W riting well might not seem important especially in this age of “fast writing” but if you’re SERIOUS about moving forward with a potential client this first communication will make or break your opportunity.
An email filled with typos, grammatical errors, lack of confidence, confusion, or a long-winded ramblings can make you appear as a poor business prospect and that is not the way to showcase how truly FABULOUS you are!
To secure more professional clients take a look at these proven writing guides;
No one expects perfection, but pay attention to small details and do the best you can. Then send it off and let it go – don’t stress. It won’t serve you.
STEP 1 I Reduce your risk
Don’t write inside your email. Create your email in a text program like Word, Pages or Google Docs.
STEP 2 I Step into their shoes
“Become” the client you’re writing to. As the recipient, what would they want to hear? What would motivate them to read beyond the first sentence? How do you bring them value? If you don’t know your potential client well and how you benefit THEM you’ll have a difficult time connecting.
STEP 3 I Google good grammar
Incorrect use of words may not be enough to make a potential client run away screaming but it will make them question your professionalism. If you’re unsure how to write something, Google it.
STEP 4 I Short and Sweet
You’re taking the time to compose something special but if you write TOO much it’ll get a quick once-over if it’s read at all.
To reduce the risk of skimming, focus your email on THEM first, then talk about yourself, eliminating any unnecessary details.
Keep your emails to 3-4 paragraphs with 1-3 sentences per paragraph.
Microsoft found that since the year 2000 (or about when the mobile revolution began) the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds.
STEP 5 I Be kind
When you’re speaking in person, your body language shares what may be behind your words, passion, energy, self confidence… but those important additives are lost in mail.
Remember you’re building a business relationship so be yourself and be professional. You don’t have to be stiff but too much informality may make you come across as flippant.
Watch your use of exclamation points, emoticons, colored text, fancy fonts, and SMS shorthand – in fact, if you don’t know the person, don’t use them at all.
Also don’t write questions that sound like your recipient is being interrogated, “Why didn’t you open my last email?” or “Have you looked at my portfolio yet? We know this sounds obvious but you’d be surprised.
STEP 6 I Who is this?
Avoid sending a professional email from an unprofessional email account. Anything cutesy, sexy, vulgar, or nonsensical will set a negative tone from the get-go.
It is really most professional to send emails using your own domain. A website is not required to have email for your own domain. When choosing a non-domain specific email platform, Gmail is the most professional, with Yahoo! as the least.
Albert Lento, Anydomain.net
STEP 7 I The sign-off
Leave the reader with a good impression. Your signature depends on the email’s content and who you’re writing to. Sometimes “Thank you” is sufficient but sometimes, “Warm regards” or “Best”, is better. And if you insist on a pithy quote, make it short and relevant to your business.
STEP 8 I Persistence
Follow up when you said you would with an even shorter, more concise email or better yet, call!