In our fast-paced digital world, emails are often our first interactions with people – and they can make or break how others see you and your company. You always want to make a great impression, whether it’s the first, second, or seven millionth time you’ve emailed someone.
All of us at Red Velvet Events strive to communicate warmth, professionalism, and respect to all of our clients and partners. Here’s an inside look into some of the email tips and tricks utilized by Liz, a Sales Manager, and Luis, a Program Manager.
Are There General Email Best Practices You Follow?
Liz: The shorter the email, the better. I always keep in mind that I am not the only person emailing the client that day, so I try to keep my email short, to the point, and clear in its purpose. Also, if it looks like it would be best to do a phone call instead, always go for the phone call!
Luis: Questions should be asked in a way that gets a yes-or-no response. Often times, clients (and us too!) are responding to emails on our smartphones, so the easier it is to answer in a short response, the more likely you’ll get a quicker response.
If there are multiple questions in an email, I like to add “Question:” in red font before the actual question, so the recipient can easily see where their response is required.
In addition, when sending out multiple updates on a program in one email, I add a heading to each section of the body of email, so the recipient knows what that section is about. Example of headings can be “DÉCOR,” “ENTERTAINMENT,” “BUDGET,” etc.
Whenever possible, I opt for bullet points instead of paragraphs to be more concise.
What’s Always in Your Out-of-Office Replies, Vendor Replies, Outreach Emails, Introduction Emails, and Email Receipt Confirmations?
Liz: There is always a little bit of my personality in each of these emails. No one likes talking to a robot, so I try not to write like one.
Luis: I learned this from an old manager, but the “Oreo” emailing method works really well for me. The top and bottom of the Oreo are something nice that recognizes the recipient, like “Thank you for your time!” or “I hope you’re having a productive week,” while the white cream stuffing is body of the email.
If I’m sending out a calendar invite, I like to include the dial-in number and access code at the very top of the email in a large font, so it’s easier to see when you open up the invite and are trying to dial in. After that, my message is in the normal font.
Out-of-office replies should never be a surprise to people you’ve been emailing in the days leading up to your absence. You should have already warned them that you’ll be out.
Outreach messages and introduction email always include my signature block with my headshot in it. I definitely recommend having a signature block with one, so vendors and clients recognize you when you finally meet in person.
How do Your Emails and Responses Reflect You as an Event and Design Professional, and Your Company Overall?
Liz: Here at Red Velvet Events, we are always transparent and quick to respond. However, lots of our discussions happen outside of email so, as a professional, you should always follow up via email after a conversation to recap everything so it’s in writing and easy to reference. This really lets the client read in writing what you heard, and it keeps the conversation going.
What Are Some Email Practices You Think People Should Avoid at All Costs?
Liz: It’s not a thing to avoid, but rather something everyone should be doing: When in doubt, always hit Reply All. It is a big pet peeve of mine to include people in emails (even making note of it in the email) only to have them left off in the next response. Let’s just go with the default of always hitting Reply All.
Luis: Multiple ad hoc emails. Try to consolidate it to one email with clear headings on what each body of your email is referring to. Also, not including an email signature with your title and contact number should be avoided, even if it’s just an office line. You should always include it, so the recipient can clearly understand your role and doesn’t have to dig through their inbox for contact info.