Email is one of the most popular ways to communicate, and over the years some etiquette has grown around how to use it. With this established etiquette, some myths have also appeared about what you should and should not do with email. Let's explore and bust some of these!
Myth #1: There's no room for creativity in email copy
It's true that there are some basic rules of thumb when it comes to writing copy for emails — like keeping it short and personal — but there's still plenty of room for creativity here. You just have to know how best to apply it.
If a creative approach is never taken, your emails will get lost in the barrage of other emails people receive everyday.
Myth #2: Writing about yourself is always a bad idea
It's true that in some cases, writing about yourself can be boring. Some people love talking about themselves in a way that makes everyone else want to run away screaming, but most people actually want to hear stories about other people's lives — especially when those stories are told well and entertainingly. But if you're writing about something you're passionate about or are an expert on, then it's not always a bad thing to put some of your personal experiences into the mix.
Myth #3: You need to sparkle with personality in all of your emails
If you're someone who struggles with writing emails, it's easy to think that the best way to stand out is by being more personal and personable. But if you're not naturally good at this, it can actually hurt your professional image if you try too hard.
The key to an effective email is brevity and clarity. It should be clear exactly what you want from the recipient, who they should contact and where they should go for more information.
While it's true that many people like getting personal emails, especially if they know the person well, it's important not to confuse a friendly tone with oversharing or unnecessary chattiness. In fact, oversharing can actually make people feel uncomfortable or awkward — even if they don't say anything about it at first.
Myth #4: Email is dying
The truth is that email has never been more alive. There are currently more than 3 billion email users worldwide and that number continues to grow. And while there are many new communication channels competing for our attention, email remains the most effective way to reach your customers and prospects.
Email remains an essential tool for marketing because it's effective and affordable, but also because it's familiar, convenient and universal. While it's true that some people prefer other forms of communication over email (such as text messaging or social media), those channels don't provide the same level of personalization as email. Email allows you to send targeted messages to specific individuals at their exact moment of need — which is why it continues to be one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to reach customers today.
Myth #5: Email is too formal
This myth is one of the most common I hear. People think that email is only for sending business communications and that you need to use a more personal form of communication for other things.
The fact is, email can be used for any type of message. It’s more about the content than anything else. If you have a personal message to send to someone, don’t worry about how formal it is — just write it!
Myth #6: Emails don't build relationships
Emails are great for building relationships. In fact, they are often the easiest way to start one. Just ask a friend or colleague to connect via email, and you've got an instant line of communication. You can keep the conversation going by sending short messages every now and then, which keeps your relationship alive.
Emails can also be used as a way to build trust with clients, prospects and partners. When you send them helpful information or links that address their needs or interests, you're letting them know that you care about them as individuals — not just their business needs. And this goes a long way toward establishing strong relationships with clients who otherwise might not have responded well if approached directly over the phone or in person.
Myth #7: People will only respond to emails if they're short and to the point
There are no hard-and-fast rules about what makes an email effective, but there are some best practices. One of these is to keep your emails short and to the point, because people are busy and want a clear summary of what you're asking for or offering. But another is that longer emails can often be more effective than shorter ones, for example when you're sharing content or insights with someone and you know they're interested in them.
These are myths that some people believe to be true, and as a result they don't use email as effectively as possible. If you can recognize these myths for the falsehoods that they are, you will be able to write better emails and get better responses from your recipients!