We have become a texting society, where full sentences have become a thing of the past. We communicate in acronyms, memes, or worse, an inferior form of hieroglyphics called emojis.
In business, communication matters. According to a recent study, a typical corporate email user sends and receives about 110 messages daily. Given that email is still our most common form of communication in business, we should all put in a little more effort. After all, if you’re emailing a client or customer, you don’t want them to think you’re too busy, careless or illiterate.
We have a policy that every email recipient must be addressed by name. It may or may not include a salutation, but it will definitely include a name at minimum. And all emails end with a complimentary close, never just the sender's name. Whether you’re emailing B2B or following up with a customer service issue, email communication is important. In fact, it’s more important than ever before because it’s often our only communication with customers, clients and colleagues.
Want to improve your email communication? Here are a few recommendations.
Personalization: A personalized introduction is important to making the recipient feel like you care. Even something as simple as, “I hope you had a great weekend" or “Thank you for contacting us.” It doesn’t have to be much, but a little here goes a long way.
CCs: Use these sparingly. It seems that the reason people copy so many others is to A) CYA (sorry for the use of an acronym, but it seemed apropos) or B) if you copy everyone, then no one is actually accountable. Our inboxes are flooded already, so only copy people on what is absolutely necessary and spare the rest.
BCCs: Use these even more sparingly, if at all. You know the old school-yard saying, “if you can’t say it to my face, then don’t say it at all.” I think we can all still agree.
Headers: As you change subjects, projects, etc., throughout an email, create headers to make it easy for the reader to scan and garner the information they need quickly. There is nothing worse than opening an email the length of a philosopher’s scroll or Santa’s naughty list. Break up the information in bite-sized, organized chunks that make it easy for the reader to consume.
Bullet points: Use them. Bullet points help break up information and make it easy to scan through the email and take in what’s important. That is the goal of communication, so let’s communicate accordingly. It’s also easier on the eyes, especially when viewing from a mobile device.
Don’t be boring: You don’t need an emoji to add emotion to an email. Have a little fun in your emails and insert your personality via your words. Thesaurus.com is a great place to help expand your repertoire. However, if you’re going for humor, use caution as emails can be easily misconstrued.
We tell our team to think of emails like writing an old fashioned letter, but updated for the digital age with headers and breaks that make it easier to read and digest. Show your clients and customers that you care by taking the time to communicate with them without making them frustrated.