Do you know how you sound in emails?
What do your email marketing efforts sound like?
Without being able to hear someone’s vocal inflection or see their face, it can be difficult to interpret how a reader receives your email campaigns.
Emoticons and exclamation points just don’t seem to do the trick when we talk about business email – and sometimes, well let’s just say that formal language can start sounding a bit hollow.
But how can you tell when your customers aren’t responding to your emails. And when they do, responses are often lacking and too brief; responses are often only one or two words. That’s understandable because people are busy, but still these brief responses don’t give you much insight into how your email marketing efforts are doing.
So how can you make sure your message gets across without being too negative?
Always Accentuate the Positive (without being salesy)
The word choices you make in your email content set the tone of your communications. So choose affirmative words and phrases, otherwise you may sound too terse or condescending.
Avoid negativity, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to offer real analysis either. There is always a way to be politically correct.
Avoid using Certain Negative Words
You do want to avoid using certain negative words such as “Cannot, error, fail, impossible, mistake, problem, refuse, little value, urgent, unsound.”
But remember that doesn’t mean you can’t ever use these words. It just means you don’t want to use them in a negative context, when giving instructions or an opinion on something.
You wouldn’t want to sound as negative as the following sentence:
“Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, it is impossible for our team to offer that service on time because, we do not offer this particular service.”
Offer Positive Readabiity
Instead you could offer a positive direction to this by saying something like.
“I’m so sorry that I can’t help you with your needs, as the requirements go beyond our capability, but I would be happy to recommend someone who can help you.”
The first sentence offers too many negatives in one sentence, and while the second sentence may say the same thing, the tone is more positive; less negative words and more positive words.
Writing effective emails is about paying attention to the words you choose. Use positive terms like “benefit, best, issue, progress, and success, valuable.”
In essence when working with email you have to see the glass as being “half full” instead of “half empty” If you do find that people are misinterpreting your email efforts, try to be more explicit. Explain how you feel and why you are sending out the email. Explain that your intentions are to offer information that can be helpful and not derogatory or harmful.