Did you know that the average person receives 121 emails daily? How can your emails stand out in a sea of sameness? Follow these four rules.
Rule 1: Less Is More
Focus on the one, most important point that you want to make. And make that point in less than six lines of copy.
Rule 2: No Surprises
If you have to deliver bad news, don’t couch it by starting off with good news or some positive that has little to nothing to do with the bad news you have to deliver. An example, “Your new kitchen continues to inspire our design team and we plan to nominate it for industry awards. By the way, your new refrigerator is 12 weeks behind schedule and we really are not sure when it might be delivered. You are not alone. Appliance delays are commonplace due to supply chain shortcomings.” Instead start your email by preparing the recipient for the main point. “Sorry to convey bad news. Supply chain shortcomings will delay the installation of your new refrigerator by 12 weeks.”
Rule 3: Warm Up
An email will never replace your ability to communicate a tone of voice during a conversation. If you have to deliver bad news, a phone call may be more effective. If you do use email, empathize by starting, I'm sorry to inform you that your refrigerator has been delayed. If you are delivering good news, accentuate your message with exclamation points capital letters or bold type face.
Rule 4: Good News Is Always Good
Take a page out of Oprah Winfrey’s playbook and recognize that the last impression is the lasting impression. Always end emails with a positive message. The reason why we are letting you know that your refrigerator has been delayed is to help you temporarily pivot and can offer you a temporary replacement if you would like. The last sentence of every email you write will be the message that is most remembered. Take advantage of the opportunity.