If you’re a freelancer, it’s likely that the majority of your client communications will be by email. The bad news is that an email inbox can get cluttered fairly quickly, which might make your important client communication slide to the bottom of the list.
Don’t Do This, Do That: Email Edition
On average, office employees receive 80 emails a day. Email is a communications tool that can be overused. Fortunately, there are instant message portals like Slack and Basecamp that were designed to lessen the burden of emailing, while giving remote employees a way to communicate, but it's likely that you’ve been using email so frequently that you’re not giving a lot of thought to how you use it.
Subject: Contract document attached for Tuesday’s meeting — please review
Other Professional Email Etiquette Tips to Keep in Mind:
- Get to the point
The email etiquette experts at Purdue’s Online Writing Lab insist on a brief, meaningful subject line that tells your contact what the email is about. This saves the recipient time, which makes you look thoughtful.
- Address your recipient politely and properly
A “Dear Sir or Madam” or “Dear Dr. Smith” or “Dear Ms. Jones” is appropriate. "Yo" is probably not.
- Use good grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling
Use the spellchecker and reread your email a couple of times to weed out any typos.
- Close politely and gratefully
Thank them for their time and end with the classic "Sincerely," "Best Regards," or a simple "Thank You."
Email Etiquette Faux Pas
Here's a quick email etiquette refresher. Make sure to avoid using these common mistakes when you're communicating with clients or coworkers.
- ALL CAPS
It comes across as SHOUTING, which is as rude in an email as it is in person. If you need to emphasize something, use bold or italicized lettering instead.
- Fancy Nonsense
Freelance graphic design job seekers are sometimes tempted to play with backgrounds, graphics, and typography in emails. Instead, use a simple, readable font and a clear background to save your recipient download time and inbox space — think mobile-friendly first!
- Excessive Punctuation
One exclamation point is usually quite enough! Also, check the ends of all of your sentences to make sure they don't all end with an exclamation point. If everything is important, nothing is.
- Abbreviations and Slang
Unless you are 100% sure your recipient knows your lingo, spell out what you mean. Not only might the person on the other end not get what “MTFBWU” means, they might find certain abbreviations offensive or inappropriate.
Charlie Osborne of ZDNet recommends avoiding emojis until your contact uses them. Even then, go light on the smileys — never more than one or two in an email. 😁
Ready, Set, Send!
Hopefully, you feel better about sending off that client e-communication now! Need a client to converse with? Let Artisan help with that!