The Email Tone: Etiquette to Creating Powerful Marketing Messages for Your Practice
Email communication is a great way to interface with clients since it ensures that information is communicated clearly, concisely, and in a format that is easy to save and manage. It’s also a great marketing tool; your newsletter etiquette could be a first touch with new clients, and a continuous update with consistent ones. Because of this, managing your firm’s voice via e-mail is an important step towards creating and maintaining a company aesthetic. With many lawyers to chose from, you want to ensure that clients make a personal connection with your firm; and an established internet presence is a powerful way to do so.
The first step to engaging this marketing technique is to understand its building blocks. While “voice” and “tone” may seem like interchangeable words when discussing Email and text communication, they are actually quite different concepts. A “voice” is a unified company aesthetic; if your firm were a person, the “voice” would be its personality. Voice should remain consistent once established. “Tone” is a building block to this voice; you may adopt different tones in written communication depending upon the information being communicated and the format in which that information is being relayed.
Where to Start?
By creating a unified company “Voice”, you can ensure that written communications sent from your firm will adhere to one consistent personality. This personality is what clients (potential and existing) will relate to; and it is what they will consider when determining if your firm is the right one for their needs.
Begin by analyzing what makes your firm special; what do you offer that others do not? How can you describe the “vibe” or “feel” of your firm? What do you want clients to feel like when dealing with you? Personify your firm a bit; how would you describe it if it were a person? Create a list of adjectives that describe what your firm is (and, perhaps equally importantly, what it is not) and make this list available to all who will be sending emails on behalf of the company. A good example of a few might be:
- Trustworthy, but not secretive
- Professional but not stodgy
- Smart but not intimidating
Once you’ve formulated this list, remember that as your firm shifts and changes throughout the years, your voice will as well. This “personality” is not set in stone; merely unified.
“Tone” should come quite naturally from the nature of your drafted communication. Communications that require direct, personal contact and immediate attention should edge into a very formal and professional tone. This tone, however, should only be used for the most urgent of subject matter. When you are dealing with general communications (such as a newsletter), you’ll want the tone to be a bit more friendly and inviting. A good way to think of this is to think of “tone of voice”; how would you say this information if you were using the spoken word to communicate it?
The key to tone is that it is a building block to your company’s voice. Whenever anyone sends an email on behalf of your company, have them cross-reference their tone with your vocal qualities list. This way, you can ensure a unified front in your public firm communications. Comment below to share your successes with creating an effective tone for your specific company, or send in your questions towards creating a memorable tone for your firm within your email marketing.