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 daily than all social media updates, search engine queries, and online page views COMBINED! This equates to about 188 billion emails daily, with the majority coming from businesses.
However, as email is so easy-to-use, many individuals often make silly mistakes that can potentially damage a company’s brand reputation. Make sure all of your employees are aware of these common email mistakes and how to avoid them.
Damaging Your Brand Image Over Email
Every business has a brand image that they will sometimes spend huge sums of money on designing and maintaining. This is designed to draw attention to the brand and make it stand out from other competitors on the market. However, with emails, the most common form of business communication, brand is often left in the hands of the email sender.
An average employee will send and receive over 100 emails a day. These will 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.
You wouldn’t let employees create their own business cards so why would you let them create their own email signatures?
Creating Communication Errors
Mishaps that occur often are communication miscues such as typos or grammatical errors. This can make the sender and your business seem careless and unprofessional. We have discussed this previously when talking about the need for an organizational email policy. This is one of the most common email mistakes.
Employees should always spell-check and proofread 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 malicious email can cause serious damage to your company’s reputation. It will present the appearance that your employees have no respect for each other. In addition, installing a content filter will make sure that emails with inappropriate language will be blocked before they are delivered.
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 from? With all electronic communications, you need to ensure every email sent is compliant with the laws and regulations within the recipient’s country.
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.
Not Being Aware of Email Scams
In the event of an email security breach, all your contacts and your reputation could be used to pawn scams. You need to make sure you have powerful anti-spam and anti-phishing software in place.
If your spam filter makes use of greylisting, it will also block viruses sent from infected ‘zombie’ machines. Imagine the damage if someone were to send a malicious email to your customer base on behalf of your company. At the very least, it is important that all employees are aware of common email scams. Often, a lack of education can mean employees often are not aware of what dangers there are.
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. Many companies however 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.
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 email mistakes as on desktop PCs and Macs. You need to ensure that every employee who use personal mobile devices to send business emails uses your main corporate email signature.
Losing Control of Your Email Signatures
Companies implement email signatures in one of the following ways:
- Letting employees create any signature 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, which will not meet with the CEO’s approval. 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.