Do you spend too much time in your email inbox? Do you find yourself stressing about what to say when writing emails to clients on a consistent basis? Maybe tough conversations throw you off your game? Or maybe things get lost in the repetitive nature of those emails you type over and over and over again between each project?
Whatever your challenge… You need to pay attention to the emails you send clients after they’ve signed on for your services if you want to create a cohesive and on-brand experience for them from start to finish.
When we think of brand voice, we think of our marketing messaging and sales copy. But what happens after a lead becomes a client? That personality should continue throughout your project. Ensuring consistency throughout your business, down to the nitty gritty details like this, will improve the overall perception that people have of your business. I’m convinced that it also improves client experience.
How does this attention to detail improve client experience? As service providers, we often juggle multiple clients and spend way too much time in our inboxes—it’s hard to give everyone the attention they deserve without you having to spend 2 hours a day answering emails.
There’s a solution to this problem (of course!). To save time without sacrificing client experience, create canned email templates.
Skip to the good stuff: Grab the Canned Email Templates for Service Providers here.
Canned email templates are essentially templated messages for all the stages of your workflow. Got a lead? Write a template. Need a signature on the contract? That could be a template too. Sending a welcome/onboarding package? Write an email that’s professional and showcases your personality.
If you like the sounds of this long-term time-saving gain, dedicate the time to map out all the canned emails you could possibly need then write each so it’s accurate for the majority of instances, leaving spaces for customization where needed. For example, you will want to personalize a template with the client’s name. Or leave bulleted points blank to fill as needed for the project in question.
You can write canned email templates for Gmail or plug them into a CRM like Dubsado. Whatever platform you use to implement, just having a base to start with will help you save time in the long run.
You might be thinking: Sure, sounds easy, but what if I hate writing emails? I get it. It’s hard enough to know what to say in the moment, especially with tougher conversations, let alone sitting down to write a list of canned email templates preemptively. If you’re planning to automate your emails with Dubsado, that adds another aspect to the challenge—some of your templates may be set to automatically send out without you editing them first. In these cases, you want them to sound like you—full of personality and not robotic despite the automation.
If you can relate to any of the above and are wondering how to write emails professionally, I have a few general email communication tips for you to get started…
The rules for email etiquette have evolved over time, like anything else in business—and in language. There’s also differences in email etiquette between different industries, types of business, etc. For example, if you’re a new small business owner or freelancer that just quit your corporate job to be self-employed, you might need to mix up your emailing style. It’s possible to write emails professionally, while skipping the harsh, corporate format.
Regardless of who you send an email to, remember that it’s another human on the other side of the screen. I always say that business is just people helping people. It’s about relationships—building and fostering them with your people. With this in mind, you can incorporate my top 3 rules for email etiquette.
There’s nothing wrong with adding your personal touch to a business email! Actually, it’s encouraged if you want to stand out. You need to write emails professionally, but try to incorporate your brand voice, vision, and values into the way you communicate to your clients to create that cohesive experience from start to finish.
When writing canned email templates for common messages you send to clients, always remind yourself of who the email is for and what the goal is for them to read it. Write directly to that person with the goal top of mind.
If you want to write professional emails that are full of personality, you also should refer to your brand strategy, or brand messaging guide, to ensure your canned emails align with the brand voice you have created for your business. If you haven’t completed any kind of brand messaging, voice, or personality work yet, that’s okay! It’s something that you want to consider if you want to grow your business to the next level, but for now, just avoid that corporate, stuffy feel in your emails and instead write in a way that is clear and engaging.
The number one goal of your emails should be to deliver the message as clearly and quickly as possible. Clarity of course comes from a strong understanding of your brand, but also confidence in your client experience or workflow. Another way to increase both clarity and efficiency is through formatting canned emails, so they’re easier to read.
When writing your canned emails, consider the action you want a client to take at each stage of your time together. What information do you need to share? Break each email down to be even more clear with formatting like bullet points, numbered lists, bolded font, etc. Walls of text are hard to read!
The number one rule for email etiquette is never send before proofing your work. Check for typos. Confirm the clarity of the email. Is it confusing? Should it be a phone call? Do you even need to send this email or is a response redundant? If you want to write emails professionally, you need that attention to detail before sending.
Now let’s translate the above etiquette into automated emails within your project workflows. By automating a lot of the admin tasks within my business, I was able to put off hiring a virtual assistant a little longer.
If you like saving time, you’re probably wonder what the step-by-step to writing awesome client emails is. It starts with making a list. When you look at the process you follow for each service you provide, what emails are common between projects? I’m guessing leads, onboarding, offboarding, and project check-ins are a good place to start. But what emails beyond that? Write a list of every single email you write throughout a typical project.
Next, start writing canned email templates for each one on the list. These should be assuming they are used in a standard project with flexibility for customizations as needed. If you use a CRM like Dubsado, also note where the smart fields should be applied to personalize each email.
Don’t want to write your own emails? I know it sounds daunting to write so many at once. That’s why I created the canned email template pack for service providers, so you can plug-and-play my templates into your CRM of choice and stop wasting time stressing about what to say. These email templates cover every stage of a project, including the tough conversations like scope creep and late payments. Check them out here.
Whether you choose to write your own email templates or get a copy of the templates I wrote, always remember the rules for email etiquette when communicating with clients. Instead of stressing about your inbox, remember to consider: Your brand personality and the message clarity. And always always always proofread before you send.
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