By Emma Clarke
These tips should be common sense but occasionally marketers are so keen to build a relationship with clients that they overstep the mark.
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Think before you click![/caption]
1. Save all your kisses for… someone else
Adding “xxx” to the end of an email is obviously wrong right? Well, it still happens, even in corporate emails. I suspect that it’s due to a sleepy employee going into auto drive. It’s worth bearing in mind that even among friends many non-English speaking countries don’t ever use “xxx”. Spanish speakers, for example, prefer to say “besos” (kisses) or even “un besazo” (a big smooch).
2. LOL, LMAO, YOLO, just no
Apart from screaming “unprofessional”, these acronyms can be translated in a number of different ways. When David Cameron sent those controversial texts to Rebekah Brooks, he claimed that LOL meant ‘lots of love’. LOL in the majority of cases means ‘laughing out loud’ but it can also mean ‘League of Legends’. Yes, you want your content to go viral but focusing on quality content is a better tactic than using acronyms.
3. The thing is boyo
Everyone should be proud of their heritage and their country. But when it comes to emails professionalism is key. Most offices are multicultural places with staff from all over the country, even all over the world. Including colloquialisms might alienate your audience or your slang might simply go over their heads. Starting an email with ‘the thing is right…’ doesn’t mean that your customers will reply in a minute now (English translation: soon).
4. Emma will do thanks
You may want to seem friendly, but it’s not advisable to use nicknames with people you don’t know. Personalisation is great but nicknames are a step too far. People like to read emails addressed to themselves personally, as long as their name is correctly spelled! Our Italian Project Manager, Mattia, often receives misjudged emails addressing him as “Mattio”, “Matteo” or even “Kind Lady”.
5. When Personalisation goes wrong
Talking of personalisation, it can be easy to get your research wrong. If you are going to send an email to a specific person, make sure that you get the job title right. It shows a lack of respect if you don't check to ensure that your information is up to date. An email with incorrect data is much worse than no email.
6. Don’t be the Joker of the pack
Sometimes you see jokes at the end of an email. Who doesn’t enjoy a laugh? Surely a little joke will brighten up someone’s day? Well, a sense of humour is a funny thing, so to speak. It may seem obvious, but what will make some people laugh will make others cringe. You do not want to risk offending your potential client’s culture.
7. Lies, Damn Lies and Dodgy Emails
Do not be tempted to pretend to know somebody when you don’t. We all meet a lot of people and occasionally we lose track. An email stating, “Hi! We met at a Trade Show…” might just work, but frankly it probably won’t. And if you do get found out it provides a bad impression of the company. Customers need to know that they can trust the company that they are doing business with. If you lie about why you’re emailing them why should they trust your promise of a firm deadline.
Have I forgotten something? Do you have any funny stories of unprofessional emails? Please add them in the comments below.
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