Cut Out These Phrases, Improve Your Emails Overnight
Even if you think you’re a natural wordsmith, it’s imperative you understand how to effectively use key phrases, and which phrases to avoid, to take on the tone you want to put across. A badly drafted email could see you confusing or potentially angering your recipients, so it’s important to choose less ambiguous phrases, cut the clichés and be concise!
So, let’s maximise the results of your email marketing strategy by trimming out the fat. Your audience doesn’t have all the time in the world to decipher cryptic email contents, and that applies especially to pointless phrases that undermine your message. So whether you’re looking to demand attention or create excitement, by cutting out these ineffective phrases you’re already well on your way to writing better and more effective emails.
- Sorry to bother you. Why are you sorry? You’re not! You intentionally hit send on the email. Usually, politeness is a great attribute, but it doesn’t have the same effect over an email. In 4 simple words you’ve ruined your credibility.
- The problem is… Don’t fill your recipients with dread. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, so instead offer an effective solution to whatever the problem might be. If something has gone wrong, the most important detail your recipient is going to care about is how you’re going to fix it, and what you can do for them.
- As I previously mentioned… When the average person receives over a dozen emails a day, how likely is it that your recipient is going to remember exactly what you said in your last message? The phrase also comes across as passive aggressive, whether that’s your intent or not; as if you feel that you have to repeat yourself to somebody who isn’t listening.
- Please do not hesitate to contact me. Aside from this phrase being one of the biggest cliché’s out there, it’s simply stating the obvious. Your recipients don’t need a further prompt to contact you if they really have something to ask you.
- I think…Your recipient will assume you have the capability for intellectual thought—you don’t need to tell them. ‘I think’ completely undermines your credibility. Before you draft your email identify a clear goal you’re looking to achieve from what you’re writing, and have conviction in that.
- Sincerely Yours– If you’re sending an email, this is probably the worst closing to choose which will leave you sounding insincere if anything. Instead opt for a simple ‘thank you’ or a more personalised send-off.
- Can I pick your brain? Instead of asking what your recipient can do for you, tell them what you can do for them! Always maintain the impression that there’s something to be gained from having opened your email.
- Please be advised. It might sound professional, but really, it’s unnecessary. Cut the fat from your emails and say what needs to be said.
- To be honest…These 3 simple words may seem effective when it comes to softening a blow that you didn’t want to deliver in your email, but alarm bells will be ringing for your recipients as they begin to doubt the trust that they’ve put into you.
- I hope you are well…This is a typical example of a filler phrase, if you’re genuinely interested in the wellbeing of your recipient, you’d go right ahead and ask them. Normally it’s only used when you’re about to deliver a bout of bad news or when you’re trying to establish a relationship with a hesitant recipient.
- To whom it may concern…The scenarios where this phrase is appropriate are few and far between. You should know who the email was intended for, and if you don’t know their full name and title, then enter their position. Technology and communications have advanced to grant you the ability to auto address recipients if you’re sending the same email to multiple parties. There’s really no excuse not to personally address your recipient.
- Important Email. Stating ‘Important Email’ or ‘Urgent’ in the subject field is a highly ambiguous way to grab your recipient’s attention. Telling your recipient that the content of your email is important in the subject line may seem like a good idea to express urgency, however always remember that your tone is as important as the information contained in your email.
To conclude, there are no benefits when it comes to ‘fluffing’ your emails. The average person spends between 15-20 seconds reading them, so get straight to the point, and avoid clichés like these.
The key attributes that people are actually looking for in your emails are empathy, trust, confidence, passion, transparency, and honesty. Flooding your emails with empty words and phrases simply wastes your time and everyone else’s, as well as ruining your credibility.
Adopt methods that will allow you to quickly reach the bottom line, show your investment in the topic and provide concrete information; critically minded decision makers will never just take your word for something. Clichés like these undermine your ability to do that. Once you’ve drafted your email, after an imperative grammar and spell check, review each element of your email and cut out the fat to make the email as clear and concise as possible. Then it might be time to take a look at your email template.
By applying these simple methods, you’ll soon see that the results speak for themselves!