Writing an email to potential customers should be a piece of cake. After all, you write emails every day to coworkers, friends and family. And, if you’re like me, you practically live in your email and check it as soon as you wake up, right before you go to bed and even dream about checking email. It should be second nature to draft emails for your target audience, right? Not exactly.
There’s a huge difference between writing an email to someone you know, a close friend or family member, and a contact. Your best friend knows everything about you and rarely misunderstands or misinterprets what you’re saying. They understand you. A lead or customer, however, could easily misconstrue a phrase and think you’re saying one thing when you actually meant something else entirely.
We use this phrase because it sounds professional. It’s the type of phrase you want to take out for a fancy dinner at a five-star restaurant. But it doesn’t add any value to the sentence.
The recipient already knows that you’re sending an email to inform them of something, whether it’s a flash sale, new product, promotional event or new content offer. Adding this phrase only states the obvious and insults their intelligence. Cutting out this phrase will tighten up your email copy and send a clearer message.
2) “I believe / I feel / I think”
These words make you sound unsure of yourself. Whenever you write, whether you’re writing an email, blog or any piece of content, you need to appear confident (even if you’re not). If you don’t, the reader may question your authority and move forward with a competitor.
Get rid of these “opinion phrases” and replace them with stronger alternatives like “I’m confident that…” or “I know that…” Even better, skip these phrases altogether and dive right into the meat of the sentence.
3) “I thought I would reach out...”
This is another phrase that states the obvious. It’s clear that you wanted to reach out. Why else would you be sending an email? Instead of using this phrase, be direct and write out the reason you’re sending this email.
You could say “I’m sharing our new guide with you to help you...” Don’t beat around the bush. The average office worker sends or receives 121 emails per day. Get right to the point and don’t waste the recipient’s time. They’ll appreciate your candor.
4) “To be honest with you…”
These words have a habit of creeping into everyday communications. We typically use this phrase right before we say something reluctantly, or when we want to emphasize something truthful. But this phrase can leave email recipients wondering, “Were you lying up until this point?”
Your prospects and customers want to know that they can trust you. They expect you to share your honest opinion all the time. If you want to build trust and create a lasting connection with clients, avoid using this phrase at all costs. Write as if everything you say is true (which it should be).
5) “Sorry to bother you”
You may say this to sound polite or considerate. But, this phrase can backfire and undermine your credibility. It also makes you seem timid and insecure.
Be confident in your expertise and the value you can deliver to prospects, leads and customers. You’re writing to them to help them solve their toughest challenges and develop a mutually beneficial relationship (or deepen an existing one). You offer a product or service that can help the email recipient and make their lives easier.
There’s no need to apologize for sending a business email that speaks to their interests and needs. Why wouldn’t they be happy to receive an email offering a solution to challenges they face? Instead of apologizing, make your intent clear. Let them know what action you want them to take and how it benefits them.
You won’t become an email marketing expert overnight. It takes time and patience. The key to effective email communication is not to obsess over the details and treat the email as a conversation. Strike up a natural and friendly discourse and always keep their interests and needs top of mind.
Courtney is the content writer at Stratus Interactive, where she is responsible for writing original, thought-provoking blog posts on a variety of topics. Courtney has been writing stories since she was a wee little one and has experience in B2B and B2C content marketing in addition to SEO. See all Courtney Feairheller's posts.