What’s the wrong way to write an email?

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I found this question posted on a forum: “What’s the wrong way to write an email?”

The answer, according to someone with a sense of humor as warped as my own: “With paper and a pen.”

Actually, writing an email with paper and a pen isn’t a bad idea. It might result in a more authentic, thoughtful message since writing by hand accesses a different part of the brain.

Recent research concludes that taking notes by hand increases comprehension and memory, so there’s probably something to it.

Years ago, I wrote in a spiral notebook every morning for 15 or 20 minutes. I wrote non-stop, to suppress my “inner editor”. I became a better writer as a result.

Anyway, I thought I’d take a crack at a serious answer to the question, “What’s the wrong way to write an email?”

My first thought is that there isn’t a wrong way, there are 100 ways.

Too much information, lack of clarity or specificity, talking endlessly about yourself instead of writing about the person you’re writing to, not telling the reader what you want them to know or do, poor grammar and spelling, and the list goes on.

The answer would fill a book (or a course).

For now, I’ll limit my answer to two of the biggest mistakes I see with respect to email.

First up:

(1) Not writing one.

Whether we’re talking about a personal email or a newsletter, email is the easiest way to keep people informed, connect with them, and remind them that you’re (still) available to help them and the people they know.

If you’re not regularly using email to stay in touch with clients and prospects, you’re missing out on a simple and effective way to build relationships, provide value to clients and prospects, and grow your practice.

(2) Writing instead of calling.

Yes, email is quick and easy but there are times when it’s better to call.

When you have bad news to deliver, it’s usually better to speak to the client. The same goes for delivering good news.

And, email (or a printed letter) can never take the place of a conversation for building a relationship.

Call your best clients and professional contacts from time to time, to say hello, ask how they’re doing, and find out how you can help them.

Call and connect with on a personal level with the most important people in your life.

What’s the wrong way to make a phone call? Yep, not making it.

If you want to know the right way to write an email, go here

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