If you haven’t already heard, the future of email is here, and it’s all about great conversation. It’s designed to be more human. It’s about making real connections with your contacts. Bringing people together to encourage creativity and innovation in every aspect of your life. It’s definitely NOT about robotic templates or scripted email replies.
The problem is, there’s only so many hours in a day. Look, we know how popular and in demand you are. We know that everyone is clamoring for your advice and expertise. We also know that in our hyper-connected world, it’s difficult to find the time to keep up with an overflowing inbox. But wait—didn’t your mother always tell you that there’s nothing wrong with asking for help? And in truth, that’s all an email template is right? A handy helper designed to give you a boost first thing on Monday morning (or any other day for that matter).
However, here’s the dilemma. Conventional email templates can come across as a little cold. A little mechanical. A little too much like something you might get from your bank. Or worse, the tax office. So how do you create email templates that really speak to someone? That are altogether more human? That don’t, in fact, scream “I COULDN’T BE BOTHERED TO CRAFT A PERSONAL REPLY?”
How To Write Email Templates with a Human Touch
If you look at the thousands of email templates available online, you’ll see that they all follow a similar pattern. Invariably, they’re designed to speak to the broadest audience possible. They’re designed to be neutral so they’re fit for any purpose. But let’s face it, you wouldn’t speak to a colleague in the same way as a client. And you definitely wouldn’t speak to your boss as you would your best friend.
Writing an email template doesn’t have to be time consuming or stressful. You should approach it in just the same way as you would with any other email. Just remember to leave a few gaps that can be filled in later and follow our approach to add that much-needed human touch.
Bring A Little Energy to Your Email Templates
Let’s say you’re working on a fresh new project within your company. You’re getting loads of ideas from different departments and you need a quick and easy way to filter out the good from the bad. An easy email template that will help you and your colleagues focus on what’s important can save you lots of time and narrow less succinct emails into simple bullet points.
I love the energy you’re bringing to this project, and some of these ideas are fantastic! At this point I’m consolidating everyone’s work so we can make an action plan on how best to move the project forward.
Let’s work on these points and dive a little deeper into how we can make them happen (especially points (-) and point (-):
I think we can probably put these ideas on hold for the moment, but perhaps we can revisit them later in the project:
I’m getting some excellent input from across the company. Keep those inspirational ideas coming!
As usual, if you have any questions or you need any further clarification, give me a call/drop me an email/grab me at the coffee machine.
Standardizing Your Services
Email templates are also useful for freelancers and digital nomads, providing a quick and easy way to follow up on pitches or potential projects. Here, writing an email template that contains the same (or similar) information means you can send out quick-fire replies to any meetings or calls you have with prospective clients. You can even tailor each email to contain different links or attachments depending on the scope of the project.
|Dear (Client Name),
It was a pleasure to meet you earlier today and I really enjoyed our discussion on (project name). I wanted to follow-up with my credentials and tell you again why (project name) appeals to me.
You’ll find my CV attached and my portfolio here (link to portfolio). As you can see, my experience to-date puts me in a strong position to push the project forward and I’m positive I can bring a fresh new perspective to (company name).
If there are any points you feel we didn’t cover then feel free to drop me an email/give me a call and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Colleagues, Clients, and Customers
Another way to make email templates that speak to individuals is to split your responses according to who you are writing to. You can keep things cool and casual with your friends or ramp-up the professionalism when emailing clients or customers. Let’s take the standard “apology” email that we all probably use a little too often. Here are three examples of how you might write email templates for your colleagues, clients, or customers—you can also use or delete the sections as you need.
Thanks for the email last week. Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I appreciate your thoughts and we should (plan of action). You’ll find the documents attached and I’m available if you’ve got any questions. We can meet at (time) if you need to chat about it a little more.
|Good Morning/Afternoon (Name),
Thank you for your email last week and my apologies I haven’t got around to dealing with it sooner. I really appreciate your thoughts on this, and we should definitely (plan of action). Attached, you’ll find the relevant documents and if you need any further clarification then I will be free between (time).
My sincere apologies that I was unable to answer your email last week. I have taken a look at the information you have provided, and I will (plan of action). For your reference, I have attached a copy of (document name). Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any further questions in the meantime.
A Few Things to Remember
When writing email templates, it is important to find the right balance between practical and personal. Anything too generic will leave your contacts feeling like they don’t matter. And anything too specific will render your templates useless except for single occasions. Additionally, one of the problems with email templates is that they have a tendency to make us rush. And when you’re in a rush, you’re even more likely to commit the worst email faux pas of them all. Forgetting to personalize your template and sending out a generic reply. Remember, the whole point of email templates is to make your life a little more streamlined, however, if you begin to alienate your contacts, it’s probably time to start crafting personal replies once more.