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November 9, 2012

10 Tips for Contacting Somone for the First Time

<img src="Email Etiquette Tips" alt="Email Etiquette Tips">

Make a Good Impression Online 

The internet is an amazing tool for businesses and for those firms that manage to utilise it properly, there are considerable benefits to be enjoyed. As a result of the recession and the extra pressure that companies have found themselves under, it has never been more important to make use of all available means for finding new customers and encouraging old ones to come back and do business with you once again. Contacting people through the internet is not difficult these days, but a word to the wise, there are some mistakes that you do not want to make – here's a list of 10!

Proofread your Emails – and then check them again!

Companies that send out emails with spelling mistakes often get roundly mocked. It will make you look unprofessional which is exactly what you don't want. Take the time out to read your email carefully and consider every word. Print it out too as this will help you to spot things you have missed on the screen. If possible, hand the copy across to someone else to take a look.

Check your Details – and then check them again!

Spelling words correctly is important, as is providing your customers with the right information. Don't send out a marketing email offering people 50 per cent off when your promotion was intended to be 5 per cent off. Don't tell people you are opening your new shop at 9am when in fact it is not planned to open until 3pm. It pays to get things right, and the last thing you'll want to do is have to send another email 15 minutes after the first in order to correct a mistake. It looks unprofessional.

Start Sentences with Capital Letters – and LEAVE IT AT THAT!

No one likes being shouted at, so make sure that you only use capital letters in the correct places.

Don't use Spammy Subject Titles

"Free gift", "order now" and "amazing offers" are words that are likely to catch people's attention if they are scrolling through their email inbox. They are also words that are likely to catch the attention of spam filters. As tempting as it may seem, don't waste time putting spammy subject lines in your emails as this is a surefire way to see to it that your customers never even receives your marketing material.

Don't be too Pushy

No one likes to be told what to do, so be careful not to come across as pushy in emails. Be persuasive and encourage the customer to see the benefits of your products by all means, just be conscious about avoiding the hard sell.

Make your Emails Clear

While it is important not to be too pushy, it is essential to make sure that your emails are clear, not confusing. Have a clear call to action, so readers know what you want them to do.

Don't Riddle Potential Customers with Emails

One simple way to annoy a potential customer is to fill up their email inbox with messages. Don't do it. Be selective and make your emails count.

Be Selective

Rather than firing out emails willy nilly, try to build up a profile of the people that you have in your database and then target your emails appropriately. Are men over the age of 50 going to be bothered you're holding a one day sale on women's clothing?

Include an Opt-out

If you are sending unsolicited emails then you must give the recipient a simple way to refuse similar marketing emails in the future. Even if they do not choose to opt-out at this point, they must still be given the opportunity to in future communications.

Humour is Fine – but be Wary

Just because the knock-knock joke you were told down in the pub the other week had you rolling on the floor with laughter, does not mean that other people will find it amusing. Having a sense of humour and keeping your emails light is no bad thing, but just use common sense and only use humour when it is appropriate. Offending potential customers is never going to do you any favours, so think twice and if you're in any doubt, simply get a second opinion.

This post was contributed by Lesley Sampson, a freelance writer and lover of technology and she uses such as email marketing.