Being a content creation agency that specializes in photography and video, you can imagine that we get a lot of emails, and send a lot of emails. Most of the time we are dealing with agencies or creative roles within corporation as our point of contacts, these are professional positions that operate in the M-F 9-5 usually. So when it comes to communication, email is usually the go to medium. Why? Because emails have the benefit of creating accountability and defining expectations without any loose ends, at least they should. Phone calls can often lead to “he said” “she said” scenarios, where as emails can be looked back upon and it can be clearly determined what was said. Some will argue the phone is best, and it certainly might have some pros associated like immediate answers, personality, and tradition. In my option, the email still trumps the phone, at least in a professional setting where there’s often a few cooks in the kitchen and projects have multiple channels that they travel through. That being said, here are a few tips for email etiquette from my experience that enable success for all involved.
Reply - not tomorrow, not later, but as soon as you can. And if you can’t reply because you are not enabled to do so yet, send an update with when you might be able to answer the question
Respect - if someones taken the time to send you an estimate, long note, or an invoice, have some respect and get back to them.
Contact Information - make sure you have a signature at the bottom of each email. No one wants to hunt for your contact details when they need them most
Keep it to the point - if it needs creative input or brainstorming, save that for a call or meeting. Only include the information that is required to get to the next step. Peoples time is valuable, so don't waste it
Details - Make sure you include all the details the person needs to be enabled to follow through on your request. Don't ask how much something will cost if you haven’t even told them what they need to do. Best way is to paint a picture. Not litterally, figuratively! If someone can’t imagine what you need, then you’re either not including enough details, or you need to follow up with a call.
USE IT CORRECTLY - Last but not least, use your email if you have one. Check it during your operating hours often, daily, hourly, before you leave for the day. And if you’re going to be away from it, there’s something called Auto-Reply that can notify others you’re away.