Reader Response? How a Business Writing Course Can Improve B2B Emails
No Worries: Yours is Just One of 100 Billion
That message you sent to a new prospect was one of 100 billion business emails that make up daily email traffic.
Stop. Read the first sentence again. Note two key words: “business” and “daily.” The 100 billion statistic includes only business-related emails; Nancy asking Gran for her meatloaf recipe isn’t included. And that’s 100 billion per day – not per month, quarter or year.
Sending and responding to emails is part of doing business, period. According to The Radicati Group, Inc., a technology market research firm, “the majority of email traffic (came) from business email” in 2013. And that traffic jam is going to get even more bottlenecked. By the end of 2017, business email is predicted to account for 132 billion messages per day and take up a larger percentage of the highway.
“Consumer email traffic, on the other hand, is expected to decrease over the next four years….Consumers are now opting to use social networking sites, instant messaging, mobile IM, and text messaging for instantaneous communication with family and friends.” (Source: The Radicati Group, Inc) Bottom line: Nancy will text Gran for that meatloaf recipe, and you’ll still be sending emails to business prospects.
Really, No Worries: There’s a Business Writing Course Devoted Solely to Emails
I intentionally employed a bit of sarcasm in that first “no worries” headline, which I suggest you not replicate in your business emails. That may be obvious writing etiquette, but there are numerous not-so-obvious mistakes being made each day within those 100 billion business emails. In working with our business writing courses clients at Instructional Solutions, we’ve found that nearly 75% of email messages we review need a conclusion that is better matched to the strategic goal of the email.
Whoa. Read that last sentence again. That’s 75% of emails with ineffective conclusions – just conclusions, not introductions or bodies. Without even doing the math, you can see that crafting an effective message is essential in standing out from the 100 billion crowd. (How to write a business email conclusion that works.)
- Improve reader absorbability
- Reduce irrelevant business emails
- Write clear, correct and crisp messages
- Be sure your conclusion directly guides your reader to the response you seek
Far too often, we see emails concluding with statements like:
"Please let me know if you have any questions."
Everyone knows it's o.k. to ask a question. That adds nothing to the email. Instead, if you want a better response to your business emails, you need to conclude on a strong, action-eliciting request. For example, if the purpose of an email is to close business for a new training class you offer, guide the reader right to your desired action and make it easier for the reader to respond:
"Please sign the training contract on page two and fax it back to me directly at 555-555-5555. I look forward to working with you to improve business email in your organization."
That’s where Instructional Solutions comes in. Founded in 1998 by internationally recognized business writing trainer Mary Cullen, Instructional Solutions has delivered business writing courses to a wide variety of clients. These include DuPont, Ernst & Young, FedEx, PetSmart, Inc., The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Army. So, yes, those emails you receive from some pretty familiar names just may have our business writing course stamp all over them.
About the author
Tom specializes in technical writing and is particularly interested in analytical and financial writing, as well as synthesizing strong executive summaries. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration and English from Reed College, and a M.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado. He has successfully supported our clients from Boeing, FedEx, and the US Army.