Your name is what identifies you; it’s who you are. So making a good impression (or not) can depend on something as minor as how you choose to type your name in your emails.
Always appropriately capitalize your name, from configuring your email program to filling out Web inquiry forms or making online purchases. Doing so reflects you are an educated adult.
John Doe – not john doe. Not JOHN DOE. John Doe.
When it comes to your name, two perceptions kick in if you don’t take the time to hit the shift key. Lazy or uneducated. Which is it? Both?
More times than not, it is former and not the latter. And, being perceived as lazy is not good personally or professionally. Educated people act like educated people. At all times. It’s easy and natural to do.
Why Wouldn’t An Educated Adult Capitalize Their Name?
When it comes to emailing new contacts, friends, or even websites, folks don’t know how smart you are or what a great person you’ll be to communicate with. To form their first impression, they only have how you choose to correspond with the written word.
Those who do not formally type their names when emailing me Email Etiquette questions will most certainly get the recommendation to do so. If they do not know the basic premise of capitalizing their name, I know that suggesting they review my site will expose them to other issues that will be good for them to know.
Is There A Good Reason to Not Capitalize Your Name?
What is the main excuse I am given for not capitalizing their name? “It’s just habit.” A habit of looking lazy? A habit of appearing uneducated? Time to break that habit.
I’ve also had some very smart and good at what they do say; that’s the way they’ve always done it. They’ve never capitalized their name. Time to communicate like an adult!
Here’s An Example
A client I worked with always signed her emails with her first name in all small cases. I do see that on occasion as if that’s a way to be unique or edgy.
She seems to be a smart cookie and knows her stuff (although she doesn’t capitalize her sentences either). So I asked her why she didn’t capitalize her name.
She answered that she felt it was part of her branding and matched her site where certain elements were not capitalized. I get that — I’ve seen that type of “design” before. She followed up, stating this approach helped her to stand out from others.
Her response would make sense if she capitalized her sentences — but she didn’t. And the small case elements on her site were things that really should be capitalized and were not contributing to any positive branding effort.
You are how you type.
So I don’t buy that. Especially when it comes to business, you must capitalize sentences — and your name. Imagine doing this on a job application or a website employment inquiry?
While email is informal with family and friends, you need to use your discretion and know when to communicate appropriately with proper case and structure. That will allow you to impact your personal and business branding positively.
You never know what emails can lead to opportunities, whether a new friendship or business relationship. And it is as easy as just hitting that shift key.