When emailing thru a website or when sending an email inquiry, never underestimate the power of perception. The words you use, how you choose to use them and your underlying tone can make a huge difference in how the other side views your request.
And even if they choose to evenutally respond.
The Power of Perception
Let’s use the project requests I receive on myh WordPress Consulting site. What perception is created when the Sender:
- Does not type in complete sentences.
- Generalities are provided in lieu of the details I specifically ask for.
- Their name in typed in all lower case.
- Questions are posed where the answers can be found in my FAQ that they clearly didn’t take the time to read.
My site does not have complicated navigation. My forms are clear about what information I need. I also make a point of linking to my FAQs and useful pages so that the inquirer can be informed as to how I roll.
Is this a clue?
Those are just a few of the issues I experience from what I have to assume are otherwise educated onliners. Does their approach imply their time is more valuable than mine?
Will I be able to help them thrive online if they are unable to read and complete the forms on my site? What am I to think about all small case, incomplete sentences and typos? I am looking for the clues that will let me know what they will be like to as a business client or partner.
My experience shows with a little coaching and desire to embrace these issues positive impressions can be made. Most are otherwise nice folks who have no idea the perception they are creating! A little effort and you can show what a great person you will be like to do business with!
Intent and Tone
Next is the importance of intent and tone. Sentence structure and grammar are in place but …
- A copy-n-pasted generic request reflecting that they are going from site to site is provided.
- Language not fitting a professional in describing experiences with previous developers is used.
- They tell me how much time it will take for me to handle their request. “This should be simple and only take you a couple minutes.”
I see this type of communication style pretty often. Needless to say it does not impress or encourage me to want to get involved in a business relationship.
For me, the intent and tone part is what I look at most closely. After emailing for longer than most, I’ve learned initial inquiries speak volumes about the person contacting me. What they will be like to work with. When onliners email me without regard to my experience, policies or don’t take the time to send a personalized professional email, I usually take a pass. And I know I am not alone in that approach.
Little Details Add Up to Initial Impressions
Little “eNuances”, as I call them, can make a world of difference. When it comes to forming potentially valuable partnerships and online networking relationships the details matter. If you are too lax, too informal or too arrogant, you may find that those who you need most may not be interested.