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Taking care with email communication – it can win or lose your business

Being in the Communications industry, we constantly share best practice in the form of communication as a whole and thought it important to touch on a recent experience shared with a certain company (let’s keep them anonymous shall we!). This is not a moaning session, but rather a reflective learning one and we are hoping that our experience, in turn will help someone.

As an SME we often take the opportunity to share knowledge with other SME’s, swopping skills and attending events that could help us grow not only our skills but also our network of support. As an all women organisation we strongly believe that. ‘the sisterhood of women in Business’ is an important one. We had stumbled across an event that was aimed at teaching certain skills and with the intention of attending to upskill our knowledge we sent through an email query. The mail enquiry was a simple one, asking how long the event will be i.e. “what is the duration of the event?”

The mail was short and to the point and went something like this:

Subject line: How long will the session be on xx January?

Mail Copy: Good Day, I am interested in attending the workshop on xx January. Kindly confirm the duration of the workshop.

Many thanks…

So, here’s the problem, the response was a page of information that ceased to include the answer to our question (also, it came two days later). The email shared information that ran along the lines of ‘the event is now fully booked, however, we do know that a few attendees do not arrive, so please come along anyway.’ Now this doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? Well – it is and here’s why; The mail a) did not answer the question (did the recipient bother to read it), b) left us with a feeling of confusion and c) the clearly ‘mass mail’ response took the personal connection of human communication out of the experience.

Here is the learning:
Your email communication is important, it can either make or break a client’s experience with your brand. It is imperative that messaging is fashioned in the most concise way and a way that the receiver on the other end, does not need to hunt for information requested.

Some Tips to Remember:

1. Read the questions and answer them – it might be something very simple. (Avoid repetition)
2. The subject line is extremely important – that is the introduction/headline of what your email is about.
3. Always be willing to respond if you have shared something that someone might be interested in.
4. Respond to the email with sincerity, be honest but also respond with the emotional intelligence to respect that of the person on the other end. (Passive aggression can easily be assumed through tone)
5. Spell check and format.

So, how did the story end?

We did not go to the event and possibly will never try to attend an event by that specific company again. See the problem?