Are you using your Outside Voice in your Email communications?

Email inboxes are not dissimilar from gardens: weedy and always in need of attention.

Have you noticed that no matter how you try to keep your inbox free of irrelevant information, it still manages to creep in, infiltrating what was once a manageable inbox?

Weeds! There is no stopping them.

On the other hand, also sprouting in your email garden are plantings that are valuable, ones you have lovingly put in the digital ground yourself.



From the email marketing side of things, you — the small business owner — are always in pursuit of relevant content topics to share with your gardeners. The only way to stay in the email garden or the gardener’s special folders is to share relevant content that is worthy of the space.

A mean, cocky tone of voice comes across tough, disrespectful.

Let’s say that you have a Potter’s Shed full of great content that’s interesting: fully-written blogs, evergreen content, snag files full of scintillating,  as well as half-baked, ideas.

The next step is to decide what voice you want to use when you re-mold (prune, if you will) that precious content into an email.

The Voice (No, not the TV show)

It’s imperative that you consider your target audience to decide how you want to speak to them.

What do they expect from you?

What do they need?

What can they tolerate?

Regardless of the target audience, your intent is to be respectfully engaging. This is true even if you have a comedic bent to your writing.

Of all the attributes you want to exhibit in your email, you want to be

  • considerate  • sensitive  • empathetic    • humanizing   • relatable

The reader needs to feel like he or she is being seen, being heard, and being valued.

Your email, to be an esteemed resource, must reflect the needs of the reader while delivering the expertise that you alone can provide.

The voice you choose is based on the seriousness of the topic, the expectation of the reader and how you want your brand to be viewed.  This, the voice to which I refer is your Brand Voice: a demeanor, a pattern, a tempo that will be recognizable and trusted by your reader.

For example, if you are an expert in cardiac surgery and you are writing your colleagues about a new clinical procedure you want to promote, their expectation is that you will be serious, not comedic, and that you will be concise and avoid hyperbole.  Even if you have a night job as a stand-up comic, avoid exposing your humorous proclivity to this group.

Illustration of a Scared face

If, on the other hand, you are a software developer launching a new video conferencing platform into an already crowded space, being funny might be just what you need to get your audience’s attention after 18 months of a forced Zoom March.  If you have a new entertaining way to connect with Grandma as well as your business partners, you might be on to something with your jokes-a-lot approach.

More about Brand Voice

Think of your brand voice as another color in your logo. It will be (over time) recognizable as You.  So whether you opt to be funny, conversational, jargon-ladened, scientific, elegant, cool or straight-laced, that becomes part of your brand and should not change much over time.

If you are still concerned about who or what your brand voice is or should be and aren’t certain what your target audience expects, review the “7 Attributes of the Customer Avatar” on my website.

Reach out for a chat with me if you want a brief convo about brands, brand voices and how it all plays together to serve your audience.  I’m happy to talk you down off the (marketing) ledge so you can Do Business, Not Marketing.

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