I clicked “send” on the email and exhaled almost violently. My eyes winced and I thought, “Oh, Lord, this could be bad.” But, it ended up being one of the smartest ways I now communicate with clients, leads and friends...and, it usually leads to faster income for my business.
I had just sent a super-brief email to a prospective client who'd been emailing back and forth with me for a few weeks. We had corresponded many times and my calendar was booking up fast.
The email read:
Are you still interested in coaching on public speaking? Let me know!
There was no, “Hope all is well,” or “Happy Tuesday,” or “I’m checking in to see if…,” or “Looking forward to connecting.” Nope, my usual barrage of friendly filler lines was absent from this message - and about 3 others that I sent out in the 8 minutes that followed. I was attempting a new way of being succinct in my emails so I could save time, get people's attention and get others to take decisive action.
Business author Chris Smith - in his book The Conversion Code - suggests that keeping emails to 1 or 2 lines does just that. I admit: I was skeptical. An email without a hearty “hope all is well,” just seemed, well, jerky and harsh. I’m a friendly person and I like to email people with the same tone I’d use as if I was speaking to them in person. When I read this idea of cutting out all the “fluff” and just leading with what’s important, I was reminded of emails I’d received in the past from people I’d thought to be rude at the time. You know, the people who send one-word replies to an email you’ve spent at least 15 minutes pouring over? But, I tried it, and - wow - what a result.
Larry wrote me back almost immediately with a resounding, “yes”. Others I’d emailed with this new format followed suit. Sending that email was like pushing a button on a slot machine and hearing the sweet sound of “cha-ching” as each email reply rolled in.
There IS something to be said for getting to the point, keeping messages brief and leading with what’s important. The funny thing for me is that it’s not all that different from the type of media writing I’ve done for most of my career. Somewhere along the lines, I started burying the lead of my emails and replaced them with fluff and niceties that could easily be saved for the end of a message.
This new way of communicating by email takes guts and focus, I think. I continuously need to watch my words and keep the fillers and emojis at bay. But, it works every time, and none of my relationships have suffered for it. In fact, they’ve improved. Try it for yourself!