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Small Business Tips \ JUL 26th 2016

10 Mistakes You Must Avoid When Writing an Email

More than 205 billion emails are sent worldwide every day. If you’re anything like us, you probably spend a third of your day just sorting through subjects like ‘Team Lunch’ and ‘Daily Digest.’ With all this digital paperwork weighing you down, even the most efficient of us have fallen prey to email oversights. While a lot of these can be pretty insignificant, sometimes a bad email can affect your business and permanently tarnish a professional reputation.

That’s why you’ll want to keep this list of ‘Worst Email Mistakes’ in mind before pressing the send button. When you’re done, make sure to check out how Wix Shoutout can easily help you create your own stunning newsletters for free. 

Worse Email Mistakes to Avoid

The Wrong Recipient

Nobody likes an email scandal, so before you send those spicy emails double check the recipient field. It only takes a fraction of a second for your mind to slip as you type in the email address of the wrong client. Once it hits us, we instantly break into a cold sweat. Rest assured there is a simple way to correct this: if you are quick enough, you may be able to recover the unfortunate email before it is opened by the wrong company. This is called a reminder email, an option offered by most email service providers like Gmail. If you already have a Wix website, you can easily add and manage customized emails for your website.

Forgetting the Attachment

This one is far too common. You write an extensive email to your client only to realize you forgot to attach the most important part. It gets worse when your client responds before you even realize it’s not there. Avoid this embarrassing email exchange by always adding attachments before writing the body of your email. Are you sending an email on behalf of a larger party? Make sure that everyone has agreed on what is being sent/received, and include a detailed list of the attachments at the end of your message.

Botched Design

If you want your email to be read and enjoyed, avoid cluttering too many text blocks on top of each other (even if you were the Regional Lego Champion in grade 5.) When it comes to your content, design matters just as much as the words you mark down. Tools like Wix ShoutOut let you simply choose one of the free predesigned templates and add your items with the simple drag and drop function you’re already familiar with – no technical knowledge required. Your sole mission: write catchy messages to convince your readers to click. 

Weak Subject Lines

The title of your email is the first message your readers receive. In short, it tells them what they can expect when opening your message: “Response to your application for Extreme Climber”, “Following our appointment of 2 June 2016” or “Loved What You Were Wearing Today, Let’s Get Dinner Later?”…. let’s just say, some subject lines are asking to be clicked more than others. Your subject line is the most critical component of your email marketing campaign. It must be specific, and allow your audience to easily find the message. Make it powerful and snag their interest. This article will show you how to write strong subject lines that attract clicks.

Neglecting Politeness

Sending an angry email can be as bad as getting belligerently drunk at the holiday party. If you’re feeling the urge to get emotional with the wrong person, stay away from the keyboard. There are countless ways to be polite instead. Here are the basics:

  • Always thank the author of an email you receive – even more so if they worked hard. You learned good manners when you were little, right? No reason to lose them now.
  • Keep your cool, even when you need to respond to another late night matter. Nothing says you can’t be direct, but do not forget that insults never pay.
  • Begin and end your emails with the usual formulas, by measuring the degree of formality depending on your relationship with the recipient. This means don’t sign off with ‘xoxo’ when writing to your building manager.

Worse Email Mistakes to Make

Failure to Review

No need to spend days reviewing your every email, but it only takes a minute to catch an awkward misspelling. If the email you’re writing is especially important, take the time to read, to read again, and then have someone else read it. When you have any doubt regarding the past participle or the plural of a compound word, there is no shame in referring to the dictionary, The Elements of Style or one of the many free sites devoted to the beautiful English language.

Tip:

Never send an incomplete email again. We recommend starting with the body of your message and leaving the recipients field ( “To:”) empty. Add your recipient at the very end of your process, once you’ve reviewed your work of course. 

Copying the Wrong People

The abbreviation “Cc” (carbon copy) refers to people who must be informed because of their relationship to the discussion, but with no expectation of a response. The “Bcc” field (blind carbon copy) is itself reserved for people who receive your e-mail, but without the main recipient’s knowledge – unlike the “Cc.” These are also called “hidden recipients” – like Batman, but in the workplace. Both of these features are to be used with caution. If you mistakenly address the group with “Cc” instead of “Bcc,” you will immediately start a discussion you’ll regret.

Forgetting to Save

You’ve been writing a long introductory email over 25 cups of coffee and hours of work when it suddenly all goes up in smoke. Blame it on your browser, or your computer crashing, but nothing is more painful than when your work fails to save. Thankfully, it is possible to avoid this situation by saving your messages regularly. You can find your valuable unfinished (and unsent) work in the “Drafts” folder of your email inbox, which you can tackle when you’re ready to rework that email. In peace.

No signature

“Sincerely, Taylor.” Taylor who? The short blonde from accounting? Or the right arm of the boss? Obviously, if you do not sign your email, your recipients can struggle to find the sender. It’s very easy to set up your electronic signature to be automatically added to the end of each of your emails. It is customary to include your full name, your business name, job title and contact information (telephone number, fax or Snapchat profile for the more daring). If you have a website, it’s time to slip a little subliminal advertising  here – go on and add it to your email signature too.

Email at the Wrong Time

Writing your emails in the middle of the night is always a bad idea. First, fatigue does not help and you will be more likely to commit any of the 9 errors referenced above. Second, because your email is buried under the bulk of those sent in the late evening or early morning – and is therefore less likely to catch the eye of your recipient. Finally, because it’s embarrassing to show you have nothing better to do than write professional emails at 3am. In short, except when dictated by urgency, send your letters during office hours, Monday to Friday. Like everyone else.

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