Best - to the highest degreeThis week, we’re sharing our thoughts on the humble email. Yes, the ordinary kind – the one you use every day.

Today we are focusing on email enquiries from potential new clients. If you have a website (or even if you don’t) the chances are that you receive this type of email.

Today we’re sharing a cheat sheet of our best email practice.

We only have one chance to make a first impression

Soon after setting up practice, Tracy received an email via her website, from a potential client looking for support with acne. Tracy remembers taking time to write a considered response, explaining the different approaches she might take, and also gave some possible dates and times for appointments.

At the first appointment, her new client explained that she had emailed three homeopaths, and that she had selected Tracy on the basis of her email response, which was prompt, clear and friendly. They have been working together now for eight years, during which time the client has lived in three other countries. They’ve worked through acne, deep personal loss and grief, major career change, pill detox, polycystic ovary syndrome, pregnancy, birth and beyond. It is a relationship that has involved a great deal of trust and has been conducted, in substantial part, by email.

So, the question we always ask ourselves is this: what impression will a potential client receive when we reply to their enquiry?

We want them to feel that we are professional, approachable, caring and reliable. We’ll look at each of these in turn.

 

How do we appear professional?

1. With a professional email address and footer

 A footer is easy to set up via your email programme. Usually, the Help pages will tell you how. Consider including your professional body letters, your qualification letters, your phone number or website.

Tracy’s footer currently looks like this. She has deliberately kept it very simple.

Tracy Karkut-Law | MARH LCHE
homeopathywithtracy.co.uk

2. Clear writing, good use of punctuation, no mistakes

Write, reread, edit, reread again. Use the spell-checker. Use the grammar checker.

Please note that ellipsis (…) should not be used as they are intended for use with a quotation. When used in ordinary writing they suggest vagueness or uncertainty.

 

How do we appear friendly?

1. Start and end the email positively

 You could start by thanking them for their email.

Think about how to end the email. Perhaps ‘I look forward to meeting you’ or ‘kind regards’ or ‘warm regards’. ‘Best wishes’ can also work well.

2. Using explanatory language that is positive (rather than neutral)

 For example:

Antibiotics can be helpful for various things, but over time, they can be problematic, and often don’t fully resolve the situation.

3. Using phrasing that suggests, empowers and presents options

 For example:

As a homeopath, I work by looking at you as a whole person, as well as your medical and health history. I look for different approaches – detox, therapeutics and constitutional treatment. All of these are needed in order to help strengthen you and undo the cycle in which you find yourself.

I am often asked how many times someone will need to see me, or how long it will take to resolve something. It is hard to answer that question. In general, the longer that someone has been having problems, and the more medication they’ve had, the longer it takes to fully resolve. However, I expect to see improvements after the first appointment and a sustained improvement after that.

 

How do we appear reliable?

1. This is very simple: we have an auto-respond that is regularly updated, we respond to every enquiry email as soon as we can, and usually within a few hours 

 This may seem like a big ask, but it pays dividends in terms of building trust and confidence. We can all think of times when we have sent an email enquiry and there has been a long time lapse before we received a response. We may have felt disappointed and a little let down.

On the other hand, we can all think of times when we have received a rapid and friendly response and immediately felt warm and valued. It is the same with our clients.

When we are at college, and on forums and groups, there is a lot of discussion about boundaries. Here at Your Radiant Business we fully agree on the importance of having clear boundaries with clients. We also agree that most people we work with are considerate and that the most important thing is to make sure we build trust and form positive relationships from the very beginning.

2. If we can’t respond in full, we send a quick note to say so and say when we’ll get back to them

 For example:

Thank you so much for your email. I read it this morning but we have guests staying with us until tomorrow and I am struggling to find the time to do any work today, which includes responding to emails.

I just wanted to let you know that I received your email, but I am not able to reply today. I am sure you understand that it is a busy time of year. I will write a more considered response by lunchtime tomorrow.

 

Email is an everyday tool we can use to build our business

Taking time and care over them is well worth doing. Next week we’ll be looking at the power of using an email newsletter to strengthen our business. If you have any specific questions you’d like answered, please send them over to us.

Tracy and Lulu

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