If you haven’t already, I can guarantee at some point in your professional career you will have to email a client. As a Paid Digital Marketing Analyst here at Workshop Digital I don’t spend all my time burying my face in spreadsheets full of data (I know that is hard to believe). Some of my time is spent communicating with my clients via email. I started to become aware of how much time I was spending drafting these emails and wanted to improve upon this skill.
I decided to turn to three lovely ladies in our office: Cate Kendig, Alice Chambers, and Kelly Marron. They each hold the position of Account Manager, meaning their main responsibility is to manage client relationships. They were gracious enough to take time out of their busy days and offer their valuable insights to me. Trust me, they know a thing or two because they’ve seen a thing or two. *shameless Farmers Insurance plug*
- Always be polite.
Just like your parents told you when you were a kid, always say “please and thank you”. Assure your client that you are here to help however possible. Also, offer up a follow up call to answer any questions if needed.
- Test context with a friend.
To eliminate as much back and forth as possible, make sure someone outside of the conversation can clearly understand what is being communicated. You don’t want to leave your audience guessing.
- Don’t let your emotions get mixed in.
Never email when you are angry, sad, or emotionally charged in any way. Take a step back, clear your head, and then come back to drafting a client email.
- Always proof read.
Don’t be afraid to read your email out loud to yourself, no matter if your coworkers start to give you weird looks. Sometimes the flow of a written sentence can completely change once you hear it out loud.
- Keep emails short and to the point.
Use subheadings, bullet points, and numbered lists to prevent your emails from turning into a large block of text that can be daunting to read.
- Use positive language.
Hate to break it to you, but no one is perfect. You will have to deliver bad news to your client at some point in your career. Rather than using negative language and ending the email on a bad note, finish your email with positive and optimistic language.
- Respond by no later than one business day.
Email comes in on Friday at 4:50pm. You know the right thing to do.
- Don’t quick fire a response if your client is unhappy.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that clients are people too. Issues in one’s personal life or pressure in one’s professional life can lead to bottled up tension and misdirected anger. Make sure that you develop a calculated response that clearly communicates to your client that you understand their frustrations and are working to develop a solution.
- Don’t be “all business”.
This is a tip I like to forget. Personally, I have found it’s easy to become lost in spitting out click through rates and conversion rate percentages without adding any sort of personal element to the email. Ask your client about their recent vacation. Congratulate them on their newborn child. Disclaimer: always be sure that your tone is reflective of the client’s.
After receiving this advice, I looked through my past emails and quickly identified areas where I could have clarified, simplified, or personalized my message. I encourage you to do the same!
Of course our Account Managers have many more email communication tips and tricks up their sleeves but we can’t share all of our secrets here at Workshop Digital now, can we?