Using proper email etiquette and tone in business situations can be tricky if you're not used to it.  Today we've got six tips for bloggers to improve their business email communication.
6 Tips For Sending Professional Emails | Food Bloggers of Canada

If you want to be successful in blogging, it’s imperative to be professional in your important online communications. This can be challenging, because many of us are accustomed to writing in a casual tone of voice online.

Think about your tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram descriptions. Are they written in a professional voice, or a casual one? I’m willing to bet it’s the latter. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but when you’re used to writing like that it can be tricky to switch gears when it’s time to write an email.

I wanted to give you some tips on what not to say in your professional emails, but my usual method of research and write didn’t seem good enough. So, I asked several industry professionals to give us some advice on how to combat common email issues.

Tip #1: Do Your Research and Be Patient

“My big thing is people who pitch me stuff, but have obviously not read the magazine,” said a Canadian magazine representative who wished to remain anonymous. “They pitch ideas or products that are completely outside of our demographic, or are irrelevant to our scope of coverage. It also irks me when the email is obviously a copy and paste, and doesn’t even include my name in the salutation,”

My big thing is people who pitch me stuff, but have obviously not read the magazine. They pitch ideas or products that are completely outside of our demographic, or are irrelevant to our scope of coverage.

“I also dislike when people immediately follow up an email with a phone call,” she said. “I get hundreds of emails a day, so often I don’t to have the time to get back to people for a few days. If someone hasn't heard from me in a couple days, by all means follow up. But a couple of hours later? No!”

Tip #2: Don’t Engage In Gossip

you shouldn't say, even in an ostensibly private email, anything you would be embarrassed to see revealed in another context...

“The porousness of all digital communication today is such that you shouldn't say, even in an ostensibly private email, anything you would be embarrassed to see revealed in another context,” said Salem Alaton, a Professor of Journalism at Humber College. “Certainly, no backbiting or gossiping about other bloggers. Simply, you want to conduct yourself with the same professionalism in an email that you would in a public forum.”

Tip #3: Don’t Name Your Price Right Away

A big takeaway is not to talk money right away...mentioning money right away sometimes can come off as greedy.

“A big takeaway is not to talk money right away,” said Lisa Le, fellow blogger and marketing coordinator at Practical Marketing Ltd. “Get to know the person you're communicating with and develop the relationship. When I like the work someone does and connect better with them, I am more inclined to seek them for more work in the future. Also, mentioning money right away sometimes can come off as greedy. Sometimes communicating over the phone to negotiate is easier, but I always recommend agreeing on something in writing.”

6 Tips For Sending Professional Emails | Food Bloggers of Canada

Tip #4: Watch Your Tone

Since you can’t read body language through email, I try not to be too sarcastic or too casual in my tone, as the other person can’t tell when I’m joking

“I think it’s important for people to think about how they’re going to come across to the person they’re sending that email to,” said Tori Floyd, an editor for a large online news organization. “Since you can’t read body language through email, I try not to be too sarcastic or too casual in my tone, as the other person can’t tell when I’m joking. On occasions when I’ve received emails from people who do take that tone, or even use poor grammar, I admit to thinking less of the person who sent it to me.”

RELATED:  The Blogger's Guide to Creating and Managing Invoices

Tip #5: Remember That Your Email Reflects Your Quality Of Work

“Overall, I've had good experiences communicating with bloggers,” said Tegan Woo, co-founder of Amoda Tea. “There have been a few occasions, though, that left me in shock.”

 We receive many inquiries for free product to review...the first impression should be professional, no spelling mistakes (even one spelling mistake and I'm hesitating), nice paragraph spacing and mention of why they think it's a good fit.

“We receive many inquiries for free product to review,” she continued. “This inquiry email is the first impression of the blogger and tells me how I can expect their blog post or review of our business to be written. I've received emails that are one giant paragraph… or that include a really low-res image or graphic. This automatically puts me off because food & beverage blogging is so visual. So, the first impression should be professional, no spelling mistakes (even one spelling mistake and I'm hesitating), nice paragraph spacing and mention of why they think it's a good fit.”

Tip #6: Don’t forget your basic manners.

I asked the founders of Food Bloggers of Canada, Ethan Adeland and Melissa Hartfiel, to give us one last piece of advice.

"It’s important to remember that email is not a text message. We both think that it only takes a moment to start an email with a “hello” or a quick “hope this finds you well. Niceties like hello, please, thank you, and have a great day all go a long way.”

An email with a short 5 word sentence and no greeting or polite ending can easily come across as terse, and even ill-tempered, when that might not have been the intent at all!

“Also, don’t use text shorthand in a professional email – even if you’re replying from your mobile device. If it’s too hard to type on your phone then wait until you're at home in front of your computer and can write a proper reply. An email with a short 5 word sentence and no greeting or polite ending can easily come across as terse, and even ill-tempered, when that might not have been the intent at all!"

Hopefully, these tips will come in handy the next time you have to write a professional email. If you’re looking for more resources, check out this article from ProBlogger.net or this one from LaurenConrad.com. If you have any great tips of your own, we’d love to hear them! Please share them in the comments below.

Shareba Abdul is a food blogger and freelance writer. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Applied Arts in Media Studies, a Diploma in Journalism, and has a passion for writing, photography, and blogging. You can check out her yummy discoveries at InSearchOfYummyness.com or connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+.

 










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Categorized:: Resources, Marketing & PR, Blogging 101

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4 Comments

Monica
Reply

I do try to follow these rules when communicating by email. I think it is important to be professional in all aspects of blogging. Thank you so much for sharing, I appreciate the reminder!

Marlene Cornelis
Reply

I read this article with interest and found the tips worthwhile. I do have a concern with tip #4 on tone, though. In my opinion, sarcasm has no place in professional correspondence. I agree with Tori Floyd that we need to be careful about humour as well. The reader sees only the words on the screen, and they supply the tone, which may be different from what the writer intended.

Shareba Abdul
Reply

Hi Marlene, thanks for your feedback! Yes, I agree that you should avoid being sarcastic in your professional emails. Ms. Floyd was trying to convey that sarcasm and humour does not translate well in email. While her quote may make it seem that she uses some sarcasm in her emails, I can assure you that is not the case. However, I can see how her quote could be misconstrued. I hope that clears things up!

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