Improve Your Email Communication
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Sometimes our email messages get lost in translation. Emojis and LOL’s can only do so much to set the tone of a written email. Sometimes what we’re trying to say doesn’t exactly get received the way we expected it. But fear not! We’ve got a few Macgyver-inspired communication tips to help your emails convey your message and help you utilize email more fully.
Warm Your Way In & Out.
Personalize your email with relevant greetings or current events. For example, if someone recently became a grandparent, you might start out by asking how they are loving being a grandparent. This makes the receiver feel like you know him, and actually care about more than just the business detail you are actually emailing about. Then, ending an email with a quick, friendly comment like “Enjoy your weekend” is a great way to end on a positive note.
KISS – Keep it simple, people!
Think about the amount of emails you receive daily, and how you respond to a long-wordy email. Simple, clear messages work best to convey what you need and what you are trying to say.
In our culture today, audiences have short attention spans and therefore need it VERY clear what you are pointing out. Short paragraphs and bulleted lists are a great way to achieve this. Simple, easy-to-read fonts also help! By keeping it short, segmented and clear, the viewer can easily see the various pieces of information quickly.
Make It Easy to Respond
Your email signature is vital! Set up your email signature to include all basic ways to get hold of you whether by email, phone, fax, or physical address. Make sure you set this up to show up on replies as well. Many people refer to email signatures if they don’t have a set up CRM or contacts system in place. Make it easy for people to find you!
Consistency Sets Expectations
Consistency is huge in email communication. If you are always short and to the point, stay short and to the point. If you are wordy and friendly, and then suddenly get short, your viewer may wonder if you are mad. However, if you are always short and to the point, people will learn that you are simply being direct on emails.
Consistency is also important for timing. Commit to responding to emails within a certain amount of time and stay consistent with that. If you can’t commit to that response time at a given day, put an out-of-office responder on to set expectations for your contacts.
Consistency will also help you out personally, because when you set expectations for your contacts on when you are available, it gives you freedom to step away from email. However, when you always respond at 2:00am to emails, your contacts will learn to expect you to do this all the time. Consistency helps train your email contacts on what to expect from you with your email patterns.
Email communication is always an art and is different with every person because, well, we’re all different. Email can be great to communicate and get business done effectively. However, it can also be a hindrance to your relationships. When you notice that email is not working to get your message across, take the first step to picking up the phone or meeting with the other person directly.
We’ve seen emails work incredibly well on a personal level and an email marketing level, and while it has it’s flaws (as any marketing channel has), we know email is a powerful tool. So, pull out your simple, everyday skills and use them to MacGyver your way to great email communication!
Photo Credits: Paramount Television