How do you communicate with your clients, partners, suppliers and coworkers when you're scattered in different timezones and countries? Email, of course. Email is a crucial form of communication in business to keep people on the same page, if not in the same time zone, and it definitely has serious built-in advantages.
. Sometimes the time 'efficiency' factor can make for some impatient people sending follow-up emails in premature order, or at the most inopportune hours, setting you up for ridiculous expectations and very full in-boxes (people still need to sleep, right? Ever get a follow-up email at 2:30 AM asking about a report?)
It's cost effective
. One click, send to many. No postage and handling, no stack of address stickers, no roll of stamps, or a trip to the post office with a bag of bundled snail mail to stand in line.
. Write, check for sense, spelling and grammar, and then send (the middle part isn't really optional, no matter how tired you are.)
On a personal level, email is an easy way to keep in touch with people. On a business to business level, it helps keep people informed and moving as a unit. On a business-to-consumer level, it is one of the cornerstones of keeping in contact with your market.
With a mailing list, your message can be sent to thousands instantly. Unlike the mass mailing before the internet was created, you don't have to wait days or weeks for your point to get across, and then same again to get the replies.
With email auto-responders, you don't even have to be the one doing the mailing and the follow-ups, a convenience many now take for granted.
(As long as you don't spam people, that is.)
As with all kinds of communication, you only get to make a good first impression once. In face to face meetings, how do you ensure that?
- You introduce yourself.
- You conduct yourself politely and appropriately.
Via email, this takes some fancy footwork. Either someone is recommended to you, they up and introduce themselves, or they have to ask permission to send you anything. If it's your business, you definitely have to ask their permission to send them anything.