9 ways to keep your business’s email etiquette polished

The way your business communicates with goes a long way to making a good impression… or a bad one. Just like you would with any customer interaction, it’s important to put your best foot forward whenever you send an email. It doesn’t have to be complicated, there are plenty of small things to remember that can help your business come across as professional and trustworthy.

Take a look at these nine Small Business Email Etiquette Tips that can help keep your email polite and polished….

  1. Don’t use your personal email address. While you want your customer emails to feel personal, using your private email address may not be the right way to go. Set up an address that’s strictly for your business. Not only does JonDoePlumbing@gmail.com sound a lot more professional than “jmanlovescats13”, it also helps create some space between work and your personal life.
  2. Always use a subject line and friendly, professional greeting. First impressions are everything. When it comes to your customers, this is crucial. Give the recipient a brief on why you’re contacting them, and greet them in a way you would expect to be if you were in their shoes. A simple “Hi,” “Hello,” or “Good morning/afternoon” along with their full name will do the trick. Never use a person’s nickname in an email unless they tell you to do so.
  3. Make sure you reply promptly. Responding within 24 hours or less is a great place to start.
  4. Avoid spam. Don’t shoot off dozens of emails to your recipients all at once, and don’t send out emails to random addresses. This type of behavior will land you in the “Spam” folder, and once you’re there it’s tough to get out.
  5. Always check things over before hitting “Send. Whether a typo, forgetting a key point you want to communicate, or saying something in the moment that you probably didn’t really mean to say… there’s nothing worse than sending an email that you immediately regret. As a small business owner, you may think that you don’t have the time to proof-read your emails before sending them out. But trust me, you won’t regret it if you do.
  6. The boy who cried “URGENT”. Unless something is truly a high-priority, take it easy on flagging your emails. If you use this feature too much, it will have the opposite effect you’re hoping for and could end up with your messages being ignored altogether.
  7. Keep it brief. It’s important as a business owner to remember that while you may have a tight schedule, your customers probably do too. People get tons of emails every day. Just as you wouldn’t want someone to take up all your free-time with what seems like pages of information, don’t allow this to happen when emailing someone else. Keep your emails as short as possible. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than four sentences in a paragraph, and to try to keep the number of paragraphs you write to three or less.
  8. Keep it simple. As tempting as it may be to use bold fonts and colors to make your emails stand out, it’s best to stick with the basics for your messages to come across clearly.
  9. Leave a signature. A business is only as good as its people, and email is a great way to present yourself to your customers. Email is a personal communication, so end your emails with your name, signature (if you can), and title. It’s an easy way for customers to remember who you are so they know who to contact when they want to contact you in the future.

Email is one of the primary forms of customer service for small businesses. To represent your business well, proper email etiquette is a must, no matter who your audience may be. Using these tips will help make sure you’re seen as someone your customers can trust.



Gabrielle is one of Hibu's summer marketing interns. Besides writing for the blog & working with the team, she is a rising senior at Moravian College with a love for hiking, music, cooking and art.

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