This is a little bit of a boring topic, but a very important one in the business world. Have you ever thought about how you communicate with your clients? Yes you send them emails and you write posts on your social media, but what kind of message are you sending?
Let’s start with plain and simple. Do you write your business emails in the font Comic Sans? Please don’t, and let’s start over. No matter what the business, you should avoid unprofessional fonts at all costs. Using such fonts makes it seem like you are not serious about your business and that you would rather be sitting on the beach sipping a mai-tai. You want something that is easy to read and professional, but more exciting than Times New Roman.
Once you pick the font for the body of your email, make sure you have a great signature to go with it. If your signature is so long that you get bored reading it, let’s fix that! An email signature needs to include your name, phone number, and email and a very minimum. Generally it should also include your title(s). I personally do not think you need the physical address of your business in your signature-odds are they will be e-mailing you back, not snail-mailing. Some nice personal touches are links to your company’s Facebook and Twitter. (It is an easy and free way to get your social media numbers up!) Check out this blog for a tip on inserting these into your signature in a classy way!
Now comes the tricky part. You want to sound professional but not stuffy. You want to sound serious but not angry. This is something you need to balance out as a small business owner and adjust based on your industry. Something I like to do is write the email as if I am speaking it. Then I go back and fix all the imperfections; clean up conjunctions, fix spelling errors, delete extra words, and replace words like “the super awesome cool thing” with “the ultimate part of your experience”. A good test is to pretend you are reading it to your grandmother-she will not understand slang and does not want to hear swear words.
Emoticons have a place in life: text messages. That is all.
And for the love of all things on this earth please use spell check and proof read. Know that spell check does not find everything. Spell check will not check the subject line of an email. It will also not catch if you use the wrong “two”, “to”, and “too”, among others. It will not know how to spell many names. It does not catch all punctuation errors. If you have a history of making these kinds of mistakes, first type up your emails in Microsoft Word and then copy and paste into your email. Word will catch more grammatical errors!
As with all of my blogs, you need to find what works for you and your business. Please share what kind of email language and format works for your business!
Until next time!
“Authenticity, honesty, and personal voice underlie much of what’s successful on the web”