Don’t learn email etiquette the hard way
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Recently, a marketing professional came under fire when her nasty email response via LinkedIn to a job-seeker went viral. And we can all learn an important lesson about email etiquette from this case.
Diana Mekota sent an introduction email of herself along with her professional experience and education over to Kelly Blazek, who runs an online job bank for marketing professionals in Cleveland. Mekota asked Blazek to join her member jobs list, and here is just a small bit of Blazek's email response:
“I love the sense of entitlement in your generation. You're welcome for your humility lesson for the year. Don't ever reach out to senior practitioners again and assume their carefully curated list of connections is available to you, just because you want to build your network."
Blazek later apologized and has since taken down both her LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, but the damage was already done.
The Cleveland Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators — which named Blazek its 2013 "Communicator of the Year" — received so much backlash from the incident that it had to strip Blazek of the award and issue the following statement:
"Ms. Blazek, who is not an IABC member, agrees she will not use the Communicator of the Year designation in any way going forward, and apologizes to the members of the Cleveland chapter. IABC remains committed to providing professional communicators with the very best in content, community and professional-development opportunities."
When it comes to email etiquette, remaining professional at all times is important. According to Mashable, 144.8 billion emails are sent per day, and 28 percent of workers' time is spent reading and responding to those emails.
With so much going on in our daily work schedule, reading and responding to email can become time-consuming. Here are three tips to remember when you’re quickly typing away.
Responding to email
A general rule of thumb is to respond back within a 48-hour period. Depending on the nature of your business, a 24-hour period or less for response time may apply. Since customer service is a viable piece in many of our businesses, not responding puts you and your business's reputation on the line.
A study done by Forrester Research showed that 41 percent of consumers expect an email response within six hours. Only 36 percent of those retailers responded within that six-hour time frame.
Emails are sometimes represented as a first impression for a business. When crafting an email to a business, spelling and grammar are important.
Spell check and read over an email before clicking reply. When you have misspellings of words or you don't use correct grammar, that email speaks for your company. It may show that you don't pay attention to detail and can possibly drive business away.
When responding back to previous messages, edit out any repetitiveness. You want to be clear and concise when relaying any message back to a business or a consumer. Eliminating repetitiveness leaves less room for a message to be misinterpreted.
Reply all is a tricky button. When sending out those responses, make sure that you are responding to the proper person. Being aware of who you're responding to will help protect your business against any liability if something occurs.
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