Following best practices in email communication can help you appear professional and personable to your tax clients. These eight email etiquette guidelines for tax preparers will help ensure that your emails are professional, polished, and well-received.
Use a professional email address
Before you ever send a client email, make sure that you have a professional email address, preferably with a custom domain for your business.
Ideally, your email address will be some variant of your first and last name or initials along with the domain for your website. For example: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t have a custom domain name, a Gmail account is another professional option: email@example.com.
Remember the subject line
Emails without subject lines are more likely to get deleted or sent to the spam folder, so be sure to include a clear, concise subject line with each email. Here are some examples:
- Confirming Receipt of Documents – Thanks!
- Fall Newsletter
- Tax Deadline Approaching
Aim for a friendly but professional tone
Effective email communication strikes a balance between cordial and professional. Overly short, clipped sentences can come across as cold and demanding, i.e. “Send documents asap. Thanks.” On the other hand, overly casual language can seem unprofessional.
Here are some guidelines to help you find the perfect balance:
- Start and/or end emails with well wishes, i.e “I hope you and your family have enjoyed the holiday season.”
- Limit yourself to one to two exclamation points depending on the length of the email.
- Use phrasing that requests instead of demands and include “please” and “thank you” wherever relevant.
Include salutations and closings
Speaking of tone, salutations and closings can make or break the tone of your emails. Starting with “Hi,” “Hello,” or “Dear” and ending with “Best wishes,” “Sincerely,” “Warm regards,” or “Take care” establishes a warm, respectful tone.
Include a Professional Signature
Your signature should include your name, your job title or credentials, your business name, and your website (if relevant). For example:
IRS Enrolled Agent
Smith Tax Services
Reply to client emails promptly
Try to reply to all client emails as soon as possible and always within a business day. Even if you need more time to answer their question, let them know that you’ve received their email and will get back to them soon.
Protect clients’ personal information
As a tax preparer, you’re privy to some of your clients’ most personal information. To protect it, be cautious about what you include in the body of your emails and consider learning how to add password protection to sensitive attachments. Alternatively, consider using the secure, encrypted TaxesToGo Mobile app for sharing documents and discussing personal information.
Send emails at the right time to the right people
Whether you’re sending marketing emails to attract prospective clients or thank you notes to increase client retention, make sure that the right people are getting the right emails. TaxSlayerPro’s client retention database automatically creates separate email lists for clients who have already filed and clients who haven’t, allowing you to easily send reminders or thank you notes to the right clients.