A Friendly Email: Just Do It
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of working with the nicest client. So nice, in fact, that every time she emailed me, she opened with a friendly greeting (no matter how catastrophic the problem was). I received emails from others at the organization who were the same way. I wondered what was going on over at this company. Why was everyone so…nice? It is sad that a friendly email is so few and far between that I questioned what was going on there instead of seeing that maybe I was the problem…not them. Everyone is in such a hurry to get things done nowadays that we forget to make any type of friendly interaction. “How are you doing?” simply takes too much time, so it’s often skipped and we proceed to get right to the point instead.
Fast-forward a year and I found myself working at this “nice” company. I discovered that the CEO instills a sense of nice into every person who walks through the doors. This same company has won “Best Place to Work” for many years now. Think there is a correlation? I do.
See, when you are nice to people, they are generally nice back to you. Who wants to work in a hostile environment where everyone is angry all the time? Human decency should be at the forefront of everything you do, and I believe it has been lost in a world that is always online.
Why focus on email, specifically? In this day and age, most of our interactions with the outside world happen through a means of communication that make it hard to read a thought or emotion. An email (or text or Facebook wall post) that is getting to the point instead of making a closer connection could be construed as cold or lifeless. How many people have had a friend text them and then immediately wondered if that friend was mad at them? There is nothing wrong with what the friend said, but without hearing the emotion in their voice, it’s hard to tell how they’re feeling. The same principle applies to email and is especially important (say, in a work environment) when the person you’re communicating with might not know you very well or even at all.
Think how much better your day would be if your least friendly client suddenly started formulating an email in this manner. Kill ’em with kindness is how I was taught. Next time you hit the send button, make sure you’ve included a friendly greeting along the way.
Hope you’re having a great day!
Julie Welch is Happy Medium’s media director, planning and implementing media across all digital and traditional channels with experience in eight markets. Julie’s attention to detail and negotiation acumen ensures that Happy Medium’s client budgets are used as efficiently and effectively as possible. Julie holds a degree in English from Iowa State University.