Do you speak differently than you write?
Many of us struggle with this very problem. In person or over the phone, we sound like ourselves, whether that’s friendly, empathetic, or relatable. But then, when it’s time to compose an email, our voice automatically shifts into soulless, joyless, almost robotic “corporate” speak.
Why is that a problem?
No one connects with soulless content—even in email form.
Your emails should reflect your business’ personality. It’s your unique personality that your audience connects to. If that personality is missing from the equation, your words will seem stiff and your message will be transactional (at best).
But, to be effective, your emails should be relational.
The majority of your marketing emails will focus on building a relationship with your audience and gaining their trust. You can’t do that if you sound like a robot.
In this post, we’ll break down exactly how to compose emails that will connect with your audience and strengthen your relationship.
Define Your Brand Personality
How do you get an email to sound like you?
The first step is to define “you.” Who are “you” as a business? What is your brand personality?
The concept of “brand” is pretty abstract. In a nutshell, your brand is the impression that your customers and prospects have of your business. It’s a combination of what you’ve given them and what you’ve promised to give them.
You can shape your audience’s opinion of you by identifying and then strategically amplifying your business’ personality.
The good news is that every business already has its own personality. The challenge is figuring out what your business personality is. It’s not always obvious.
So, how do you define your business personality?
The easiest way to define your business personality is by answering four questions:
- Why – Why do you exist? Do you want to help, inspire, empower, etc.? Define your mission.
- Who – Who do you help? Do you have multiple customer types? Define your audience(s).
- How – How do you help? Define your value and processes.
- What – What makes you different? What impression do you want to give your audience? Identify your uniqueness. Choose three adjectives that you’d like associated with your brand.
By answering these basics, you’ll see your business personality emerge.
Tips for Writing Effective Email Copy
Now that you’ve identified your business personality, it’s important to infuse that personality into every interaction you have with customers and prospects. Here’s how to craft emails where your personality shines through:
Take time to craft your email message. Don’t try to knock out a relational email in two minutes. Hurried emails often sound rude. Instead, take at least 30 minutes to an hour to craft an email that truly connects with your audience and conveys the right message in the right way.
It’s also best to step away from your email after you’ve written it. Don’t send immediately. Wait a few hours, or even up to a day. Then return to the email and re-read it. Nine times out of 10, you’ll want to make an adjustment, even if it’s for spelling purposes.
By taking a few extra minutes to craft your emails, you can improve your connection with your audience.
Talk Directly to a Person
You need to have one person in mind when writing your emails.
The size of your email list doesn’t matter. Whether you’re sending an email for 10 folks or 10,000, you must compose it as if you’re writing to one person.
Why is this important?
By visualizing a single subscriber, you’re more likely to write to them instead of at them. You’ll also be more careful to craft an email that:
- Is relevant to them
- Addresses their needs
- Provides value
But if you don’t have a specific person in mind, you’ll churn out generic emails that sound like they were written by a robot and not a human.
If you have multiple subscriber types (i.e. prospects, current customers, former customers), craft multiple emails so that you can write directly to each type.
Empathize With the Subscriber
In face to face conversations, we seek to empathize. The same should happen with email.
If you’re constantly selling in your emails, you’ll sound like an ad.
But imagine how you’d relate to your subscriber in person. Would you talk non-stop about your products, or would you seek to understand your subscriber’s pain and show them how your product will solve that pain?
Despite being called “marketing” emails, your email’s content shouldn’t focus on selling, but rather on solving.Despite being called “marketing” emails, your email’s content shouldn’t focus on selling, but rather on solving. Click To Tweet
Identify what your subscriber is struggling with and then create content that helps them solve their problem.
This will instantly make you sound more human and less like a generic ad in email form.
Write Like You Talk
What’s the easiest way to craft emails that sound like you? Write like you talk.
In other words, be conversational. Don’t try to sound too professional or polished. That’s the old school way of correspondence. No one expects a “dear sir or madam” when they’re opening an email. They expect 21st-century talk.
It’s okay to be casual, even in a business setting. Subscribers prefer homespun emails because they seem more authentic and less strategic (even if they are).
Not sure if your email sounds like your natural speech?
Read your email out loud.
Does it sound like something you would say to a person face to face?
If not, scrap it and start over until you’re able to write it how you’d say it.
Admittedly, this is difficult to do. Most of us have a block when it comes to conversational writing. We’ve been conditioned to write professionally, and that’s hard to shake.
Here’s a tip that can help: Imagine you’re writing your email to a friend. It’s difficult to write to a friend in stilted language, so this exercise can trick you into loosening up.
Choose the Right Words and Tone
If you’d like to create emails that sound like you, get clear on what you sound like, or rather what you should sound like.
To do this, craft your brand voice.
Take your brand personality (i.e. friendly, quirky, authoritative, etc.) and then choose a tone to express your personality. Would you prefer a tone that’s direct, charming, enthusiastic, etc.?
Next, decide which words are okay for you to use. Is slang okay? Will your audience understand your slang? What about profanity?
Be mindful of your audience when selecting your word choices and tone of voice. Remember that you’re connecting with your audience and if they don’t get it, there’s no point in using it.
Acknowledge the Reader
Another way to speak directly to the reader is by using their name. If you have their name from the sign up form, incorporate it into your email.
But don’t just use their name in the greeting. Pepper in their name naturally throughout the body of your email. This practice keeps their engagement and makes your email sound more conversational.
Keep It Short
The best emails are short. The sweet spot is 125 words or less. This means that you shouldn’t ramble.
But the good news is that you don’t need to write a long email to showcase your voice. Remember to write for a human and you’ll sound like a human. To kick it up a notch, remember to infuse your content with your unique personality, tone, and word choice.
Need Help Crafting an Effective Email Campaign?
Showing your personality through your emails can be tough. We can help with that. We specialize in crafting authentic, relatable emails that connect with your audience. Build trust and convert your subscribers into customers and clients. Schedule your free consultation call with us now.