All too often, emails to our customers and prospects are written in a hurry, without much thought given to making a personal connection with the reader and building a lasting relationship.
Time and again the emails I receive from companies have clearly been written without any effort being to connect with me as an individual.
This lost opportunity is most evident when I provide my email address to a company for the very first time. Maybe I sign up for a newsletter, maybe I register for some kind of service, maybe I buy a product.
Almost without exception, the automated emails I receive to confirm the action I have just taken are uniformly drab and impersonal.
When a customer first gives you his or her email address, you have a small window of opportunity. Customers are expecting a confirmation email from you. They are waiting for it. And when it arrives, almost 100% of people will open it.
In other words, this is your first and best chance to make a great impression. Do you or your company take full advantage of that opportunity?
Here are three things you can do to give some “personal power” to any email communication.
1. Declare your humanity: Write as an individual, not as a corporation
People don’t want to hear from your computer system. They want to hear from you.
So include some elements in your email that are one-to-one—from one human being to another.
That doesn’t mean that you should write in some insincere “you’re my new best buddy” tone or style. It’s just a matter of finding a way to connect in a way that is genuinely human.
Here’s an example of a single sentence used in a welcome email that I received recently after I signed up for an e-newsletter.
“I am fully aware of how full your inbox can get some days… mine does too! So with that, I wanted to say Thank you for the compliment of your subscription.”
It’s not written very elegantly. But that doesn’t matter. It’s personal. It’s human. And it says, “I’m a person just like you.”
2. Add a real name at the end of each email
Many emails are signed by “The Domainname.com Team” or something like that.
Well, if the head of that team is called John Frost, sign the emails with the name “John Frost.”
Make it from a person. There is no power in sending an email and signing it as a corporation or a team. There is no connection there. When you do that, every opportunity to take advantage of this most personal of online media is lost.
Somebody in your company is responsible for the email, so use his or her name in the sign-off.
3. Add your real address and other contact information
When I receive an email that closes with the complete mailing address of the sender, it immediately boosts my feelings of trust and confidence in that company.
When “John Frost” also adds his own email address and phone number, then the connection I feel with that company rises immeasurably.
When I get complete contact information, I know that I am being valued as an individual. And I know that the company is taking full and complete responsibility for its communications.
I have trusted them by providing my own email address. In turn, they trust me with their own, personal contact information.