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You’ve Got Mail — Now Read it!

Originally published: 09.01.17 by Pete Grasso

Putting together our monthly Ahead of the Curve eNewsletters is a thoughtful process. In addition to the Web Exclusive featured content and the Industry News and Products, we include links to a handful of articles from other sources around the web.

When I put these together, I always try to include links to articles I believe you’ll find interesting and useful. Whether it’s from Inc. magazine, Forbes, Fortune or even The Wall Street Journal, I spend quite a bit of time combing through a variety of resources.

The fun part comes a week or so after we send out our eNewsletter, when I get to look at the analytics and find out which links were most popular.

Occasionally, I swing and miss, including an article that many aren’t compelled to read. More often, however, this section of the eNewsletter is a big hit.

It’s always interesting to see what articles resonate with you each month. Often, it’s articles on leadership, finance and human resources (all of which help me decide on the content covered in these pages throughout the year).

This past month, I was surprised to see the most clicked link was an article from Fast Company on bad

email habits that explain why no one gets back to you.

We’ve gotten so used to today’s culture of instant gratification (especially with the growing use of text messaging), that it can be, at best, an annoyance or, at worst, inffuriating to wait around for a response to an email. A response that may never come.

So maybe it’s not all that surprising the Fast Company article was so popular. After all, who doesn’t want to learn a better way to get people to listen to them?

The article itself outlines a few email faux pas and, more importantly, how to fix them.

For example, you shouldn’t be so quick to fire off short, often useless messages simply so the ball is in someone else’s court. Take some time and type a thoughtful response that will move the conversation forward.

Conversely, you don’t want to write a novel either. The ideal length is somewhere between 50 and 125 words, anything longer than that might warrant a meeting or a phone call.

Email has been around for years, but mastering its use is still a mystery to many. I’ve known more than a few people who are “bad emailers.” I’m sure you know what I’m talking about — You get an email from them and it either sounds rude or doesn’t make sense, but when you go talk to them, they’re pleasant and can easily summarize what they tried to say in the email.

For tips on improving your writing, check out the article contributed by Chuck Eddy, vice president of HVAC sales for Southwire, on pg. 15. While not specific to email, these are great tips you can use when crafting any communication.

Although it should never replace face-to-face meetings with your team, email is a great way to share basic information or ask a simple question without getting bogged down with everything a meeting entails.

Email is also a great way to communicate with your customers and there are numerous ways to use it.

One of the most popular is to send out your company newsletter. For years, contractors have used newsletters as a way to stay Top of Mind with customers and provide useful information. Sending it out via email is simply a different format.

This month, Service Nation Alliance COO David Heimer provides a variety of email newsletter best practices.

In addition to your regular company newsletter, here are a few additional ways you can use email to communicate with customers:

  • Seasonal promotion announcements
  • Welcome new customers
  • Service contract and upcoming appointment reminders
  • Testimonial solicitation/customer satisfaction surveys

As with your general business emails, these customer emails should also be thoughtfully written so the information is presented in a way that will elicit the biggest response.

If you’ve enjoyed this column (or, even if you didn’t), I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email — see what I did there? — at pgrasso@hvacrbusiness.com.

And don’t forget to head over to sign up for one (or all) of our eNewsletters if you’re not already a subscriber.



About Pete Grasso

Pete is the editor of HVACR Business magazine and the Ahead of the Curve enewsletter, as well as web content editor for www.hvacrbusiness.com and author of the blog Keeping it Simple. He has spent his career working in and with trade media, both as a public relations practitioner and as an editor. He gained a great deal of expertise in the B2B arena, within large and medium sized advertising agencies. Be sure to follow Pete on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn!


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