How to write the perfect email with empathy

Catherine Farley Avatar

Catherine Farley | 25 September 2020

Forget everything you know. Covid-19, like everything else, has completely changed the email game. What was up is now down, and what was successful is now a colossal failure. Though a few constants remain. 

Constant reminders:

  1. Time is money, and money is time. No one wants to sit around and wait for you to get to the point. Be direct in your email
  2. Be considerate. Don't send an email at 2am because you think it'll grab someone's attention. That's just rude. Get in line with the rest of us. 
  3. At least, do the bare minimum, and get their name right. Come on. That's just obvious. 

Now, since Covid-19, some of the rules of engagement have changed. Many of the new expectations are unspoken, but they are perceivable. 

Covid-19 reminders:

  1. Relax with the followup. We aren't all working from home. We are working in a crisis with portions of our identity and joy stripped away. A bit dramatic but true. If someone doesn't respond in a few days–give them some space. You don't know what they're dealing with. 
  2. Don't rush to zoom. The zoom fatigue is real, my friends. If you don't have to meet–don't. If you can continue good momentum in email–let it. Don't add a zoom to someone's calendar until it's genuinely worth it. 
  3. Write like a human being. This should be always and forever but especially now. Write like how you talk. We are all getting inundated with emails, both wanted and unwanted. Be different and have a voice, personality, and some flare. 

If all else fails, just make sure not to say "during these unprecedented times."

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Catherine Farley Avatar

Catherine Farley

Catherine Farley is the Director of Marketing at Saleswhale. She has 10+ years experience designing unimaginable marketing campaigns and storytelling. Catherine is the proud owner of two Great Pyrenees and due to their shedding is rarely seen wearing black.


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