Electronic Etiquette Advice
Tips to Make a Great First Impression
These days the first point of client/customer contact is often through email. Most of us are blowing this opportunity to create a wow first impression. Far from making a great impression, we’re not even making a good one.
Beyond good grammar
Sloppiness, poor spelling and grammar are the usual email etiquette culprits. Professionals check their spelling and grammar and don’t use texting shortcuts. But if you go beyond this you can make a wow first impression with electronic etiquette that stays in people’s minds for years.
This makes it great
Several years ago I received an invitation from Midge, the manager of communications and professional enhancement for the AB.VMA (Alberta Veterinary Medical Association) to speak at their conference. As anyone involved in hosting a conference knows, there are dozens of emails that are exchanged back and forth long before an actual speaking engagement happens.
Far from the maddening crowd of emails
Midge didn’t just come across as professional because of her spelling and grammar. What made her stand out from the crowd of email senders was that every time I forwarded a document she requested, she would reply “Acknowledged with thanks.”
Thoughtful and efficient
It was a relief not having to wonder if emails I sent her were actually received. Was it a boilerplate reply? One that she had stored somewhere on her computer? Probably, but that didn’t make it any less thoughtful. In fact, if it was boilerplate, that made her thoughtful AND efficient.
Winning electronic etiquette
Midge created a positive impression long before I actually met her in person. And when we did meet face to face, I was predisposed to like her. Guess what? Her winning personality matched her electronic presence.
So I stole it
I immediately stole (adopted) this practice of acknowledging emails with thanks myself. (Yes, I created a boilerplate “Acknowledged with thanks”).
Pretty soon many of my clients starting “stealing” this email best practice tip too. It has become a positive chain reaction that I hope keeps rippling on.
Good, the bad and the …
In our business etiquette to wow seminars, we always give the advice that you can learn from the bad as well as good. If you see a practice you like, add it to your professional toolbox.
But if you see something you don’t like, make sure you’re not doing it or anything that makes life difficult for your e-mail recipients. Instead try something that makes you stand out positively, like “acknowledged with thanks”.
You’ll stand out as a consummate professional long before they’ve even met you.