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Common mistakes businesses make with emails

We don’t think we need to tell you that email is the most common form of electronic communication used worldwide. Nearly four times as many emails are sent each day than the total of Facebook/Twitter updates, Google/Yahoo/Bing searches and Internet page views COMBINED! This equates to about 188 billion emails daily, with the majority coming from businesses.

However, due to the fact that email is so easy to use, many businesses will often make silly mistakes that can potentially damage brand reputation. Make sure you don’t send any more emails until you’ve checked out whether you are guilty of making these errors.

Email damaging your brand image

Every business has a brand image that they will sometimes spend huge sums of money on designing and maintaining. This will include logos, business cards, fonts and even characters to draw attention to the brand and stand out from other competitors on the market. However, with emails, the most common form of communication between clients and prospects, the brand is often left in the hands of the email sender.

An average employee will send and receive over 100 emails a day, which will usually have some form of email signature attached to it as a matter of company policy. Every email with a signature should be considered to be an ‘*electronic business card*’ containing correct logos and contact details for specific individuals and departments. This means consistent fonts, graphics and disclaimers.

You wouldn’t let employees create their own business cards so why would you let them create their own email signatures?

Ignoring email 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? With all electronic communications, you have to be aware if every email that leaves your organization is compliant with the laws and regulations within the recipient’s country.  For example, European Union states require all emails to include the company’s name, registration number, the place of registration and the registered office address. There are no exceptions!

These regulations are becoming more common in light of increased Internet security and 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.

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 can be seen by the general public as untrustworthy at times due to the amount of spam sent out every day. More companies are beginning to realize the power of normal emails as an effective marketing medium for both potential and existing customers.

So, why just limit your advertising to specific email campaigns? You could be using every single email that you send to promote an event you are attending, 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.

Not thinking of the mobile market

We’ve discussed how the advances in mobile technology has led to many organizations becoming BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) friendly. Say you follow all of these guidelines and you make a perfect email signature for all employees in your organization. These are great for sending from a PC or Mac. However, smartphones and tablets work differently so email signatures either won’t appear or will end with the unprofessional ‘Sent from my……’

With the increase in mobile technology, you can end up with the same problems you get when your employees are creating their own signatures and you can’t be sure what they might add. You need to ensure that every employee who is using a personal mobile device to send business emails uses your main corporate email signature.

Losing control of your email signature

Companies implement email signatures in one of the following ways:

They let employees create any signature they want.

  • They give guidelines on how the email signature should look and leave it to the employee to create it.
  • They use 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, which will not meet with the CEO’s approval. Email signatures should not be left at the whim of any end user and having central control ensures that there is no more dealing with individual desktops and no more worries about what employees are putting in their signature.