Many businesses use email to correspond with clients, employees, and other businesses. In fact, billions of emails are sent every day. Clearly it is an effective means of communication. How can you make the most of your emails, though? Here are 5 email essentials.

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Your Email Address

Many business owners don’t consider their actual email address when it comes to email communication. It is important, though! Your recipients need to clearly know who you are and/or what business or brand you represent. The ideal email address is one that has yourname @ yourbusinesswebsite. This really makes it clear who you are and what business you represent. If you do not have domain based email set up and are using a free email service such as gmail or yahoo, be sure you still use a professional name or your business name. Keep something like a personal email with your nickname for personal use only.

Your Subject Line

Your subject line is key. It’s the first impression the recipient gets when they see your email. Often times the subject line alone determines whether the recipient will read the email or delete it. Some subject lines like those using specific phrases or multiple characters can cause it to go straight to Spam. In fact, HubSpot wrote a great article – “The Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words” It includes words and phrases such as: buy, as seen on, clearance, order, opportunity, anything with the “$” character, money making, earn extra cash, affordable, no cost, no credit check, and SO many more. Don’t write a subject line that is misleading or full of fluff. Make sure it is appealing and do be sure it is interesting enough that the recipient will be curious and want to open the email to find out more.

Your Greeting

Just as your subject line is the first impression of your email, your greeting sets the tone. The greeting alone may determine whether the recipient continues to read your email or decides not to do so. If your greeting is too formal and not very personal may give the recipient a negative impression. If you know the recipient’s name you should definitely greet them by name. What if you don’t, though? Well, starting with a simple “Hello” is better received than “To Whom it May Concern.” Business is all about building relationships, so you don’t want to sound too formal but come across as relatable as well as professional.

The Body of the Email

Now that you’ve got the recipient’s attention, it’s important to keep their attention. If the body of your email is multiple paragraphs long or one HUGE paragraph, it is definitely a way to drive the recipient away. People receive hundreds of emails a day or more. If your email looks to long, they may feel they don’t even have time to read it. Keep it short, precise, and to the point.

The Closing

Your recipient has made it to the closing! So how are you going to wrap it up? Wrapping it up is just as important as your greeting. Be sure the closing of your email makes it clear what you are looking for from the recipient. Do you want them to reply to the email or give you call? Ask in a casual way that makes it clear you would like or expect a response without being pushy or overbearing. Phrases such as: “I look forward to hearing from you” or “Please let me know your thoughts” are great phrases that make it clear you do want a response without sounding pushy.   Sign off your email with a phrase such as “Best,” “Regards,” or “Thanks,” followed by your first and last name. Don’t use “Mr.,” “Ms.,” or “Mrs.” as this isn’t very personal, and as was mentioned, building relationships is key.   Be sure you also have a professional signature as well. Does it look nice? Does it contain a link to your website and social media links? Having a signature with this information allows the recipient the chance to check out what you’re all about and gives credit to you and your business.