Communication Tips for Sending E-mails Clients Actually Read

by Greg DePersio

2 min read

Building strong relationships with your clients starts with writing e-mails that show you value their time. Following some simple e-mail etiquette guidelines in every e-mail you write helps ensure that clients actually open and read your important messages.

Be To-the-Point

Your clients receive a lot of e-mails, and it’s easy for them to overlook yours. Use a subject line that grabs their attention and gets straight to the point. You may you want to try “Our upcoming call” or “Your most recent order,” phrases that let your client know exactly why you’re e-mailing before they even click “open.” Avoid vague or clickbait subject lines that don’t offer any real information, such as “You’ll never believe this deal…” or “We were thinking…”

Call for Action

Let your clients know that you need them to act, whether that’s by responding to the e-mail, giving you a call, or placing an order on your website. Use call-to-action language to convince clients to act immediately. This is especially important for sales e-mails, when you’re advertising a sale or offering a solution.

Be Urgent

It’s very easy for your clients to make a mental note about your e-mail and then click away from it, never to return. Let clients know that you need them to make that call now, not tomorrow. The more you emphasize urgency, the greater the improvement in your response rate.

Be Personal

Clients choose small businesses because they value a personal connection. Show that you value that connection by using personal language choices, such as “yours” or “ours.” You can see how “We shipped your order today” sounds more personal than “Order #200654 shipped today.”

Be Concise

Don’t use more words than you have to. Show clients that you value their time by avoiding unnecessary information. It should take your client just seconds to assess the important information in each e-mail and move on to your action items. Each e-mail should serve only one purpose, so avoid sending clients a long note with multiple bullet points covering next week’s meeting, last week’s purchase order, and next month’s billing information. This has the added benefit of keeping each topic confined to its own e-mail thread for easy reference if your client needs refreshing about details at a later date.

Follow Up

Despite your best efforts, sometimes your e-mails still don’t garner a response on the first try. That’s the time to be persistent, but polite: follow up with customers who don’t respond to your first e-mail within a few days. Your follow-up e-mails should look much the same as your first e-mail, but with increasing urgency the longer it has been without a response or an action. If there’s a time limit on a response, add that to the subject line (e.g. “Sale ends in 12 hours” or “We’d love to hear from you by tomorrow.”) If the first e-mail pitch falls through, often the second or third is the charm.

References & Resources

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