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.
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 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.
Eliminate Outdated information | EMAIL ETIQUETTE TIP #3
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.
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?
And I know you’re thinking about getting your email list started and you would but…what on earth do you send? Right!? Am I reading your mind right now?
Maybe you’re wondering if you should wait till you have a certain number of subscribers before getting your email list started? Well, there is no reason to wait. I mean, even if you have one subscriber it’s worth diving in. First of all, they don’t know how many people are on your email list and second of all, by getting started you will get into the habit of emailing your list and will be an old pro by the time you build it to whatever number you had in your head.
Three ideas for getting your email list started and what to send to your subscribers
Share your latest article, video, podcast, etc.
Tell the story of whatever it is you’ve published this week and add a link so your subscribers can jump over and see it for themselves. It’s an easy way to let people know what’s going on without putting on too much pressure.
Write an exclusive article or essay about a topic the people on your list want to learn more about
This may seem like a lot to take on but it’s an excellent way to create value and connect with your audience. If you don’t know what they want why not ask?
Curate a list of articles based on your audiences’ interests
Again, you need to know what your audience is interested in if you want to provide a list of valuable articles and resources from around the web but if you nail the topic your email subscribers will love you! And since you do tons of research for your freelance writing anyway, collecting links of great articles should be second nature.
These are a few quick ideas to get you started with emailing your list. But maybe you’re still not convinced you need an email list. 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 published my article over on Story Board in an article called Why Freelancers in Marketing and Communications Should Have an Email List but 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
An email list 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