His Horn Went ‘Beep, Beep, Beep!’

June 12, 2011

I had an interesting conversation with my very inquisitive 10-year-old old son the other day, and it went something like this:

“Dad, why do you beep your horn at people so much?”

“Well, son, good question. There are many different levels of beeping, and they consist of …

  1. “A quick double hit – ‘beep, beep’ – used to say hello to a person you know;
  2. “A medium triple hit – ‘beep, beep, beep’ – used for safety to warn other drivers, and
  3. “A long ‘beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep’ – used to let a driver know you’re upset because they didn’t use their turn signal or that they pulled out right out in front of you.”

Okay, so how does this relate to business or marketing? Well, I believe there’s a direct correlation between your beeping style and “email etiquette” style.

Proper email etiquette is so important these days because email has become our primary source of communication in business. So how do YOU respond to emails? What “beeping” style do you use? I use to be a “knee-jerker,” and respond quickly to emails that I should’ve thought more about before clicking the send button.

Fortunately, a very close friend and colleague made me privy to his email etiquette strategy. I coined him “The Email Draft-Box KING.” He could potentially have hundreds of emails in his draft box at any given time because he takes time to review each email very carefully prior to sending. I’ve adopted this technique, and it’s proved to be a life-saver.

Keep in mind that each email you send is an extension of your brand. What’s the tone you use? Are your emails professional? Is your grammar correct? Would you send this to your mother? Each touch point of communication could be critical in getting that next project or keeping your current clients happy.

My advice: Before you “beeeeeeeeeeep” and send off that next furious email, save it to your draft box, review it the next day and see if you feel the same way. It’s possible you might not. I know I’ve changed my “beeping” style a few times after revisiting my thoughts. Remember, you can’t take back an email once it’s sent. Beep the wrong way at someone and you may end up regretting what you did to make them beep back.

Interested in learning about other important rules of email etiquette? Then check out http://email.about.com/od/emailnetiquette/tp/core_netiquette.htm