Ping, pang, POOM! What’s that? The sound of some exotic Vegas slot machine?
No. Sadly, that’s the sound of the gah-bah-gillions (made up number that’s REALLY BIG) of emails hitting my inbox.
I spend way too much time dealing with emails. And even though I may moan over the many messages that hit my account on the daily, when I’m doing the sending they’d better be on point.
So I’m sharing my awesome-sauce secret (and not-so-secret) tools to help you write better business emails.
Ready, set, WRITE!
Why do we need to write better business emails?
Um, because we’re bombarded with them?!
Seriously, the average office worker now sends or receives 121 emails a day, according to a recent report by the Radicati Group.
Fun Fact: According to the same report, only about 76 of those are legit.
While email marketing is a vastly viable way to get your message read, sites like Gmail and tools like SaneBox are doing their best to keep spam and nonsense from making it to your reading list.
So, we need to write better business emails so we can be the authors of messages that get read.
Even better, we should be authors of emails that get results.
Let’s be legit!
If there’s one word we’re using to describe our email marketing this year, it’s actionable.
What does “actionable” mean with email marketing? It means your email entices the reader to take action with a clear, concise call-to-action asking them to:
- Subscribe or sign up
- Attend your event
- “Like” or follow you on social media
- Take a survey
- Click a link
- Click to tweet (Click to Tweet can help you with that)
- Download your content
- DO SOMETHING!
You get the idea. The key is to ask for what you want and make sure your business emails offer enough value to ask for a conversion.
Now that we’re clear on why and how we need to write to better business emails, let’s jump into the tools that can lending a helping hand.
5 tools to help you write better business emails
1. Grammarly: For checking your spelling and grammar #LikeABoss
I’ve got to start with possibly my most favorite Chrome plugin ever, Grammarly.
I have to admit something: My comma splices are SO. VERY. AWFUL.
I don’t know what my deal is, but apparently I get a little comma happy with my sentences.
That’s where Grammarly comes in. It pops up in my blog posts (it’s down there watching me as I type), my Facebook posts, and anywhere else it’s supported.
And if I want to double or triple check an important email that’s going out, I just open a “new document” in Grammarly and paste my text there.
Here’s a peek at what that looks like:
With the free version, Grammarly has an online editor, the Chrome or Safari browser extension—which corrects over 150 spelling and grammar errors—and allows you to make corrections with a single click. It’s been pivotal for me and the B Squared Media team.
And if you feel like getting super serious, they have paid versions of the tool that correct over 250 grammar and spelling errors.
Talking about being able to write better business emails with a single click.
2. Wisestamp: Easily make your emails actionable
Another tool that I’ve been using for quite some time is Wisestamp.
Wisestamp allows you to make your signature actionable by offering several different calls-to-action or connection points, like:
- Social media channels
- Blog posts
- Scheduling meetings
- And more
Wisestamp also enables you to put a face to the brand or humanize your company, by allowing you to add a photo to your signature. According to their website, that one small change offers 32 percent more replies to emails.
I use the pro version of Wisestamp, which is a measly $4 per month—a practically non-existent investment if you ask me.
Here’s a view at how my emails populate with my signature:
The highlighted No. 1 is the Wisestamp editor, which is easily accessible right inside of your email. (And No. 2 is Grammarly making an appearance.)
With my email, phone, website, three social sites, and a blog link in my signature, I have seven different calls-to-action working for me—and I don’t even have to think twice about it.
3. Just Not Sorry: Stop being TOO NICE!
I have this terrible tendency to apologize when something is totally not my fault.
Being nice versus being kind in business is essential—I even wrote a post about it.
But when you’re sending out emails at the speed of light, it’s hard to stay on top of passive phrases that undermine your messaging.
Just Not Sorry is a Gmail plugin that helps you correct that submissive messaging and stay active and in control with your emails. Not to get all #GirlPower, but this is a huge win for women who want to write better business emails.
Here’s an example of how the plugin works:
The plugin underlines those passive phrases and gives you the reason why you should opt for a different sentence structure.
Test it out. You’ll probably be surprised at your habits.
4. Spam Analyse: Don’t want to end up in the spam folder? START HERE.
While it may leave a little to be desired aesthetically speaking, Spam Analyse is a great site for checking headlines and other copy that may send your emails straight to the spam folder.
It’s extremely simple—just copy and paste the text you’re wanting to check in the box and hit submit:
5. The readability test tool: Is your email easy to read?
For the bloggers reading this, you’ll be familiar with a readability test. It’s a lot like the plugin Yoast, which gives you a score based on the Flesch Reading Ease Score.
Why is this so important? Because the average American reads at a 7th or 8th-grade level—meaning your fancy SAT words are lost on most people.
There’s also a lot to be said about using too much jargon (another nasty habit I need to break).
You can use The Readability Test Tool to check the score of your content in three ways:
- By URL
- By copy and paste
- By referrer (with a snippet of code)
Much like Spam Analyse, it’s pretty easy to navigate:
So before you hit send, make sure your reader will easily understand what you’re trying to convey.
BONUS—Toneapi: Appeal to readers with emotional marketing
While I haven’t yet tried Toneapi, it’s on my radar.
And because I’m such a big believer in emotional marketing, it’s probably something we’ll invest in soon.
Toneapi gives subscribers the ability to analyze content for emotional connections (they boast being able to decipher 24 emotions) while also helping you improve your tone.
Just take a look at the science behind the tool.
It’s definitely the “way of the future” and a surefire way to write better business emails.
Use these five tools (plus a bonus) to write better business emails.
While no email has a 100 percent chance of being delivered, opened, read AND replied to, these five tools can certainly help business owners write better business emails.
This article was written by Brooke B. Sellas from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.