Isn’t the point of any method of communication to be understood? Let me begin by saying I’m not an expert and I don’t hold myself out as one either. I’m the receiver of more than 100 pieces of business email per day. To some, that’s nothing. Even when you add more than 75 junk or spam email to the mix, I’m not a heavy email receiver as are some people I know.
Everyday, I see what should be commonsense completely ignored in the email from companies that want our business. The graphic at the left is good because it reminds us all, or should that the solution is within our own hands.
So, it occurred to me today that perhaps I could be helpful. If others comment, they may be helpful as well. We’ll see. Anyway, here goes.
Let’s begin by understanding that every communication says something about you. Remember that in most cases, the people you’re writing to have no idea who you are. However, the old rule that “you never get a second chance to make a great first impression,” still holds true.
Even plain text can be made to look clean and organized and of course easy to read.
Above this line of text is the header to my person email. Here’s my thinking, if I can’t be there, I still want them to know who I am. I want to make a great first impression. At the very least, I want to make the best impression that I’m capable of making. My personal logo is on the right and full of meaning. An older Blog titled Symbolism discusses its meaning if you’re interested.
Note that my personal email address is not gmail, or yahoo or something else. Personally, I wanted a professional image and something that would be easy to remember. How about your name? That works for me. Unless I’ve known someone for years or they work within our company, I typically address the email with: Dear XXXXX or just their first name. Since I’m now pushing 63, still young but old according to some, I’m comfortable with addressing people (in my personal email) by their first name.
In the body of any email, I try to make the message about one topic and one topic only. Be kind to your reader. If you want them to focus, help them.
When I’m done, I usually end by saying my personal tag line: Please, let me know if I can be helpful or Best regards or Warm regards. You can end any way you want, as long as you DO end it.
Next, do you text your name, sign your name or what? I wanted something that is uniquely me. Something that when people see it, they instantly recognize it. Here it is:
I’m blessed with a really simple name. Surprisingly, many people don’t even know my last name. A few years ago I founded the Seal of Liberty Society. That very cool round seal is a 1900’s gold coin pressed into a red seal. I sometimes link it to the Seal of Liberty Society. There I’ve posted my personal principles and values. This, I hope, makes me transparent enough to want to get to know me.
Let’s have a look at business email. With mobile devices accepting html enabled email as well as text only, why not have your business mail make a great first impression? Since 2001 my email has had an html signature. It has evolved over the years and it has always reflected the image we were hoping to achieve in the company. We haven’t always been spot on, but it is still much better than loud blue fonts, odd sizes, or information that can barely be understood.
Here is my current C4 WorldWide, Inc. email signature.
Here’s the last iteration of the signature:
This was in use until 2 weeks ago.
and before that:
This was more than 2 years ago.
Let me ask you a question. Do you think a good first impression is necessary when sending email or Blogging? You tell me.