With the demands of business, it can be all too tempting to hit “send” before proofreading an email. We’re human; we make mistakes. It’s inevitable. Though it’s important to note, according to research company eMarketer, “In 2014, email marketing was cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the United States.” With that in mind, it’s important to put your best foot forward when constructing emails — even for simple daily emails. Let’s revisit the basics to help strengthen email messages. This, in turn, will help you become more effective when communicating with contacts.
1. Triple-Check Spelling
Nothing is worse than getting a recipient’s name wrong. It’s embarrassing and, unfortunately, can’t be erased. Rushing or not double-checking your message can often result in misspellings. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten emails addressing me as “Liza” instead of “Lisa.” This could make your potential client less receptive to whatever it is you’re trying to contact him/her about — and you’re losing this person with the first word of your message!
Also, if you’re really concerned about misspelling, consider writing an email in a Word document first. This way, some errors are underlined and brought to your attention. While you can’t rely solely on Word to catch all errors, it’s still a very helpful tool to utilize.
2. Choose One Font
Make sure your font is cohesive. If you want a different font for an email signature, that is fine, but the body of the text should be uniform. Copying and pasting content with mismatched fonts looks careless and doesn’t make a great impression. It takes a few seconds to format the font into something that is professional and legible.
3. Short and Sweet
If possible, keep messages brief — it leaves less room for confusion. Fast Company recommends limiting emails to no more than five sentences. This isn’t to say the rule should always be followed, but if your goal is to grab a prospect’s attention, don’t overwhelm him/her with a novel-sized message in an initial email. Plus, it’s easier to proofread and make sure it is error-free.
4. Get to the Point
Do you think calls to action are for Web forms only? Think again. Even something as simple as “please advise” is a call to action in an email. Explicitly state what it is that you want the reader to do. Should he/she answer a question, send an attachment or review a document? To make it stand out even more, put this phrase toward the end of the message.
Even though these suggestions are straightforward, a well-written email is a rare gem these days. By implementing these tips, written communication gets streamlined and will hopefully help your company generate more high-quality leads.