Let the Writing Crackle

“He’s my absolutely favorite client,” Dan Oropesa, the Relationship Manager at my firm, proclaims with great conviction as we sit at the computer, charting the next few months of my life.

He’s talking about Rich, the head of a large securities firm, a fellow I coach.

Here’s the part I want you to get: Dan has never met Rich, never even spoken with him on the phone. This is a business relationship charged solely by emails to schedule appointments. The ridiculously mundane stuff of conducting business.

“Rich is always professional,” Dan explains. “He answers quickly. His emails are fun. They make me want to respond immediately because I don’t want to lose the momentum.”

Appointment emails that are professional and fun? You bet.

Allow me to translate: Rich’s emails are brief and to the point. They have energy. They, in fact, crackle with it!

You may wonder – well, what are the ingredients of an energetic email? Consider these 3 simple tips:

1.Get Rhythm: We know that concise is good. Short has more energy than long. But consider the rhythm created by several sentences in a row. Short/short/short. That’s a rhythm. Short/long/short. That’s another one. Long/short/long. Pretty clear, right? The one to avoid is long/long/long – it will suck the energy right out of the reader. Guaranteed!

2. Throw in Color: Mix up the facts in your email with the occasional adjective. Adjectives trigger memory and emotion. Better yet, pick an adjective that pops. We can saygreat, or we can say splendid, stupendous, rollicking, grand. Pick the bold one!

3. Add a Surprise: That might be a quick aside about your mood of the day, a sudden turn in the weather, a simple moment of whimsy, a humorous observation. The operative word here is “quick.” The reward? Your aside will make your email stick. 90% of the time, you reader will play off this aside in the response. Suddenly, you have a crackling rhythm going on …