Last week, we explored the importance of business email. All too often, email is dismissed as an easy, throwaway piece of comms – but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Business is done increasingly online, saturated inboxes are a growing issue, and email marketing is highly likely to crop up in any comms job. Add to this the importance of email in crafting your professional communication skills and reputation, and it’s clear: email is crucial.
From importance to inbox
So, email matters. But how can you craft emails that impress, compel, convert, and stand out from the crowd?
First things first: consider your purpose
As with every piece of comms, purpose comes first. Consider what you’re trying to achieve from any given email. Are you building a relationship, prompting an action, following up on a meeting, or aiming to inform or engage? Each purpose will suit a different approach. While there are a few general rules that you should adhere to in all types of comms, there is no one-size-fits-all way to write an email. We send so many that they can begin to merge together and become mundane – but take a step back and approach each email from scratch. Why are you sending it?
While it’s advisable to be a little more polite at work than you might be when out for dinner with your friends, email comms generally benefit from personality, and a good rule of thumb is to write like you talk. Trying to be too passive, detached or to sound too ‘professional’ can be the kiss of death for an email. For example, which would you rather receive?
Don’t gloss over the subject line
An email subject line is equivalent to the headline in editorial writing – it’s your first (and perhaps only) opportunity to grab your audience’s attention. For email, this is hugely important; if a potential reader opts not to click on your email and open the long-form content, then all of the work you put into the body copy is wasted. A good subject line hits the spot between intriguing and informative, and entices your recipient to read on to enjoy more content of value.
Don’t skip the proofread
Most people have experienced the frustration of clicking ‘Send’ and realising they forgot to add the attachment promised in the email. While most people will happily allow for human error to an extent, if you make mistakes too often, you’ll start to gain a reputation as being somewhat sloppy with poor attention to detail. Things can get even worse if you accidentally copy or send an email – perhaps one with sensitive or confidential information – to the wrong person. It should go without saying, but ensure you check the recipient’s email address and name is correct, that there are no typos, that the information is appropriate, and that you’ve included all the relevant attachments. In other words, treat your email like the valuable and impactful piece of comms it is.
If you’re looking to improve your copywriting, we have several courses and masterclasses coming up that may interest you. Simply get in touch now for more information, or to discuss how we can work together to reach your goals.