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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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emails

Fowarding emails

Emails are so convenient – how did we ever do business without them? So quick to send a message to someone, or a group, and respond to things, emails are a great aid to communication.

However, we need to be careful with emails that we forward to others.

Before forwarding, check the entire email – there may be part of it you want to transfer to Mary but there may be parts Mary shouldn’t see. For example, there could be confidential information about someone else, unpleasant comments about Mary herself or out of date information that could cause confusion. This is a particular risk in very long email trails (i.e. if a number of replies are included in the one email) where subjects may even have changed along the way.

The other issue with forwarding emails is email addresses – if emailing a group of people, ensure that they can’t see email addresses they shouldn’t. The main exmaple of this is when you get jokes and stories that are passed from gorup to gorup – some emails I’ve got have given me access to at least 100 email addresses of strangers. Lucky for them I detest spam so will not abuse their email addresses, but not everyone will respect their privacy so it’s best to delete email addresses before forwarding.

Have you ever forwarded something you now regret? Did you find a way to remedy the situation?

Annoying emails watch out!

How many annoying (but not spam) emails do you get? Maybe it’s someone forwarding you a message that has more headers and email addresses than content, not using your name, using caps instead of normal letters or writing more in the covering email than in the attachment.

What type of email do you find the most annoying?

David and Will want to find out so we can possibly reduce the number of annoying emails floating around, and I say let’s help them!

There are two parts to this – you can share your horror email stories with them and be amused and shocked at some of the stories already on their site.

Eventually, they will get us to vote on which are the most annoying emails to get.

So check them out – just for a laugh at the stories or to vent some your experiences.

And you can tell me what you find very annoying in emails here, too!

Links in emails

Email marketing is a valuable tool for any modern business, but it can backfire if you don’t use it carefully.

I recently saw an email that was very short, started with my name and included unsubscribe details – all of which are good points in an email. But it also included three links to a web page they were promoting – not three pages, but three links to one page!

In a short email, I am quite capable of finding the link even if I have read further on – it will stand out!

Over do something like providing links, and I begin to wonder why you are pushing it so hard and  I get suspicious. Finish with “This isn’t hype” to convince me this is hype and not substance.

Add in a comment like “Seriously, this puppy is sick” and the email has no credibility – I deleted it without clicking on any of the three links!

So the lessons from this email are:

  • treat your readers with respect – they can find links in short emails
  • avoid unnecessary repetition – it is boring and raises questions as to why you need to repeat it
  • avoid statements that are cool or trendy – not everyone will agree with you and they age your message quickly. What is cool today is sick tomorrow and wicked the day after, and so on
  • if your content isn’t something (e.g. hype, spam,viral) then you don’t need to write that fact – it is more likely to raise suspicions than allay them

Use your words (and links!) wisely!

Mistakes in emails…

Going on from my recent post about repeat messages in emails, where I mentioned owning up to a mistake rather than sending a corrected version as if nothing had happened, I thought I’d share this post I found with you.

Joan Pasay discusses getting a lot of emails with “Whoops!” in the subject line because people had discovered an error in the emails they had sent out. I agree with her suggestion of being upfront and ‘grown up’ in the subject line when you announce an error. As she says “I guess the lesson here is to just admit you made an error and not try to cover it up with a “Gee wilickers, I think I just might be a moron” type subject line. “”

Personally, I have never received an email with a whoops subject – have you? I’ve had emails announcing an error, but they mostly have been along the lines of “our may newsletter – with correction” which is perfectly acceptable. Although I always wonder if I should delete the original because I can’t be sure (without taking the time there and then to read the email) if the corrected version includes the entire message or just the correction.

So now am I wondering – what sorts of subjects have you seen from people who realise they made a msitake in an email already sent?

Use your words wisely!

 

Repeat email ads not so good …

If you send out announcements or ads to a mailing list, be careful not to overdo it. I recently received two emails only days apart from the same person for the same ad, although she tried to make it look like two ads – it didn’t impress me as I wasn’t interested in it the first time!

Using a different example, the first message she sent was “Tash is presenting a workshop on clear communications in Mulgrave”; the second message was “Learn about clear communications in our workshop”

I think it is insulting to your readers to assume they can’t tell that this is the same ad in different words – and how embarrassing would it be for someone who tried enrolling in ‘both’ seminars?

If for some reason you are going to repeat an ad to your mailing list, then be honest about it and say so. Some possible introductions are:

  • Apparently some people didn’t get this message so I am sending it again
  • I had to send this again as the date has changed to …
  • Apologies for sending this again, but I felt it was so important I didn’t want to risk you missing out
  • I’m sorry – I sent this to you yesterday but I forgot to add the link so you could book!

However, make sure it is an honest reason you give and don’t do it regularly as it looses any credibility it may have had. I have received emails from people who used the ‘sorry, wrong/forgotten link’ more than once in two months and it looked very tacky and led me straight to the unsubscribe button.

If you are sending an email about somethig with a specific date, such as a workshop, then you can send a reminder closer to the date – note, it should be a reminder not just the same message again. And again, don’t send lots of reminders as that is just as annoying as repeated ads and also makes it less likely that the reader will respond to any of them.

Use your words wisely!

P.S. I am actually giving a workshop on clear communications in Mulgrave on Monday, 26th May. If you can make it, please make sure you introduce yourself to me on the day. 

Spam writing

Writing spam? Don’t you just want to delete it rather than create more of it???

Occasionally, I read a piece of spam that gets into my inbox – mostly by accident and sometimes as research 🙂

I can see various spam emails being useful as examples of bad writing so I can show you how to improve your writing – or give you a giggle at bad writing anyway!

For instance, I got one yesterday that started with “Kind time of day of ladies and gentlemen” – why limit yourself to good morning or good afternoon when you can cover both at once! Obviously, a simple “Greetings”, “Hello” or “Dear friend” would be my suggestion.

Then, there was “Get $999 you download our casino.” Hmmm, a casino that will give me money to download them? I am very curious as to how I could possible download a casino – but not so curious I clicked on the link 🙂 A better way to say it would have been “Get $999 when you download our casino software” or “Join our casino and get $999”.

And “same problems. somewhere in the world.” could probably have been better written as “The same problems occur throughout the world” or “Someone in the world has the same problem as you.”

I could go on and on, but thought I’d finish with mentioning a blog entry that shows you how to write better spam – enjoy!