10 Email Mistakes you Don't Want to Make and Tips on How to Avoid them
Here are the mistakes to avoid when sending emails
Published: June 19, 2022
10 Email Mistakes You Don't Want to Make and tips on how to avoid them
It's no secret that email has become the go-to tool for professional communication. While many of us use this tool every day, it can still be tricky to know exactly how to send an email that gets your point across as clearly and efficiently as possible. So, to help you out, we've compiled a list of the 10 most common mistakes people make with their emails—and some tips on how to avoid them altogether!
You don't have a reply email address.
By not having a reply email address, you're out of luck if you get an email that requires a direct response. You can't ask for more information or make suggestions when it's needed, for example. This is especially important if you are trying to build relationships with people in your niche audience or industry. It also means that when someone has questions about your product/service/blog post, they may not know how to contact you.
So what does this look like? Well first of all—and this may seem obvious—you need to actually set up an email address where people can send messages back to you! If there isn't already one on your home page (like [email protected]), then add one now! Make sure it's clear and easy-to-find on every page of the site so visitors don't have trouble finding their way back around again later down the road once they've left a comment or question behind earlier today."
You rush to hit "Send" without proofreading your email
A simple mistake like this can make you look lazy, careless, and unprofessional. If it's bad enough, it could even undermine your credibility as a writer.
Make sure that you have the right email address before hitting "send." That includes double-checking whether you spelled the person's name correctly (their last name is not spelled "Rothwell" or "Robbins," for instance).
You should also check for spelling mistakes in general. The same goes for grammar mistakes, formatting issues (such as a lack of spaces between sentences), content issues (things like typos or punctuation errors), tone issues (using inappropriate language), length issues (being too long), and so on.
You aren't using a professional email address.
Using a professional email address is essential. It can be tempting to use your personal email address, but this can make you look unprofessional and may even lead to customers being wary of doing business with you. Instead, choose an email address that reflects who you are and what you do as a company or individual.
For example, if your name is John Smith and your company name is Smith Global LLC., then [email protected] makes sense. If one of your products is called “The Amazing Bookkeeping Machine” then [email protected] would work well for the domain name of the company's primary contact number. The best way to decide on an appropriate domain name is by thinking about how memorable it will be when it comes time for potential clients to type in their own addresses into their favorite web browsers.
You're using too many exclamation points in your subject line.
You’re using too many exclamation points in your subject line.
We get it: You want to make sure that people open the emails you send them, so you pepper them with exclamation points—but resist the urge! This is a classic mistake that will quickly make you seem like an overeager amateur. If you're sending an email to a colleague, keep the subject line simple and straightforward. And if you're sending an email to a client, err on the side of caution and skip any obvious attempts at excitement or enthusiasm (i.e., no “!!!").
You're using too much color, font styling, or emoticons.
Your message is probably more important to you than it is to the recipient. However, if your emails are full of colorful, expressive fonts and emoticons, this may cause recipients to feel overwhelmed or distracted by your message.
Limit yourself to one or two colors per message — including body text, links, and buttons. Use simple sans serif fonts like Arial or Helvetica for general communication; avoid decorative serif fonts such as Times New Roman unless they're necessary for branding purposes (like in a logo). Don’t use too many emoticons in emails; they should be used sparingly because they can come across as unprofessional if overused or abused. If you want to convey emotion through an email with an emoji icon (smiley face), try using them at the end of a sentence rather than before each line of text so it doesn't seem out of place with the rest of your copywriting: “I’m excited about working together! :)"
You've sent too many emails in quick succession.
We all do it. You’re face-to-face with the person you need to send an email to, so you make a note of what they say and type up your responses as soon as you get back to your desk. Sure, it’s convenient, but this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in emailing.
The nature of emails means that they move around quickly—and when people see a series of messages from you coming through in quick succession, they start getting suspicious about whether or not there has been some kind of emergency. The best way around this is to take time between sending out emails so that someone doesn't get confused by seeing multiple messages from you in their inbox at once (especially if those messages are all similar).
Your subject line is misleading.
Your subject line is the first thing your recipient will see, and it's a critical part of the email's success. If your subject line doesn't convey what you want, then people won't open the email at all.
A good rule of thumb for subject lines is to keep them short and to the point. The more concise your subject line is, the more likely people are going to read it. Subject lines should also be descriptive and relevant so that recipients can easily identify what they're getting from you without having to open an email first and read through it—and that goes for both personal emails and marketing messages! Your subject line should also be grammatically correct, free of spelling mistakes, accurate (you don't want people thinking they've been duped), etc.
Your email is rambling and unfocused.
Rambling emails are a huge turn-off for readers, and if you're guilty of sending them, it's time to rethink your writing strategy.
To keep your message short and focused, think about what you want readers to do. Then make sure that the call to action is clear in your email—don't bury it at the bottom!
And don't forget: bullets are your friend here. You can use bullets to highlight key points or draw attention to a specific idea that's most important for readers to know (use subheadings too). If you're including lots of information or referring back to something else, use numbered lists so that people can easily find the information they need without scrolling through paragraphs and paragraphs of text.
You should also consider using a "read more" button at the bottom of each paragraph so that readers only need to click once if they want additional context on what they're reading right now without scrolling through everything else before getting there (this also makes it easy for people who miss seeing one important detail).
Your email is overly formal or stuffy.
The most important rule of email etiquette is to let your personality shine through. You don’t have to be overly formal, or stuffy (use “I” instead of “we”), but you also don’t want to sound too casual (like a friend texting a friend). This means avoiding all caps and exclamation points, which could come across as yelling or being unprofessional. You should also avoid slang and acronyms unless everyone in the company knows them already — otherwise you risk confusing people who aren’t familiar with them.
Your email doesn't end with a call to action.
Unless your email is purely informational, it's important that you include a call to action at the end of your message. A call to action is a phrase or sentence that asks the recipient to do something specific in order to receive more information. For example, "Click here for more information" or "Please reply with any questions."
The goal of including a call-to-action (CTA) in your emails is not only to get people talking about what you're promoting and increase engagement with your brand—but it also helps you achieve better results from email marketing campaigns by making sure that people are taking action on what they've read.
Make sure that both content and CTA are clear so readers know exactly what they need to do next!
With these tips in hand, you can be sure that your emails are always well-written, professional, and effective. By ensuring your emails don't include these common errors, you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration—and maybe even some embarrassment too!
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