Etiquette doesn’t just apply to your table manners; it applies to email marketing too. These unwritten rules of the email world are worth reviewing. You don’t want to offend your customers by making an email faux pas, right? We didn’t think so.

Here are seven email etiquette rules that your small business should follow.

1. Always get permission

Just because someone handed you a business card doesn’t mean he or she wants to get emails from your business. You need permission from each and every customer you email.

2. Make it easy to unsubscribe

Your customers should be able to easily unsubscribe to your emails. The CAN-SPAM laws require this option on every email you send. Don’t worry though, if you’re sending content that has value, your unsubscribe rate will remain low.

3. Make sure the content is error-free

Nothing stains your reputation faster than an email full of misspellings and grammatical errors, says Chas Hendricksen, a marketing analyst at technology company Benchmark Systems.

Your customers have high standards, so don’t let them down. Use spell check and proofread your email more than once. Remember, spell check won’t catch every error, so read carefully to make sure you haven’t mixed up words like “compliment” and “complement.”

4. Check and double check your links

You don’t want to send an email with broken links. Not only does that defeat the purpose of your email and potentially cost you sales, it also drops your credibility as a company.

“The entire point of an email campaign is to generate business,” Hendricksen says. “People want to be able to act instantly to your message. It is your job to provide them with a quick and easy way to do that.”

5. Send short and concise emails

Short, snappy emails help time crunched readers. Even if you’re sending out your company newsletter, you can offer “teaser” information with a link to the full newsletter. Take a look at the promotional email below. The retailer gets its point across with less than 40 words.

6. Your subject line should relate to the content

Don’t be deceptive with your subject lines. If your email is about an upcoming sale, say so in your subject line. You can get creative with your subject line, but don’t try to trick your customers into opening the email. Customers don’t respond well to it, and it’s against the CAN-SPAM law.

7. Keep it classy

You want to convey a professional image. To do that, don’t write in ALL CAPS, it looks like you’re shouting at your customers. Don’t go overboard with things like symbols and exclamation marks, either. It’s just not necessary.

At its core, etiquette is all about being polite. The same rule applies when you’re emailing. Be courteous and respectful of your customers and their time. Make sure your company is putting its most polite foot forward, and you’ll see success. Want more email marketing etiquette tips? Check out our infographic.

This post contributed by guest author, Lisa Furgison. Furgison is a media maven with ten years of journalism experience and a passion for creating top-notch content.

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© 2014, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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