It’s quite normal for small businesses to rely on email as their primary form of communication. When you’re working with a team of 5 – or 1 – you can’t spare the time to have someone sit beside a phone all day. Email is convenient and provides an instant paper trail. We love it! Having been a part of our daily lives for well over 20 years, and thanks to our smartphones we’re almost never without it, you’d think that everyone would have email communication down to an art form. Alas! But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

When you’re composing an email, you have to think entirely of the party you’re contacting. What do they need to know? How quickly do you need a reply? How easy can I make this communication thread? Start with a clear and concise subject line. Think about how many words someone could see if they got your email on their phone; make sure the most telling part of your subject is in those first words. “JT Blog Oct 2018” or “Files For Project 1234” or “Buy milk on your way home”.

The body of your message should be tailored to the audience. If you’re asking your loved one to buy milk on their way home, you probably don’t even need to include a message outside of the subject line. However, sending correspondence to customers, vendors, directors, or colleagues require care. Begin with a respectful salutation – you want to start your communication off on a high note. We’re bombarded with email, make yours a pleasure to get tWriting Emails FBhrough. email.

Now we don’t mean you need to get all fancy and write poetry. Less is still more. Skip the “I hope you’re having a nice day” stuff and get right to the point. Make your information easy to absorb. Compose short sentences. Write your note in order of greatest importance to least. Skip the “save the best for last” stuff, this isn’t a 4-course meal. Avoid telling a story, keep that for the Christmas party. When in doubt, use bullets and write in point form.

Don’t try to be funny or cute, this just causes confusion because you can hear how you said it in your hand but your reader cannot. You have no idea what mood they’ll be in or how focused they’ll be when reading your email, so stick to business.

Sign off with your full name and contact information so that it’s clear who you are, and how they can reply to you.

The key to success is to make correspondence easy on your reader.

It’s reasonable to expect a response between 24 and 48 hours, but unreasonable to expect a response within 24 hours. If you need to know something right away, pick up the phone and call. You can’t be sure whether someone is able to read an email, and phone messages tend to stand out. On that note, don’t abuse those phone calls, they take up time and come as a surprise to the person you’re calling who may assume you have an emergency.
You might want to call your spouse about the milk though, just in case.

Jelly Triangle can help you with your digital marketing presence – online communication is our specialty. Book a free consultation to find out how we can help your stand up business stand out.

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