The 7 Business Email Mistakes to Avoid at Work

The 7 Business Email Mistakes to Avoid at Work

It's clear to everyone that email continues to be the most common form of business communication used worldwide. After all, it's much easier to send an email than it is to pick up the phone or have a face-to-face meeting.

However, as work email is so easy-to-use, many common email mistakes often occur. These can potentially be very serious, going so far as to actually damage a company’s brand reputation.

Make sure all of your employees are aware of these common email mistakes that occur in the business world and how to avoid them.

1. Presenting an inconsistent brand image

Every business has a brand image that they will spend large sums of money on designing and maintaining. This is to make it stand out from other competitors on the market. However, when it comes to emails, branding is often left in the hands of the sender. This is one of the most common email mistakes that can occur.

An average employee will send and receive around 121 emails a day. These usually have some form of email signature attached as a matter of company policy. Every email with a signature is an ‘electronic business card’ containing logos and contact details. This means consistent fonts, graphics, and disclaimers.

Without a level of centralized control over email signatures, there's no way of ensuring everyone is using the correct signature template. To put it in simple terms, you wouldn’t let employees create their own business cards. So don't let them create their own email signature designs and end up falling foul of many email mistakes.

2. Creating communication errors

One of the most common email mistakes that occur are communication miscues such as typos or grammatical errors. This can make the sender and your business seem careless and unprofessional.

Employees should always spell-check and double check all external correspondence before they hit send. Tell them to avoid sending rushed emails unless they have the time to properly read all content carefully.

It’s also very important to prevent your employees from sending rude emails to co-workers or customers. This type of negative email etiquette reflects poorly on your company’s reputation. It presents the appearance that your employees have a basic lack of respect. In addition, installing a content filter will make sure that emails with inappropriate language get blocked before they are delivered. This will stop this email mistake from ever occurring.

3. Ignoring email laws and regulations

Is your business aware of all of the current email regulation in place? Are you prepared to receive fines that can equate to over $1 million from? With all emails, you need to ensure every message is compliant with global laws and regulations. You don't want to fall for this common email mistake as it could really cost you dearly.

These regulations are becoming more common in light of increased Internet security. It only takes one errant email to cause an influx of financial penalties. The only solutions is to have appropriate legal disclaimers in place for all email signatures.

4. Not being aware of email scams

In the event of an email security breach, all of your contacts can be used to pawn scams. This often requires a need for companies to have powerful anti-spam and anti-phishing solutions in place.

If your spam filter makes use of greylisting, it will also block viruses sent from infected ‘zombie’ machines. Imagine the damage if a malicious email was sent on behalf of your company to your whole customer base. Or if sensitive information were leaked to the wrong person.

At the very least, it is important that all employees are aware of common email scams. Often, a lack of education can mean employees are not aware of what dangers lurk out there.

5. Missing out on marketing opportunities

What do you think when you hear the term ’email marketing’? You probably think of email newsletters or maybe even spam. Email marketing is sometimes deemed untrustworthy due to the amount of spam sent out every day. However, many companies do understand the power of corporate email as a marketing channel.

So, why just limit your advertising to specific email campaigns? You could use every email you send to promote an event, a sales promotion or some important news. Your business will send more emails per day than all the visits your website will receive. Convert every email into a low cost, high-volume marketing tool by using effective email signature designs.

6. Not thinking of the mobile market

With the increase in mobiles, you can end up making even more email mistakes when sending messages from a smartphone or tablet. Messages intend to be more rushed; typos are seen to be more excusable, and email signatures are sometimes an afterthought.

For example, say you make a perfect email signature template for all employees in your organization. It works well when sending emails from a desktop PC or Mac. However, mobile devices work very differently, which is why this common email mistake occurs so often.

This means that email signatures often don’t appear correctly or end with the unprofessional ‘Sent from my iPhone/Samsung/Android'. You need to ensure that every employee using mobile devices to send business emails uses your main corporate email signature.

7. Losing control of your email signatures

Companies implement email signatures in a number of ways including:

  • Letting employees create any email signature template they want
  • Providing guidelines on how the email signature should look and leave it to the employee to create it
  • Using IT to set up an email signature on every workstation, which can then be modified later by the user

This leads to the company losing control over its email signature block, a very common email mistake. Email signatures should not be left at the whim of any end user. Having central control ensures no more worries about what employees are putting in their signature.

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