At this point in time, it is safe to assume that despite the influx of new technology, email is a no-brainer medium for business communication. It isn’t difficult to understand why – emails are quick to write and easy to send while still maintaining formal etiquette.
Yet, writing email responses does not always come naturally to everyone. Let alone grammatical errors or typos, often, people don’t know how to respond effectively, especially in the case of mass emails.
Fortunately for you, we’ve completed a list of email writing tips to help you craft effective and appropriate responses to your recipients. No matter whether you answer job search inquiries or address customers, here’s how you can make your email responses stand out.
This goes without saying – responding in a timely manner is crucial in maintaining a fruitful conversation. In most cases, the person on the other side of the email thread would expect a response within 24 hours. This doesn’t mean you should respond right after you read the email, but if you manage to do this faster than expected, it could help build a stronger rapport with your recipients.
However, when it comes to the right time to send a follow-up email, you should also be mindful of the recipient’s schedule. For instance, if you sent your previous message in the morning, but the recipient answered late in the night, you should wait until the next day to reply.
On top of that, if you’re writing to a customer from an international location, take into consideration their time zone and if they’re available in the time frame you have set. This way, you know your mail won’t come across as intrusive.
No matter what the nature of your email is, it’s important to sound professional in your responses. Using a polite and respectful tone can have a significant impact on how your email is perceived and can make a good impression on the person you are writing to.
In your response, you should also be careful with your wording. Avoid using slang or casual phrases, and use proper grammar and punctuation at all times. Always include salutations, such as Dear or Hello, at the beginning of your email, and sign off with closing remarks, such as Best regards or Kind Regards, before your email signature.
While those may not seem as much, they can create a more impactful image of your company. As such, your recipients – and hopefully future customers – will find you more reliable and trustworthy if you remain consistent throughout the course of the conversation.
When responding, it’s vital that you remind the sender of the context surrounding the email. This can be accomplished by including a short summary of what was discussed previously in the thread.
It doesn’t have to explain everything, as that could be considered patronizing. Rather, you should mention the general idea to refresh the recipient’s memory and let them know you’ve been paying attention to the messages.
A short answer to the question they asked, or a brief summary of the action you agreed on, will be enough to add context.
When speaking about email etiquette and the concerns most people have about writing effective emails, the concept of emotion often gets overlooked – and as a result, they have trouble sending something more than cold messages stripped of any feeling.
However, evoking emotion in your email response is as important as following grammar rules and using formal words. The relationship between the sender and the recipient is nothing short of in-person communication, and it should be treated as such.
The emails you write don’t need to sound like overly personal conversations, but a hint of emotion can make them seem more sincere and friendly. For example, showing that you are genuinely interested in the conversation or that you hope the recipient’s business venture is going well can make your emails more memorable.
People undermine the importance of positive feedback and the response it deserves. When someone sends you a note of appreciation, take the time to thank them for their kind words.
Your response should be adjusted to the sender of the original message. If they are casual clients, you can answer with a light tone and point them to a relevant blog post. If your recipient is a professional, you can reply with some valuable insights or advice concerning marketing or business strategy.
Either way, make sure to thank the person for their feedback and let them know that you value it. It will only help to strengthen your relationship with your customer base and make them more likely to come back in the future.
With all of the above, you cannot overlook the importance of authenticity. You should be genuine when you respond and avoid using a script or template, as it can come off as insincere.
Your response email should be tailored to the individual and reflect your own ability to address the recipient in a personal and meaningful way. The goal is to make them feel like you understand their message and that it has been taken seriously.
Your response should be unique – or at least it should sound so, even if you respond to multiple people with the same issue. This way, your recipients won’t feel like they are being dismissed with a generic answer.
Email etiquette does not allow you to push your clients toward a decision, but if you are careful enough in your response, you can talk about the urgency of your request without sounding too pushy.
If there is a deadline for responding, let them know – a gentle reminder about your concerns might be enough to get the attention you need.
When talking about getting a certain product or signing up for a service, you can remind them of the benefits they will get if they act on your offer, forward a relevant article to create the feeling of peer pressure, or propose a free trial. Encouragement and subtlety are the keys here.
The response you deliver should address the recipient and their concerns. We’ve already mentioned that referring to them by their name and including a summary of the last few messages can make your response more personalized. Now, you should also focus on their particular needs.
You should try to be as helpful as you can and provide them with the most accurate answer. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may have to forward their request to the right person or department – provide them with the contact of that individual and explain why you can’t help.
When you’re able to provide them with the help they are looking for, make sure to emphasize that you have done everything in your power to assist. As you put your customer’s needs first, you let them know that their problems are just as important to you.
Apart from the content of the message, you should also pay attention to its technical aspects that concern both the message and deliverability of your emails. This includes formatting, attachments, and other details that can influence the effectiveness of the message.
Mailchecker.net allows you to easily rate emails from your browser while giving you tips on what to improve to ensure higher email deliverability. Even though Mailchecker.net was created primarily with marketing emails in mind, it is also well suited for verifying other types of email, including transactional ones.
You probably have a few branded templates for your marketing emails, and you should not forget to use one in your customer response emails, too. However, instead of sending a fully-fledged transactional email (like you would after a completed purchase), you should rather use a more simplistic template with enough space for your message.
Typically, your response email should contain the same subject line as the previous messages, tagged with a “RE:” prefix. This not only makes it easier to recognize the thread but also helps your customer find the right email quicker. If you address multiple contacts in the same message, use a more descriptive subject, also using the “RE:” tag, for example, RE: Concerns about the order delivery.
When you respond to multiple customers with the same issue, it’s best to use BCC – this way, none of the recipients will know that you have sent a mass email. But when you talk about a certain issue with a group of people, you should use CC to let them all be aware that this email exchange is taking place and help them find relevant addresses. While it is a basic concept, some people still neglect it.
There aren’t many things worse than a reader not being able to find the information that is needed. Make sure you attach relevant files or provide links to them when necessary.
This may not always be applicable, but adding a concise CTA can help you reach the desired goal more quickly. If you need your customer to confirm something or provide additional information, let them know at the end of your email.
It is easy to overlook typos and other minor mistakes when you respond to emails quickly. This is especially true for those who are used to chat-like communication. Yet, those small errors can make your message look unprofessional and careless.
That’s why it’s always a good measure to proofread all of your emails before sending them. You can use automated tools like Grammarly to help you spot any mistakes and correct them quickly.
On top of that, when you’re rereading your email, you may come across something that you’d like to write better or add more context to. As a result, you don’t just make sure that your email is free of typos but also more informative and effective.
The way you respond to your email recipients is an integral part of your communication with them. It is essential to be mindful of how you come across, as well as the grammar and spelling of the message. You should also be aware of how you can make your email stand out by adding context, evoking emotion, and providing a clear call to action.
The most important thing is to be authentic – in doing so, you invite your recipient to have a meaningful exchange with you, and the result of it is a friendly relationship between the two parties. At the end of the day, the recipient is able to see that you’ve taken the time and effort to craft an adequate response, which will only help your business in the long run.
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