-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, hey why not, let’s go for it, 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 (BTW Click to Tweet can help you with that😉 )
- Download your content
- DO SOMETHING!
You get the idea, right?
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 better business emails, let’s jump into the tools that can lending a helping hand.
5 tools to help you write better business emails:
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 Beep-Squared-Media-team, that I’m working with.
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. Ant text:
Easily make your emails actionable
Another tool that I’ve been using for quite some time now!
By using Ant Text you can help yourself and your company, with obtaining the following goals:
- Ensure quality and consistency in your e-mails.
- Reduce errors by avoiding retyping the contents of your e-mails.
- Save time, because you no longer have to search for files, and older e-mails.
- Improve your brand and customer service.
With only a few clicks, you can write very long and comprehensive e-mails, and at the same time, you can automatically attach one or more files to your e-mail.
The idea behind Ant Text is that you build up your own file structure with those documents, texts and fractures of texts, attached files etc. that you frequently use when you are writing a new email.
The highlighted No. 1 is the Ant text editor, which is totally easily accessible right inside of your Outlook client. (psst, with Grammarly making an appearance then …)
With my email, 3 phones, 25 websites, eight social sites, and a blog link in my signature, comeon .. I don’t even have to think twice about it, I need help.. Thank you Ant text for making your appearance in my world!
3. Just Not Sorry:
Please!! 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 -I’m sooo sorry Microsoft, but this little Google trick is just sooo DARN NICE!
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 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!
And a BONUS, just because I like surprises — 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 http://toneapi.com/
-and if you get to test it before me? -PLEASE give me a quick update 🙏
.. I think it’s definitely the “way of the future” and perhaps even a surefire way to write better business emails?