E-mail Etiquette: How to Write Safe and Smart - Have you ever added one of these smiley faces to your email to your favorite client? :) During our meeting on February 19th, Sue Hershkowitz-Coore, CSP gave wonderful examples of how simple "metacommunications" occur everyday in our business world.
According to PCWorld, March 2003: Only 100 billion emails were sent annually worldwide in 1995. Over 5.5 trillion were sent in 2002. Seven trillion are expected in 2003. And these totals do not include spam or e-mail notifications.
Sue suggests that we do not use those smiley faces, ###!!! (to even simply suggest a four letter word) or become too informal. Meanings lie - in people - not words.
"Because of the informality with which e-mail is treated by most employees, it has become an almost constant target of discovery in litigation…Some attorneys claim that email is involved in 100% of their cases…"
How can you protect yourself? Think differently. There is no email heaven. If you send it - make sure you proof it before you hit send! Learn to limit your liability. Never include confidential, sensitive or bad news. Also, get rid of detailed, lengthy messages. Be clear and concise.
Make sure your company has an easy email policy. "Every email you write is an open postcard to everyone in the company, and the world. Will you be proud (and safe) having your name attached to your message?" Other suggestions include: 1) establish 30/60/90 day deletion period, 2) add disclaimer to every message, and 3) be thoughtful & respectful - always.
As well as many wonderful suggestions for e-mail, Sue also gave several examples of how to write smart sales letters.
1) Be unpredictable, 2) Compel with absolute most important benefit to them (go to three levels deep to differentiate your benefit to them), 3) Always have a next step in the process (ask them to take action), 4) Always end with their success (i.e. I'll call you next week to see if you've received the information. I'll call you March 1 to see how we can make this your most memorable meeting ever, 5) Use visible, auditory, kinesthetic words, 6) Use bullet points, and 7) Always include a personal note with brochures (no form letters)
"The primary source of quality failure is miscommunication and misunderstanding between the client and the professional" David Maister.
After listening to this great presentation, I have made a conscious effort to be more respectful to my clients. I will use spell check. I will reread, reread, and reread! I will be friendly but not familiar. How will YOU be more prepared to write safe and smart?
Keep Sue in mind for future presentations and meetings. If you have any questions, visit www.SpeakerSue.com.
Thank you to the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort for hosting our meeting and treating us to a wonderful lunch. An additional thank you to Bill Johnson, CSP for donating the LCD projector and to Richard Carmer for our photo memories.
Raffle donors were America West Magazine, Hilton Phoenix Airport, The Wigwam Resort and Golf Club, Radisson Poco Diablo Resort, Scottsdale Camelback Resort and the HSMAI "Cowmoo"nications Committee.