Email is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stay in touch with your customers, to let them know about upcoming deals or to schedule appointments. But no matter how friendly you are with your customers, your small business emails still need to reflect the overall personality and professionalism of your business each and every time.
The good news is that a few quick fixes can go a long way in polishing up those emails.
Use these five tips to take your business emails to the next level:
1. Start with a clear brand voice.
Just because this is an email and not a radio advertisement doesn’t mean you should ditch your brand voice. Keep your brand voice clear and consistent across all communications with your customers, including ads, social media, e-newsletters and other messages. When your brand voice is infused into everything you do, your customers begin to feel like they know you.
2. Don’t be too formal; but don’t be too informal.
Your email should reflect your relationship with the person you’re communicating with. For example, if you’re emailing a client you’ve always been on a first-name basis with in person, no need to go for the Mr./Mrs./Ms. now. Then again, starting off too informally — such as with a “Waaasssuppp” or by forgoing a greeting entirely — can feel a bit abrupt.
3. Don’t get too jargon-y.
When a business owner is super specialized, it’s easy to let the industry terms seep into your everyday vocabulary. Ever felt your eyes glaze over while your auto-mechanic talked about struts and wheel bearings and brake rotors? Sometimes technical terms are necessary because there’s really no other word for what you’re trying to describe. But they do tend to make the general public tune out.
If you have to use a little jargon, follow it up with an easy-to-understand explainer. For example, a hairstylist emailing about a particular special in her salon might say: “We’re giving our favorite clients — that’s you! — a 20 percent discount this month on all “ombre” and “balayage” services. (“Ombre” is the style where the hair is dark at the roots and gets lighter all the way to the ends; “balayage” is still dark-to-light but a bit more naturally blended.)”
4. Hit the information sweet-spot.
Our inboxes are all busting at the seams these days, so our emails need to be both helpful and succinct. Paragraphs upon paragraphs of pure text will make any reader’s zone out. On the other hand, you want to make sure you’re relaying all the relevant information so the reader doesn’t have to go in search of it themselves. Try using bullet points when you have a lot of information to pass along — they’re easy to read and skim.
5. Grammar. Spelling. Punctuation.
Yes, yes and yes. The best way to sound professional is to use complete sentences with words that are spelled correctly and arranged in an order that makes sense. We know, this sounds pretty basic — and it is. Sometimes, though, business owners are in a hurry or responding to a client’s question from their phone, and fragments start coming out instead of full sentences. Remember that every interaction with your customers reflects on your overall professionalism, so put those periods where they belong.
End each email with a Call To Action item. You want them to click to use this coupon code or write a review or RSVP for that event? Always give them a way to interact with you and your business.
Need more advice on communicating effectively with your customers? Reach out to us anytime — we can help! (See? Calling you to action!)