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49 Ways to Improve Your Email Brand
Have you ever considered that every email you send makes an impression on someone? Each impression plays a small, but important role in defining your personal brand.
As you read the 49-email tips contained in this special report, consider the refinements you can make to your email brand.
Creating Your Image
1. Be friendly—Your demeanor in your online communication should be similar to how you interact offline. If you value your relationships, take an extra 15 seconds to type something friendly at the beginning and/or at the end of the email. It could be simple one-liners such as “I hope you had a relaxing weekend,” or “Thanks for all you do.”
2. Take pride in your emails—Every email you send makes an impression and plays a small role in defining your brand. If email is your primary form of communication, what you say and how you say it will play a significant role in how you are viewed.
3. Assume a formal tone—Always assume the highest level of business formality until a relationship dictates otherwise. Formality communicates respect.
4. Be professional—If you want to be viewed as a professional, then make sure you present yourself as one.
Setting Up Your Email Address
5. Select the right email provider—I strongly suggest that you get an email address from a national company and not one from your local utility company or cable service provider. If you have an email address tied to a local ISP or utility company, you could lose your email address when you move or change utility providers. Select long-standing, recognized companies with names that are easy to spell like Gmail or Yahoo that don’t have advertisements.
6. Make sure your name is displayed properly—Most email programs have name recognition software intended to be a time saver. Set your email account up so your first name is first and your last name is last and avoid using initials. This allows people to quickly find you when typing in your name. There are several companies and individuals I communicate with where their names are reversed. It’s aggravating because when I send them an email I have to start typing their last name first for my email program to recognize the person.
7. Design an email address that identifies you—A good onewillinclude your first and last name. This will make it easier for people to identify you by your email and find your email address in their address books.
8. Keep your signature files small—People will see your signature file whether it is big and bold or small and subtle.
9. Don’t change your email address—If you get a new email address, don’t discontinue your old email account. Don’t inconvenience your contacts by asking them to change your email address. Just start using the new one and people will slowly convert to using your new email address. I have five email addresses and they all come into ONE email inbox. Current functionality of most email programs offers this simple organizational tool.
10.Include alternative contact information—Anticipate that there will be times when the recipient of your email would prefer to talk on the phone. Consider including your contact information in your signature file as an alternate way of reaching you.
Identifying Your Subject
11.Always type something in the Subject line—Show respect to your recipients by taking the time to summarize the subject of your email in a few short words. Neglecting this simple task may create a negative impression. People may even delay opening your message.
12.Update the Subject line as necessary—When the thread of your email correspondence has changed (which is normal and happens frequently), it’s time to update the subject line.
Formatting Your Message
13.Keep your sentences short—Shorter sentences are easier to read and comprehend.
14.Use punctuation—Punctuation has a purpose; it makes your messages easier to read and understand.
15.Use sentence case—Sentence case is the traditional use of capitalization and lower case letters. By now, most people know that using all capital letters is akin to shouting. By the same token, using only all lower case letters sends the message that you don’t care enough to hit the Shift key when needed. Both extremes are difficult to read.
16.Write short paragraphs—Shortparagraphs will be easier to read and will improve the likelihood of them being read. Try to keep them from exceeding three sentences and always leave a blank line (white space) between paragraphs.