You Lost Me At Hello

I admit it. Twitter has spoiled me for concise—witty even—well-formulated missives. And it has probably spoiled you and your clients and readers.

So why do we labor over tweets (which mostly disappear in a nanosecond) and Facebook posts and yet still press send on lame, boring emails?

For the next week, I challenge each of us to put the same thought into mission-critical client and prospect emails that we do into our social media posts.

Here’s a few options (feel free to post your adds to the list) to experiment with:

Got a sticky situation to explain? Try an analogy, the more visual the better—I once worked with a guy who could take any situation and relate it to a famous movie scene. “You know, that sounds a lot like that scene in the Producers where…” Clients loved it—thinking of themselves as a movie character depersonalized their problem and made it more fun to solve.

Send a photo or an illustration or a video link (under 2 minutes generally), provided it is directly, unerringly on point. An Instagram moment could just seal the deal.

Try some humor—just remember a little goes a long way. I once couldn’t get a client to respond to my emails or calls. Exasperated, I decided to try a little humor (and yes, it worked marvelously):

Dear Sherry:
I haven’t heard back from you and do need your comments before we can finalize your marketing piece. Please check the box that best applies:

I would rather eat nails than look at this piece one more time—publish the %&^$# thing!

I’ve been in outer Mongolia hiking mountains without internet. I will respond tomorrow, I promise.

OMG! Have I not answered you on this? What was I thinking? Call me this instant!

Go ahead. Have a little fun experimenting. As long as your focus is on improving communication with the receiver, you’ll have them at hello.

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5 Responses to You Lost Me At Hello

  1. Corey Bearak says:

    Great and to the point. I can labor over certain emails for just the reasons you outline. Just never articulated why.
    Bottom line, to paraphrase James Carville: “It’s the message, stupid.”

  2. Thanks Corey–and for the James Carville quote 🙂

  3. Emma says:

    I love your humorous “options”… I tried a little humour once… And it so worked!
    Would like to play with the movie scenarios a bit more… That could be fun!
    And yes… I love the idea of making sure that our emails are filled with brevity… After all, we’re all busy and inundated!

  4. Di says:

    fun fun fun.
    And the headline – great job! I’m in 😉

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