According to some psychologists, first impressions are usually formed within 7-17 seconds. Just think about that for a minute. If you make a good, positive impression you can reap the benefits ten-fold; but if you make a bad first impression it’s gone forever and you can’t hit the undo button.

What do your email communications say about you? What image are you portraying to your prospects?

Here are my 7 tips to improve your email professionalism:

  1. Spell check your document.  Given the technology available, and that you can check and correct your document at the push of a button, having spelling errors in your email is inexcusable and gives an impression that you just don’t care – or worse, don’t treat your career or business professionally.
  2. Don’t leave it to a spell checker. Once you’ve checked your email with the spell check, read through your email. For instance, if your document reads “Fro your records I have attached…” the spell checker isn’t going to pick up on your mistake. In this example given, the word “fro” (as opposed to “for”) is correct. Better still, if your spell checker has the functionality, opt for a grammatical check, in addition to a spell check, as most of these errors will be picked up.
  3. Double check and then double check again the correct spelling of your prospect’s name.  Don’t you just hate it when someone gets your name wrong?
  4. Send your email from a professional email address. If you don’t use an email linked to your domain (eg: [email protected]), then consider an account with gmail instead of hotmail or yahoo.
  5. Ensure a professional username as part of your email address. An email address such as [email protected] may be fine when emailing your friends, but what impression are you giving to the reader? Include your first name, or business name, in your email address. If your first or last name is hard to spell or remember, then consider omitting it from your email address. I would recommend you don’t have email addresses with heaps of numbers in it – eg: [email protected]  If your name is already taken, get creative.  As an example: [email protected] or [email protected] (please don’t send me email to those addresses – I just made them up! 🙂 )
  6. Is your subject boring? Either be professional or do something different which makes you stand out from the hundreds of other emails sitting in their inbox. The subject is the first thing they see – along with your email address.
  7. Lastly, dare to be bold. Put your own unique personality into the email – but do so in a professional manner. I recommend you conduct some research on the Internet for marketing and copywriting tips to get some ideas on how you can incorporate some snazzy headlines (subject) into your email, without reverting to silly tactics to grab their attention.

Remember, your email is the first impression the prospect has of you. If you don’t take the time and steps to ensure a good first impression via your email, your message won’t make any difference. Email professionalism can go a long way.