Email comprises such a large portion of our communication with customers, it's important to be sure each and every email message boosts our image and sales objectives rather than detracts from them. As our fingers hit the keyboard, it is important to keep in mind that the business community spans multiple generations, diverse cultural and ethnic influences, and differing political views and religious beliefs. Our email audience also includes diverse buyer types and a myriad of personality traits and quirks. How can we navigate these treacherous waters? Here are three tips to ensure your sales prospecting emails aren't undermining your sales efforts:

  1. Don't get too cute. Just because you have access to all those adorable and relevant emojis, doesn't mean you should use them in correspondence with customers. In fact, studies have shown that the use of smiley faces and other emojis actually decreases the perception of competence. Save the emojis for close friends and personal communications.
  2. Never assume your audience shares your political or religious views or sense of humor. These topics are extremely personal and subjective, and usually elicit a high level of passion. Nearly everyone knows to steer clear of asserting their support or disdain for specific candidates or issues; but what about sharing our opinion about a recent monologue on late night TV, or awards show commentary? The material you find hilarious may be offensive to others, and sharing these kinds of insights can have a significant impact on how your customers view you.
  3. Pay attention to grammar and spelling. It seems so obvious. It is addressed continually in professional blogs and publications, and yet, sloppy errors continue to plague business emails. Misspellings and grammatical errors undermine our credibility, period (pun intended). They also undermine customers' confidence in our attention to detail and quality standards. With today's spelling and grammar tools, there is really no excuse for sending emails with errors.

As sales professionals, many aspects of our sales efforts are out of our control. Email communication is one element over which we have complete control and we should take care to leverage this sales tool to its full potential by ensuring every email sent is professional and appropriate.