I get asked a lot of questions by investors, developers and other colleagues about business topics. Some of them focus on marketing and most recently branding a new business. I have said many times before in several blogs and I think even in my podcast that what I do and the key to my success is in the numbers. Really working the Forums, using social media to my advantage and communicating across all platforms what we are about have all helped me tremendously.
One very important aspect of our business as a whole is the communication that we provide to each member of our team, our clients and to other investors. On any given day, I make 80 social media posts, send out 100 emails and interact with 10-15 other business owners. At times, an investor’s first impression of me is the email that they get in their inbox. Now, I will admit that I am not the best at grammar or spelling at times, but I make up for that with content.
Sometimes a message calls for a little flash, so you open with a crazy statement or tag-line like we often do on social media posts. However, in a formal business email, when corresponding with investors and introducing anyone to members of your team, professionalism is top priority. This may seem basic — and it is — but according to studies, 80% of all human interaction is miscommunication. That means only 20% of what we send out actually gets delivered in the way we intended. This is especially true in our modern online world and in email. The intended party cannot see you and your body language or hear your vocal inflections. This makes the clarity and formality of a business email very important because you don’t want to be misconstrued.
It is for this reason I feel that communication that is consistent and consistently delivered is so important to the success of our business and our brand. It is a personal way of marketing who we are and what we are all about.
The first item we teach new members of our team is how to structure an email.
It’s a 5 part process so here goes.
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5 Steps to Structuring a Professional Email
1. Start with an appropriate greeting.
Depending on how well you know the recipient or the topic will determine the formality. This also sets the tone of the message.
Hello Mr. Smith,
I hope this message finds you well. Happy New yYar to you and your team (or family if more personal).
2. Describe the purpose of your communication.
If it’s a follow up, describe where and how you connected, i.e. event, meet up, expo, over coffee. Ensure that your purpose is clear and specific.
If you are requesting information or reviewing a previous response with additional information, reference the previous message.
The purpose of this message is to follow up on the conversation we had this past Wednesday at Joe’s over coffee. We had discussed XYZ plan of attack for gopher hunting, and I just wanted to add some insight from what I recently learned of the creature’s habits.
3. After providing the background details and the purpose of the message, cover your topic with concise language.
Provide the reader with examples or references to back up your statements. This adds clarity and lends credibility to your statements. Always write in complete sentences, and never jump topics in the same sentence.
According to Wild Ohio Magazine, a publication of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, Ground Hogs or Gophers are complete vegetarians. They like to burrow near their most favorite food source and always have an entrance and exit hole in separate locations. They need no external watering source because they get all the moisture they need form the plants they eat. That being said, if we block one hole and keep a box trap filled with berries near the other, we have a good chance of catching them for an easy removal.
4. Finally, the close or conclusion engages the reader and directs further action.
I’m positive that we will be able to move the creature humanely to complete the project and start building the new office. I’m looking forward to hearing your opinion on the matter. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.
5. The signature follows the conclusion and also provides contact information and company references.
Our signatures also include “Best Regards.”
Engelo Rumora? Founding Partner | Ohio Cashflow? 816-372-5334 | [email protected] | www.ohiocashflow.com? Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Watch us on YouTube
So this is how to structure an email. Some might say that it seems old fashioned, but this structure has opened business relationships and assisted in closing deals. Like I said, communication is important, and in many cases, this is your first impression. Make it great!
Have any great email tips — or gopher hunting stories? 🙂
Then don’t forget to comment below!