If you’re using email to prospect (and who isn’t these days?) or just to connect, consider if you’re (inadvertently) forcing them to reject your offer. Okay. Forcing may be too strong a word, but the way you communicate with them, specifically, the way you write, will either be a turn off or not. Here are 4 must-apply ideas to improve your email:
1. Plan your message. Think of it as a grocery checklist. I use an iPhone app called ShopShop to do my list. When you write, use this one:
- What do I want to accomplish with this email?
- Why am I really writing (to get them excited, give them info, motivate them to click on your website)?
- What do I want the next step to be and why they should take/accept it?
2. Write your message. Think of this as putting all the groceries (from your checklist) into your cart. Just get your message out of you, keeping in mind the goals you have.
3. Check. Reread your checklist. Did you get everything on it? Make the corrections now so that you don’t have to get home and drive back to the store (or apologize for email, send a follow-up, or lose the sale). Make sure everything is correct, before sending.
4. Apply rules of email etiquette.
•Basics: No shouting, proper punctuation to make your ideas easy to follow, correct spelling so the incorrectly spelled word doesn’t become a distraction for the reader, all questions answered so they don’t have to write you again, no BCC (you can use BCC unless the intention is to be sneaky), no needless CC or RTA, all terms defined (RTA: Reply to all)
•Advanced stuff like: Am I writing to prove them wrong? (DELETE and yes, I shouted that!), Am I being disrespectful of their time by including everything I want them to know when I don’t even know what they need to know?, Am I being too pushy appearing like I care more about the deal than about them?, Have I said stuff just once?, Have I made links easy to use and given them information they can easily access, or have I hidden my phone number (etc) in my sig line?, Have I used a 12 mile long sig line which includes my personal philosophy of life, the environment and accolades from 1999?
You want to attract more customers? Honor them. Love them. And write good email.
What am I missing? Your thoughts?