations:

  • An email list nurtures potential clients who aren’t ready to hire you…yet
  • An email list helps people who are on the fence about hiring you
  • It is a great way to stay in touch with previous clients
  • An email list helps you build authority in your niche
  • An email list helps you avoid the freelancer feast or famine cycle
  • You own your email list

Extra credit: If you’re ready to start your email list and you want a kick-start allow me to recommend Jennifer Maker’s free e-book List Love.

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If you've been a freelance writer for any length of time I'm betting someone has told you it's time to get your email list started. I'm right, aren't I?

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn. And I hope you get a lot out of it!

To keep this free resource library special I have it password protected. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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If you've been a freelance writer for any length of time I'm betting someone has told you it's time to get your email list started. I'm right, aren't I?

How to Get More Email Subscribers

Once you get over the hump of actually starting a list now it’s time to figure out how to get more email subscribers.

Because what’s the point in doing all the work of running an email list if you aren’t talking to anyone?

How to Get More Email Subscribers | Tips for Freelancers

But let’s back up for a minute. Maybe you’re a freelance writer who doesn’t do much online marketing. You might think a concept like getting more email subscribers, or even having an email list, is a bit overkill. I mean, what’s the point, right?

If I’m describing you then here’s my quick pitch for having an email list:

  • You can nurture relationships with potential clients who aren’t ready to hire you yet
  • It helps people who are on the fence about hiring you get to know you better
  • Want to stay in touch with previous clients? This is a non-awkward way of doing this!
  • It helps you build authority in your niche (I mean, you’re writing about it literally all the time, this reinforces your expertise!)

Anyway, I could go on about this but it’s not today’s topic so instead I’ll drop a graphic below for you to consider. In today’s freelance environment, platform building both has merit and helps you escape the dreaded feast or famine cycle. (More on THAT later.)

This infographic shows you where I think email marketing comes in to play in the freelancer’s sales funnel.

Just my opinion, but I stand by it.

The new freelance writer's sale funnel by Robyn Roste. First level, discovery. Second level, nurture. Third level, small product sales. Fourth level, high-priced services.

For more about WHY I think you should have an email list check out the article I wrote for Story Board, Why Freelancers in Marketing and Communications Should Have an Email List.

How to get more email subscribers

Tip 1: Ask people to join your list

Yes this is as simple as it sounds. If you want more email subscribers then ask people to join your list.

Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Make sure your social media followers know about your list and have opportunities to join up every now and then
  • Invite people you meet at networking events to join your list (or ask if you can add them—get permission!)
  • Add a link to your sign-up form in your email footer
  • Embed sign-up forms on your blog posts or on your website pages (like your “About” page, for example)

Now, there is a caveat here. You want to invite people to join your list who are a good fit for your business.

This means you have to know what you do, who you serve and why your service matters to them.

Freelancer Positioning Worksheet

By the way, I’ve created a worksheet to help you work through these questions. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password for my free resource library. When you’re there, navigate to the Freelancing category and download the “Freelancer Positioning Worksheet.”

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Want to go deeper here? Check out Want to Work from Home? Consider Freelance Writing!

Tip 2: Offer some sort of incentive for signing up

This makes sense if you think about it.

“Hey join my email list” is one thing.

But isn’t “Sign up for my list and you’ll get this extra special thing that you can’t get anywhere else” better?

  • What can you offer people that makes giving you their email address worth it?
  • What will make it a fair trade?
  • How can you surprise and delight your subscribers?

Think about incentives as two pieces.

First, you want to give people a compelling reason to join your list. Perhaps this is a free download or template or something they’ll find helpful.

Second, you want to send relevant, interesting information in your actual emails.

While getting people on your list is important, giving them a reason to stay is next level.

Get more email subscribers

Tip 3: Encourage your email subscribers to forward your newsletter

Because you’re sending interesting and exclusive stuff to ideal readers (right!? Go back to Tips 1 and 2 if this is new information) it should resonate with them.

And people love sharing information that strikes a chord.

So encourage your email subscribers to share your newsletters with others. This serves as a win-win. They share something helpful with their audience and you’re gaining visibility.

This simple request can have big rewards. Don’t underestimate the power of a referral!


List Love Ebook

If you want to go deeper into list building Jennifer Maker has written a fabulous ebook on the subject. She grew her email list to 20,000 subscribers in less than a year so she knows her stuff. It’s an excellent, quick read and I know you’ll take something away you can implement today.

You can grab this FREE ebook from my affiliate link → LIST LOVE Introduction to List Building

Like I said, this is a free book. But by using my link, if this if you purchase anything from Jennifer Maker later (she has tons of valuable books and courses) then I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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It's time to get more email subscribers. Because what's the point in doing all the work of setting up a list if you aren't talking to anyone?

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required

LIST LOVE Introduction to List Building

These days I’m too busy for “just in case learning” so just in time resources like Jennifer Maker’s List Love is PERFECT for my busy schedule.

LIST LOVE Introduction to List Building

List Love: Introduction to List Building

Because I’m obsessed with all things platform, growing my email list is something I’m focusing on. Sure, social media vanity metrics feel good and make my friends jealous but when push comes to shove I know my time is better spent elsewhere.

In less than 12 months, craft blogger Jennifer Maker grew her email list to 20,000 subscribers.

At the time she didn’t know she was doing anything extraordinary but when her friends and fellow bloggers started asking her for her secrets she knew she was on to something.

That’s where this short (free) ebook came from: her willingness to share what works for her with her community.

Because I’m not really into crafting I haven’t heard of this maven before this year but I’m so glad I have now!

I’ve read two of her ebooks and taken one of her courses and am impressed with her openness to share her tactics, metrics and strategies.

I hope when I start publishing books I can be just like Jennifer Maker.

By the way, did I mention this awesome little ebook is free? Grab your copy with my affiliate link here and if you purchase anything from then I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

It’s an excellent, quick read and I know you’ll take something away you can implement today.


List Love By Jennifer Maker Synopsis

So you’ve heard you need a mailing list for your blog, but you’re not sure how to start one? Or maybe you already have a mailing list, but you’re really struggling to get people to sign up for it? 

I can help!

I grew my mailing list to 20,000 subscribers in less than a year on a new blog domain. My mailing list alone was responsible for earning more than $12,000 on my very first product launch, less than a year after launching my blog. And it’s earned me thousands of dollars in affiliate revenue in my first year as well! Best of all, I have built a solid audience of devoted fans that I can connect with at any time without worrying about social media algorithms.

My LIST LOVE mini e-book is the perfect introduction to list building. It’s packed with real information and helpful tips, including real-life examples from my blog and my mailing list.

In this FREE e-book, you’ll learn:

  • Why you need a mailing list for your blog
  • Why it’s so important to start your mailing list as soon as you can
  • How a mailing list can have a tremendous impact on your blog’s success and earning potential
  • Why emailing your people is so powerful
  • How to sign up for the best mail service for your needs
  • How to get started building your list

PLUS you’ll see real results from my mailing list that have earned me significant income in my first year of blogging!

Get the free ebook here.


Other Email-Related Posts

These days I'm too busy for "just in case learning" so just in time resources like Jennifer Maker's List Love is PERFECT for my busy schedule.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
These days I'm too busy for "just in case learning" so resources like Jennifer Maker's List Love is PERFECT for my busy schedule.

How to Create a Digital Business Card

Think of your email signature as a digital business card. It’s a perfect opportunity to promote your business through everyday communication.

How to create a digital business card for your freelance writing business

What if you had a digital business card that you could pass out to all your friends and colleagues to help you get paid work?

When you’re a hungry freelance writer it’s difficult to know where to look for work.

Things like job boards, Craigslist, and cold emailing queries are what people lean towards but these are (in general) low paying, competitive, and an exhausting hustle.

Your chances of landing solid clients are low so your pitch rate has to be high.

If you’re wondering how established freelance writers generate leads they’ll tell you most of their work comes through warm leads (existing relationships) and referrals.

Even if you’re just starting out these options are available to you too. The trick is letting people know what you do and that you’re available so they think of you when an opportunity comes up.

Today we’ll focus on one of the easiest yet most overlooked way to put yourself in front of warm leads and set yourself up for referrals.

It’s your email signature.

We do almost everything by email so this is a golden opportunity to add a little bit about yourself and your business.

Creating a digital business card for your freelance writing business

No, this doesn’t make you look desperate. Think of your email signature as a digital business card. It’s a perfect opportunity to promote yourself and your business through your everyday communication.

Here’s what a good email signature can accomplish.

  • Makes you look professional
  • Advertises your expertise
  • Lets people know you’re available
  • Lets people know how you want to be contacted
  • Serves as free marketing
  • Is professional and shows you’re serious about your business
  • Makes it easy for people to contact you

Convinced? Great, let’s do this.

Already have one? Wonderful! Take a few minutes to review your email signature and adjust as necessary.

What should your digital business card include?

Best practice recommends between four and seven lines for an email signature (although I say less is more here), so pick and choose the information you will include.

Some suggestions include the list below.

  • Your name
  • Your title/type of writing you do
  • Company name (if relevant)
  • Contact information (How do you want people to contact you? Remember including your email address is redundant)
  • Website address (link here to your professional site or the site you want prospective clients to see—where they can learn more about you and your services)
  • Tagline (what sets you apart from your competitors) or marketing message
  • Social links (if relevant, and only if you want your prospective clients to see)

Avoid adding images—most people have image blockers or read email on phones these days. If you feel you need your photo, logo, or social icons then use a service that will embed it into your email signature like Wisestamp or Hubspot.

Another tip is keep your email signature brief.

There’s no need to list every social platform. Dial back your contact information to the best way people can reach you and your best website, which will give people more information about you and your services.

I’ve linked instructions for adding your signature to your email below.

  • Adding your signature in Gmail
  • Adding your signature in Outlook

And don’t forget about your smarphone!

  • Adding your signature to your iPhone
  • Adding your signature to your Android

Be brave, put yourself out there!


Other articles about marketing

Think of your email signature as a digital business card. It’s a perfect opportunity to promote your business through everyday communication.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
Think of your email signature as a digital business card. It’s a perfect opportunity to promote your business through everyday communication.
If you’re wondering how established freelance writers generate leads they’ll tell you most of their work comes through warm leads (existing relationships) and referrals. Even if you’re just starting out these options are available to you too. The trick is letting people know what you do and that you're available so they think of you when an opportunity comes up. Today we'll focus on one of the easiest yet most overlooked way to put yourself in front of warm leads and set yourself up for referrals. It's your email signature. We do almost everything by email so this is a golden opportunity to add a little bit about yourself and your business.