In the digital age, communication has become faster and more accessible than ever – and often takes forms we don’t always perceive. We send emoji and build stories of our lives out of pictures. We miss whatever Vine was trying to communicate to us. In all these varied forms of communication, we find ourselves more connected than ever. However, the language that we are speaking is fragmented. It can show multiple angles without painting a full picture. In this video, we sat down with our VP of sales Shannon Kita to discuss the critical importance of a well-written email in the age of texting and its valued role in outsourced sales and marketing.
Why Email Is Better
Selecting the right form of communication in an office environment is tough. It’s often a matter of considering the message that you are trying to convey. For simple requests or casual communication, formats like Slack or Gchat are often your best way to go – they’re quick and to the point. However, it is important to be thoughtful about the content that you are sending. Consider whether it is something better suited for a different format. Chat formats work in the form of short-term memory. Anyone who has scrolled through three years of Facebook messages to find a funny picture from a friend will understand that chat logs are a massively inefficient way of archiving communication. If you need to remind your team about a tight deadline, sending a GIF is 99.9% likely going to be the wrong way to do it.
This is where email shines through. While email may seem an archaic form of online messaging, it is designed for long-term functionality. Consequently, email becomes only more efficient based on how you choose to organize your messages. Email is better because it allows you to formulate a thorough response, list the parties and priorities that need to be accomplished, and create a reference for the future. Features such as the time stamp not only allow concrete proof of when a message was sent to verify what was and was not communicated, but can be a valuable organizational tool. Along with the subject matter and sender, time stamps can help sort emails into smart folders for reference at a later point.
Make Your Message Stand Out
Though emailing has many benefits, the essential element is knowing how to communicate effectively. Work through your prose and get to the point you’re looking for. People often think that the best way to write an email is to dump in as much information as possible. This is a classic mistake – block paragraphs are notoriously challenging to read through. The recipient often loses interest before they get to the end of what you are saying.
When you are composing an email, think of it as long-form tweeting. You have a limited amount of space to get your point across. Make each word punch, and don’t add filler. Write emails with your reader in mind. Identify your target audience, and keep the content of your emails succinct and limited.
We don’t often think about the shape that our emails form, but they are important as well. White space around text allows us to center on the information that we need to focus on, rather than struggling to parse what we are reading. There is a reason that we call it a “wall of text” – in an attempt to be informative, we can limit ourselves by adding too much. Instead of dense block, break up an email into smaller, more digestible chunks, or even a list. Starting a new paragraph after each sentence is not always a bad thing.
Write What You Want to Read
In an outsourced sales environment, we might think of the recipient of a sales email – what would they want to read? Getting a person to open an email is just half of the battle. If that stage is reached, you only have a matter of seconds to get your point across. Grab their attention with information that they need to learn, offer them a prompt to respond, and leave it at that. There is a fine art to balancing all the information that you need in an email while doing it in as little space as possible. Always keep the customer in mind first. From there, consider what you need that customer to know as quickly as possible.
If you’re not sure how to address things like tone, pacing, and content in your emails, read it out loud. You might feel silly doing so, but give it a try. Speaking what you have written will give you a greater understanding of where you might be faltering in your communication.
Connect with the Reader
At Acquirent, critical thinking and composition are essential to our trade. Getting past the gatekeeper is often about thinking your way around them. That process requires the same skill set used when crafting the proper subject to an email to make sure it gets clicked on.
Modern forms of communication are an excellent way to get a hold of the people that you need to communicate with. However, we often use it as a crutch for meaningful ways of exchanging information. Tweeting all day about sales outsourcing isn’t going to help me build an outsourced sales team, much in the way that asking people on the street whether they want to be my friend won’t make me popular. Connecting the right information with the right people is the name of the game. Doing so in an efficient and meaningful manner will allow your emails to shine.