Small Business Time-savers: Creating Great Email Templates
When you’re running a business, every minute of your day becomes a valuable and finite resource. Conserving your time and using it effectively is at the heart of a strong management ability, so taking a little time to set up more efficient business processes can turn out to be a great investment in the long run. One of the things that most business owners do every day is send and receive emails. While business emails are most often short and to the point, they do still need to retain a polished level of grammar and vocabulary. Writing something that sounds great and gets straight to the point takes time, however, and if you are writing the same kind of emails over and over, you should consider creating an email template that can save you the trouble of crafting these letters from scratch every time.
Understand when not to use a template. If you are communicating with a client or business partner, sometimes it’s not a good idea to reuse a template. The reason for this is that in a long and detail oriented email thread, people will be able to tell that you are replying to them with a stock response. It may also be the case that the details you need to communicate don’t need to be inserted into a template and a simple sentence or two will suffice for a reply. The higher priority taken by the partner you are communicating with, the less you should rely on pre-fabricated drafts. A personal touch is usually apparent and appreciated in business communications.
Templates should leave room for tweaking while hitting major points. The right time to use a template is when you are emailing about something the is a standard occurrence or process at your business that only needs a couple of details included that can be easily inserted. Templates can also be helpful for stock replies to inquiries and as conversation starters. Templates will greatly help out if you are emailing multiple people with the same request, such as for a price quote or requesting information on a partnership.
How can you create a great template? What constitutes a good email template? It should read as much like an email you wrote yourself as possible, and hit all the points that you need it to while remaining concise. In order to avoid complicating things, you should generally have one email template for each separate type of email you regularly send out. Combining too many items into one template makes it less usable and editing it will take away time you are supposed to be saving. Less here is usually more. If you want to, you can always ad in more specific information and edit the tone of a template. The more nuanced and specific you make your template, the better it will sound for a specific situation, but the more time it will take to edit if you need to change it to reflect a different circumstance. This is something to be aware of and take think about in regards to the nature of your specific business.
Photo Credit to Gajman on Flickr