Email is the preferred method of communication for most people these days, not just for personal conversations, but often for business as well. As such, it’s incredibly important that you not only know proper email etiquette, but also understand how to use the tools available from your email provider that can help you be a more polite, professional message sender. Read on as we share 25 smart tips for making sure you send out polished, professional emails every time.
1. UNDO SENDING
Even if you’ve proofread your email, chances are that once you’ve hit send, you might realize you left out some important information or made an ugly typo. Don’t worry, you can still take it back! Just use Gmail’s Undo Send feature, and you can stop the delivery of a message you’ve just sent out.
2. ATTACHMENT ALERTER
Forgetting an attachment happens to the best of us, but this goof just makes you look unprofessional when you send the, “oops, here’s the attachment!” email. Use Gmail’s Attach Alerter, and if the tool finds the word “attach” in your message text, it will pop up and alert you before letting you send off the email.
3. DON’T HAVE A SILLY EMAIL ADDRESS
Surely you’ve heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating. Emails from firstname.lastname@example.org look completely unprofessional. Use your own name, and leave out the numbers and special characters.
4. DEFAULT TO A PROFESSIONAL TEXT STYLE
Gmail allows you to change your default text styling if you’d like. Using this feature, you can reformat your Gmail’s default text to use a good-looking, professional font.
5. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RICH TEXT
While you’re working on improving the look of your text, don’t forget to take advantage of Gmail’s Rich Text Editor. You can create numbered or bulleted lists, underline, indent, quote, and more.
6. SET A GMAIL THEME
Regular Gmail is somewhat plain and professional, but upgrading to Desk, Basic White, or even Shiny can kick things up a notch. You can even create a custom background
with your company name and logo if you’d like. Using these themes can make you look more professional if anyone happens to walk by your desk and see you working in Gmail.
7. KEEP UP WITH “WAITING FOR” EMAILS
Never lose track of emails that you’re waiting on other people to respond to. Set up a Waiting label in Gmail, and you can remember to get back to them if they haven’t responded in a week or so.
If you’re going to be away from your inbox for a few days, be sure to let people know so they don’t think you’re ignoring their messages. Using Gmail’s automatic vacation response, you can send a polite reply that lets them know you’ll be back soon and will be responding to their email shortly.
9. ENABLE MAIL GOGGLES
Do you have a problem with drunk emailing? With the Mail Goggles feature, you can have Google check to see if you’re impaired before you fire off that nasty email to your boss.
10. INSERT IMAGES
Sure, you can attach images, but often, it’s much more natural and professional looking to have an image right where you’re talking about it: in the message. Use Inserting Images to add images into the text of your email.
11. SET UP INVOICE REMINDERS WITH FRESHBOOKS
Let deadbeats know they won’t be getting away with walking away from the invoices they owe. Using the FreshBooks app for Gmail, you can send automatic late payment reminders, and offer professional looking branded invoices right in your email.
12. USE IMAP AND POP ACCESS
Access Gmail on your phone, through Outlook, and more by taking advantage of IMAP and POP access through Gmail.
13. SET UP YOUR “FROM” NAME
Take some time to think about how your email looks to recipients in their inbox before they even open it. If your name is N/A or just your email address, it’s not friendly or professional. Take a moment to make sure you’ve set up your Gmail to show your real name when you send a message.
14. SEND IT LATER
Some people do their best work late at night, but sending out emails at 2 a.m. just doesn’t look that professional. Instead, you can use Boomerang, a third-party add on, that allows you to schedule your emails, sending them out at 8 a.m. or other regular business hours, making you look like you made it to the office early.
15. SET UP MAIL MERGE
Think that Mail Merge is just for Outlook? You can use it in Gmail, too. Take advantage of this tool for professional, personalized mass emails, right from your Gmail inbox.
16. BRAND YOUR GMAIL
Using Google Apps, you can add Gmail and other Google Services to your own domain. So instead of email@example.com, you can send emails from firstname.lastname@example.org and still get to use all of Gmail’s awesome features. You can also do this for free with mail forwarding
through your domain.
17. SHARE SKYPE CONVERSATIONS
Have a colleague who couldn’t make it in on the call? The G-Recorder app automatically records Skype calls, which can be replayed, searched, and forwarded to anyone who needs them.
18. CREATE A GMAIL SIGNATURE
Gmail supports fancy email signatures, including images. So be sure to set up your name, title, and company, and consider adding a logo as well.
19. SET UP CANNED RESPONSES
This one makes you look professional, and helps you save time, too. If you send out a lot of emails that basically say the same thing, save them as a Canned Response. You can stay consistent in your message, and improve your response time.
20. SHARE FILES
No, we’re not talking about attachments, we’re talking about larger files, as well as files with tasks attached to them. Using apps like Box, you can share all types of content, while at the same time assigning tasks, getting feedback, approval, and more.
21. KNOW ALL ABOUT YOUR GMAIL CONTACTS
Using the third-party app Rapportive, you can get the lowdown on the people you’re emailing, right inside of Gmail. This tool offers contact profiles including their location, company, latest tweets, LinkedIn, and more.
22. BACK IT UP
Even if you don’t use Gmail as your usual email client, it’s a powerful tool for saving important emails you just can’t lose. Set your business email account to always forward sent and received mail to a Gmail account, and you can use this account as a backup in case something goes wrong and you need to retrieve an old, lost email.
23. GET ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES
Accept electronic signatures in Gmail using the DocuSign app. This makes it easy to get signature documents taken care of fast and professionally.
24. BACK IT UP AGAIN
Gmail automatically backs up your emails on redundant data servers, but you can never be too sure. Save your important emails to your hard drive, and you can rest assured that your data is safe and sound for you to access when you need it.
25. STAY ON TOP OF YOUR INBOX
Using Gmail Notifier, you can watch out for important emails as they come in. This makes it easy for you to stay on top of your communications and improve your response time for people who really want to hear from you.