As business professionals, it is imperative that we convey our marketing messages effectively to our audience. During these interesting times, we are almost forced to completely rely on written communication to get the message out to our target market. With a reduction in face-to-face interactions with clients, potential clients, partners, and colleagues, effective written communication is vitally important. Enhancing your communication strategies can lead to new partnerships, help maintain a loyal customer base, and increase company profits.

Effective Email Communication

Emails are opportunities to create and build relationship capital with the reader. Here are some things to consider before packaging your message:

  • Attitude
  • Appreciation
  • Value
  • Attitude

Your Brand’s Attitude

Your tone and energy is one of the very first things your reader will detect in your message. Effective business communication is about your reader, not you. If you approach your message with an attitude that is self-centered, your reader will most likely discard your email and decide not to respond to your offer.

Appreciation

‘Maslow’s Hirearchy of Needs’ expresses our basic human needs for survival. One of these expressed basic need is the need for esteem, recognition, and appreciation. When you express genuine appreciation to your reader, you are not only paying them a compliment, but satisfying a basic human need. This is by no means ‘kissing up’ to your reader. Instead, you are showing your customer that you not only understand their needs, but are equipped to meet those needs on a consumer level.

Only genuinely expressed appreciation will penetrate the guard of the reader, allowing them to really consider your message. Expressing appreciation requires courage and vulnerability. It also requires trust in the other person. Making frequent deposits into your relationship accounts and building that capital thru expressed appreciation, will benefit both parties involved and build strong, reciprocal business relationships.

Value

The readers’s perceived value expressed in your offer is the key determining factor in receiving a response to your message. Consumers choose the offer they believe will deliver the highest value and act on it. Effective business communication will clearly outline the added value and benefits you add to the customer. Below is a short list of areas to cover when expressing value:

Total customer benefit: product/service benefit, personal benefit, and overall image benefit.

Total customer cost: monetary costs, time costs, energy costs, and psychological costs.

Common Email Mistakes

As a new business owner years ago, after meeting someone at a networking event or making an introduction to a new prospect, I would send them an email that ended sort of like this, “…please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have…” or, my favorite go-to closing, “…please contact me with any additional information you may require…”. I could not understand why I was not getting the responses I desired, especially when I pitched a GREAT idea. Avoiding empty messages like these will enhance the way you do business and garner strategic relationships.

Words To Avoid

To reiterate, effective business communication is about your reader’s needs, not your own. When expressing your message, avoid these words: ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘My’, ‘Mine’. Instead, focus on the reader by replacing ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘My’, and ‘Mine’ with, ‘You’, ‘Your’, ‘You’re’, and, ‘You’ve’.

Key Words for a Great Subject Headline

Studies show that using certain words can increase the chances of them reading your email by 20%. Here is a short list of popular words you can use to create a great Subject Headline:

  • You/Your
  • Free
  • % off
  • Money
  • Ship
  • Off
  • Get
  • Save
  • Welcome
  • Gift
  • Effective Email Checklist

When creating your email to your customer, be sure to take your time and be thorough. Below, I put together a quick Email Checklist to use when preparing your business email.

Creating An Effective Email Checklist

  • New subject headline
  • Salutation
  • Motivation sentence
  • Subheads
  • Paragraph structure
  • White space: increases readability by 20%
  • Closing
  • Sign your first name only
  • Include company signature
  • Closing Remarks

As we continue to grow in our prospective businesses and industries, remember to keep the needs of your ideal customer at the forefront of your mind when creating written communications.

Written By Michelle O’Kennard, Brand Manager, WDB Marketing Group

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