In today’s business communication, email is crucial. Millions are sent back and forth as correspondence every day. Email has etiquette, and sometimes it is not necessary to send one, even in the workplace. Of course, it has its advantages and disadvantages, and the former outweighs the latter.
There are many reasons why email is preferred to any other form of communication.
Immediate: An email is instant, whether you are right next door or miles away. This makes it the best mode of communication either internally or externally. It aids in the flow of information without wasting time in office visits and phone calls.
Records: Unlike a telephone conversation, an email is the best way to keep records. Emails will stay in an inbox unless otherwise deleted. They are good proof if a dispute arises.
Low costs: An email is the cheapest option in business communications. You can choose free email services with Yahoo or Gmail. For larger companies, the cost of paid email services is very low in comparison to other services.
Marketing: Email lets individuals and companies market products and services effectively. It is easy to send emails to multiple clients at once, and to potential clients. Email allows you to add links to bulk emails.
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Most emails do not get replies, not because they do not deserve one, but because the ending does not prompt the psychology of the reader to do so. The efficacy of emails greatly reduces or increases by how you end your emails, not how you begin them. This might sound a little strange, but according to research by Boomerang, some email endings will give you a higher chance of getting a reply than others.
The human psyche is strange, but it often works in predictable ways. Adam Grant and Francesca Gino did a study, “A little thanks goes a long way.’ They found that expressing gratitude was a catalyst for what they called “prosocial behavior.” This translates into people having a higher sense of self-esteem and their efficiency boosted.
Boomerang based their research on this scientific underpinning, and true to research, the emails sent with thankful sign offs got the highest response rate.
Thanks In Advance
Boomerang looked at 350,000 email endings and discovered that some were sure to get you a response. Not all emails deserve a reply, yet the ones that do almost never get one. They probably signed off in a manner unlikely to elicit a reply. There are so many tips on how to write good emails, or how to manage the email inbox, yet people still struggle with replying to emails.
Many people reply emails at the last minute, filtering them from the very important to the least important. Boomerang discovered that emails that signed off expressing gratitude had the highest response rate. ‘Thanks in advance’ scored a 65.7% chance of getting a reply than say, “Best “which was the lowest with a 51.2 % response rate. The response rate of all the responses was as follows:
Thanks in advance-65.7%
Kind Regards- 53.9%
Regards -53.5 %
The average rate of email reply across the board was 47.5%. Boomerang posted their findings on a blog post, and included findings from research done by Adam Grant and Francesca Gino in 2010. The study cited that research participants who got emails from students who needed information on cover letters helped more if the letter was signed off with, “Thanks so much! “
Of note are the sign offs that ranked the lowest. Of the 350,000 emails, those signed off as “best’ ranked lowest. The context, length, content, and tone of the email were also worth looking at, as the ending largely depended on that. A long reprimanding email from an HR department or senior boss is not likely to end with thanks in advance!
Boomerang did not get into the dynamics of how the email recipient felt about the email, or the sender. They just focused on whether the emails got a response or not. Next time you sign off an email, keep in mind that most people do not mind thanks in advance!
The next best phrase to get you responses in the Boomerang list was Kind Regards. This phrase is a bit formal in nature but works well in conveying the message. You want to send a message to the client that is not casual enough to sound flippant, nor too formal as to sound stiff. Do not use it in a personal email.
Kind Regards works best for a business associate one is familiar with, or a client one is trying to woo. Getting new clients is a tricky affair. Too much or too little of anything might mean getting or losing the client. Competition is stiff in this era of technology, and one has to use all the tricks in the book to win clients. Everybody is taking the technological route, which is inevitable, and it makes keeping clients even harder. Using information based on research helps you build foolproof plans and campaigns that will catapult your brand to the next level.
‘Kind regards’ strikes the right balance between formal and casual. ‘Kind regards’ is best for business emails. It is sure to get you the much-desired response in the sense that it conveys a certain sense of camaraderie, yet borders on the formal.
In Boomerang’s study, it came 5th overall with 53.9% response rate on words and phrases. Among the best-used phrases that can get you responses, Kind Regards came second after Thanks in Advance.
When you are sending bulk emails, you want to try not to seem cold and robotic. This sign off gives off a human vibe, which does not feel too rehearsed and forced. It is likely to elicit a reply if one is expected, and if the client has to perform an action, they get to feel like it’s a request to take action, and not an order. The client need not feel like they are on a list of things to do. There has to be a palpable connection between you and the client, which can only be generated by your correspondence.
Signing off emails is clearly a big deal for many people, though it may not seem like it. How you sign off your email will determine if you will get a response. A response in some contexts does not necessarily mean a reply; it might be simply taking action. Some emails urge you to sign up for updates. When a recipient clicks on a response button, it is termed as a ‘reply’ in the sense that an action has taken place.
Technology has changed the face of business. It is ten times more easy to do business today than it was two decades ago. The internet has revolutionized marketing tactics. Business is faster and you reach more people at once. Social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr have also made marketing easy, but email remains the crème de la crème of the marketing world, in that it serves a bigger purpose than any other marketing medium.
Do you have any interesting additions to this information? Do you have any questions you would like to ask? Feel free to post in the comments section below.