Connecting with people is important and, given that email is still the language of business, sending a personable email is an important part of your relationships.
Every business day, the average person receives 92 emails and sends 32 emails. That is 32 opportunities to not only communicate with people, but also connect with people!
Even if you are a “straight to the point” kind of person, a few niceties in your emails increases their overall effectiveness.
Think about your inbox and where the important emails come from.
Who do you respond to the most?
Odds are good that those senders are the most important ones to connect with on a deeper level.
Personalize your Email
First of all, there’s a difference between personal and personable. Personable is open and friendly and inviting. Personal is concerning your private life, relationships and emotions. Sure, to appear more personable you can share personal things, but you decide what you are comfortable sharing.
- Impersonal and not personable: I’m back in the office.
- Personable and personal: Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I was off all week with no access to email.
- Personable and more personal: Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I was at our cabin and we are so remote, there’s no cell signal. Can you believe that?!?
The last two are both personable; the last one just shares more. Which way to go depends on you and the formality of your workplace, as I said in last weeks post.
And nothing is more personable than their name at the top and your name at the bottom!
Make sure your email reflects who you are
Be yourself. Have a sense of humor? Don’t be afraid to use it (appropriately of course!).
If you speak casually to most people, be casual in your email. If you are more formal in person, continue that tone in your emails! Nothing confuses people more than differences between live and virtual communication. They don’t know what to think so they don’t know how to act.
Also, give a couple of sentences at the start of the email that gives the reader some context and maybe even a little sparkle.
- No context, no sparkle: Hello, we met last week.
- Context but no sparkle: Hello, we met last week at the committee meeting.
- Context and sparkle: Hello, we met last week at the committee meeting when that lady bumped my arm and I spilled my coffee. You very kindly offered me a napkin that totally saved me! Thank you again for that!
Write the email well
So much of our communication in person is expressed through our non-verbals. Things like our gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice. All of that is missing in emails, so you must make up for it by using proper punctuation and choosing your words carefully. Otherwise it’s anyone’s guess how that is interpreted.
Proofread for grammar of course, but then proofread again, trying to read between the lines.
- What would a person think who doesn’t know everything I know?
- How might they interpret this message?
- Can I be clearer somehow?
And remember, this is an email, not a text or a tweet. I beg you not to use acronyms that are acceptable in social media in your emails! I know they’re faster, but impressions are made by the emails you send! What impression does an email like “Get the file I sent 2U?” make?
You want to be memorable because you’re personable, not memorable because they’re laughing at you!
There you have it.
To connect to people, you have to send personable emails. And to do that you need to:
- Personalize it
- Be Yourself
- Write reasonably well
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: The past, present and future walked into a bar. It was tense.