Email has become the primary method of communication in business. It is fast, efficient and essentially free. Those are the positives. It is not, however, without it’s pitfalls, and the single, greatest problem with written communication is tone. With the convenience of email comes the sacrifice of tone, which you would find in verbal communication.
Here are five tips to make sure that the message you wish to deliver in an email comes through as you intend!
We have a choice in the way that we deliver information to our clients. It is always wise to maintain a positive tone in written communication, even if you need to go out of your way to do it. For example, if you are delivering a product to a customer, you may write:
“Your product won’t be delivered until after Thursday.”
This has a negative tone. Perhaps we should write:
“Your product will be delivered to your home by Friday.”
Choice of phrasing can make all the difference in the way that a client or colleague receives news!
All communications should have a certain degree of warmth. Staunch formality & corporate speak can be very off-putting and distancing. For example:
“As per the memorandum issued 01/10/2014, the marketing meeting will be conducted at 9:00 am in the central conference room.”
“The marketing meeting we discussed is going to be in the central conference room at 9:00 am. See you all there.”
It is a subtle difference, but it matters.
Another mistake that people make is sending messages in all caps to emphasize importance. All caps messages are tantamount to yelling at someone. Example:
“THE MEETING IS IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM AT 9:00 AM. SEE YOU ALL THERE.”
Awful. There is never an acceptable scenario to use all caps.
Poor spelling/grammar, abbreviations, jargon and emoticons are all to be avoided if you wish to give a professional impression of yourself and your business. It is easy to become lax in this area, especially if there is a level of familiarity with whom you are communicating. For example:
“R U going to be at the confrense this weekend? Shoudl be rad. :)”
“AWESOME JOB at the presentation 2day u guys!!!!!!!!!”
This level of informality reflects very poorly on you. Maintain a professional appearance in all business related communication.
Positivity, friendliness, professionalism. Keep these three key principles in mind when you send your business related emails and you will eliminate any issues with tone!
Andy Bush, President
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