Business Email Etiquette

When you get a business email from a client or contact, how quickly do you respond?  Or do you respond at all?

An email is very much a dominant form of communication in today’s world and perhaps because we all get so much of it, we stop dealing with it in the correct manner.

All too often I will email a client or contact and then sit in silence awaiting a response that never materialises.  And according to others, I speak with this is becoming all too often an occurrence.  This simply isn’t good enough.  Quite frankly it is plain bad manners.

Whether you receive a business email from a prospect, a client, contact or anyone else for that matter, if someone takes the time to contact you to pass on some information that you may find useful or to ask a question, it is only common courtesy to respond.

Even if you send a quick holding email if you are busy or don’t have a full response as yet at least you have shown enough respect to let the sender know that their message has been read and you are not just ignoring them.

A simple line such as ‘thanks, I will be in touch soon’ is better than complete silence.

Don’t get me wrong.  You don’t want to be responding to emails at all unearthly hours as you need some clear set boundaries of your working hours.  You don’t need your phone on email alert so that you check and answer every one the second it comes in.  But if you want to run a professional business and for your clients and contacts to remember you for all the right reasons, you do need to have an email policy in place and to respond within a reasonable time frame.  You just never know when that person may be in a position to either do business with you in the future or pass the business on to you and if you have left a negative impression in their mind, they may choose not to!

If for any reason you know that you are going to be busy and unable to respond within 24 hours, simply set an out-of-office reply to let people know.

So come on, up your game and abide by email etiquette to let people know you care.

If your email box is overflowing and out of control which is causing a knock-on effect on your response time, read the related article ‘how to control your inbox’.