So many people have talked recently about how to keep emails to a minimum and ‘stop the distractions’ that emails give you. But they are wrong. Yes, for some people, they LIVE in their inbox, but if you’re running a business, a short 5 line email response will NOT work and will not cut it most of the time. Bootstrapping your business is all about finding inexpensive ways to grow your business with little to no cost, so why is email overlooked all of the time? It’s free; It’s quick (especially if you can type a lot of words per minute) and it gives you a personal connection with your clients and customers.
Below you will find two real life examples of emails that were recently sent to me while I was searching for some potential employees for a business venture I am starting. After looking them over, we’ll discuss why the longer, more in detail email is better and in the long run, faster for business. I also am going to link you to an add-on for firefox that will help keep things long, but speedy at the same time.
Email One: The short version
My name is **** and I have created many websites over the past 2 years. My portfolio can be seen here www.********.com I hope to be chosen for the job. Thank you.
Email Two: The extended version
My name is ***** and I have recently come across your Blog Design and would like to talk to you about becoming a part of your coding team.
My portfolio of work can be found at www.*******.com I have been designing websites for almost 10 years and make sure the websites you hire me for are up to web standards and usability. This means that your website will function and display properly on various web browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari and others. All of my coding is valid xhtml/css tableless.
I would love to discuss this in more detail with you and work with you on any projects you have lined up. If possible, could you let me know of a time that I can call to discuss this in more detail with you, or if it would be ok to send a copy of my resume and business card directly to you?
Any questions you might have, feel free to let me know. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Now there are a lot of you who might be looking at this and going “why would I sit and write up the long email when all I am doing is sending a quick note to someone about a potential job when it’s not a guarantee that I’ll even get the job?” Trust me, I’ve been there before and thought the exact same way. But look at it from a business standpoint. Who would you rather hand your money over to in this situation? The short email does not tell me much about the persons skills or what they can provide me with and also seems very hit & run. Alternately, if you look at the longer email, the candidate makes sure to explain why they would be the right person for the job, they give me an in depth detail of what they’ve done and what they can provide me with as well as make me feel comfortable by telling me that any questions I have, they’d love to answer them. Again I ask you; who would get your money in this situation?
Your answer is the same as any business or potential client you contact. They want to feel comfortable, they want to know that you understand their needs and know what you are doing and they want to make sure you’re not there just to rip them off.
With many bloggers and large names in the blogging industry recently pointing out how to keep emails short, I was sucked in at first too. Not anymore. Here are two reasons why longer emails are better, and overall quicker then a short email.
- More personal – keeps your potential client or the person hiring you comfortable with you and helps them to not look at you as a ‘quick, fly by night’ company. If you write a small 100 word email to a potential client, it keeps you distant and feeling unattached to the person behind the other side of the screen.
- Overall Faster – In the long run when dealing with clients, if you’re writing a 1,000 word email instead of a 100 word email, the odds are in your favor of answering most, if not ALL of the client’s questions in the one email. If you’re writing the quick 100 email, then this brings forth 5-10 extra questions from the client and thus keeps you in your inbox, keeps a large amount of separate emails attached to the one specific job that you have to sift through, and keeps the resolution period farther away due to 5-10 emails needing to be sent back and forth. I’ve made it a point to write longer, more detailed emails to my clients recently and the payback has been tremendous. The work process goes so much quicker because I answer all of their questions right up front and left only a small amount left to be discussed.
Here is an add-on that I use with the Firefox browser that will definitely speed up your writing time when talking to potential clients.
Signature – This add-on gives you the option to create pre-written bodies of text that you right click and select the name of the message you’re sending. I have three that I currently use. 1 for responses to potential clients that I find on job boards, 1 that I use when I write to bloggers and one that I write to various other companies. I leave little sections that have “PERSONAL NOTES ABOUT THE JOB HERE” inside the email that I edit, but for those repetitive tasks like writing out what experience you have, what your prices are for jobs, what websites you own, ect. this tool comes in handy. What used to take me 15-20 minutes to type up (5 or six times a day!) now only takes me 10-15 minutes TOTAL throughout the day to write.