Just like clockwork, I received my twice-weekly email from Sherry, one of the bridge directors and instructors from my local duplicate club where I play. For more than six months, since I returned to playing duplicate bridge, I have been receiving these reminders about the Tuesday and Thursday morning games. “Are you playing tomorrow morning?” she’ll ask. Read on and you’ll understand what I’ve learned about business communication from Sherry.
I’ve come to look for the bright blue type in Comic Sans MS – her personal brand. Every one talks about Sherrie’s blue emails. She has built the game from five tables on a Thursday to a dozen or more and then started the Tuesday game, which is growing.
A simple little thing like bold blue lettering in 27 point type makes her stand out from the hundred or more emails I receive daily. She’s also mastered the art of giving to get. Give something free – in her case copies of bridge hands, or tips on playing bridge conventions – and then ask for the order. If you don’t have a partner, she’ll find one for you.
Her emails are pleasant, too. Today she’s wished everyone on her list a Happy Thanksgiving. Then she issued an invitation to her Monday morning class (paying). The carrot if you register is an exercise to practice in advance. She even mentions dressing in layers because the heating system is unpredictable! She ends with the usual reminder:
“Tomorrow is Silver Point Tuesday & there is still time for you to play in the morning game, so email me if you would like to play. No game Thursday morning. Enjoy! Sherry”
So, this is the lesson about email business communication that I’ve learned from Sherrie:
- Be consistent with the timing of your emails. Inject a sense of urgency if there is a deadline to be met.
- Use a large distinctive typeface with a bold color.
- Give something away before asking for the order.
- Be pleasant and attentive to your customers. Offer to help, whatever your business may be.
And by the way, Happy Thanksgiving!