Email best practices for franchise professionals

email best practices

Whether you’re a franchisor, franchisee, or franchise consultant you can write better emails. Here’s how to make your emails stronger, not longer.

For many franchise professionals, email is the main vehicle for communicating with clients, vendors, and potential customers. Whether you’re a franchisor, franchisee or franchise consultant, you want to make a great impression through your correspondence. Hurrying through your email and not reviewing it before you hit “send” is not the way to win over potential candidates or customers. To make a great impression, every email you send should be well written and concise. Unfortunately, many of us craft our emails too long and overly wordy, while other folks make them way too formal or entirely too casual.

Effective emails should share information in a clear and concise manner. Getting to your point right away saves time and effort for both parties, which in the long can impact the bottom line.

A while back at a speaking engagement, I wanted to know what really bugged folks about the emails they receive. So I surveyed my audience, in person, right there at the event. The program had more than 300 attendees and they all had a number of email pet peeves. The top 3 annoyances were:

  • Poor spelling and grammar
  • Emails that are too long
  • Wrong subject lines

There were many more, but the list above are the pet peeves that made it to the top of the list. While these are common issues, the good news is that they can be easily fixed. With a little tweaking, your email could go from irritating and boring to concise and informative.

Make your emails stronger, not longer

  • Avoid long, rambling emails. Salespeople tend to want to give the client all the information. But today, we get emails on our iPhone, iPad, and who knows where else. Some even on the iWatch. There’s not too much room for a long email. Stick to the bullet points. Long, rambling, wordy emails aren’t necessary.
  • Keep your subject line accurate and interesting. A busy professional can receive hundreds of emails each day. If your subject line isn’t accurate or relevant, your email can be overlooked. Keep up with the subject line.
  • Read before you hit “send.” Cutting and pasting text from other emails and using the wrong name or misspelling it, sloppy writing, and poor grammar all reflect on you. Careless mistakes make you look careless. For example, make sure your attachment is actually attached! A well-written email says you care and are a professional. Take that extra time to review.
  • Let your personality come through in your email. Be conversational and write the way you would talk. Personalize your emails and keep them interesting.

Phrases to avoid

Below are phrases used in emails that are not effective. They are not bad but are simply unnecessary. When these phrases are eliminated, the emails read better.

  • Just a note to let you know…” or “Just wanted to say…” or “I’m just checking back to see where we are on the order.” JUST is a weak, wimpy, word and not necessary. In fact, it’s lame and useless. Avoid the word “just” in your emails. Read those sentences without the word “just” and see how much stronger they become. 
  • “As I (or you) mentioned on the phone” or “Pursuant to our call (conversation, whatever).” This language is not needed and not necessary. Confirm the statement instead with: “Glad you liked the proposal,” or “Enjoyed our call,” or “Here’s a handy recap of our call,” or “Good call and excited we can make ‘X’ happen.” Email is an opportunity to use your personality. Formal sayings — unless you’re a lawyer (sorry) — aren’t normally needed. 
  • “Please let me know if you have any questions.” You gotta be kidding me! Hard to believe folks still use this, but they do. Most people will let you know if they have questions. That’s a real junior statement. 
  • “If there’s anything else I can do, please let me know.”  Seriously? Similar to the above, that’s a real ‘get rid of’ line. It’s normally OUR responsibility to follow up. A better phrase would be: “Trust me to follow up to handle your questions.” 

Whether you are a franchisor, franchisee, franchise consultant or another franchise professional, you want to make a good impression with your correspondence. Make your emails COUNT. Remember, less is more.

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Nancy Friedman is Founder and Chairman of the The Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. A former franchisor, she is expert on customer service and is a frequent keynote speaker talking about customer services best practices. Her real-world, hands-on tips, ideas, skills, and techniques help both franchisors and franchisees take their businesses to the next level.
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