How do you respond to emails?

Lately I’ve been looking for an editor on my site.

Yes, I’ve had someone proofing my posts, but I really want a bit more than that.

I want grammar and spelling tips, and a second opinion on my content. Maybe some of it is bad or doesn’t make sense.

I want that feedback before you all see it.

My Questions

I’ve got a few names now and I asked all of them the same questions.

  1. What’s your process for submitting content?
  2. Do you provide more than just spelling/grammar checking? An example would be “This is not a great post, but if we added XXXX it could be” or “You should link to this post you wrote before”.
  3. How do you bill?

Now I know how I’d approach a response to the email but do you have a plan?

Process

Way too many people treat writing an email the same way.

They start with some sort of intro, and then try to address any questions in the email, then write some sort of goodbye message.

That’s absolutely the wrong way to do it.

Step 1

The first step is to write an answer to each question asked.

In my email I gave them numbers, but unfortunately clients aren’t likely to be that organized. If they aren’t then you should copy/paste each question in to the body of your email.

Then write the reply to each question.

Step 2

Now you need to attach anything that is required to explain your answers.

It’s super easy to forget so I even right out @todo attach file… after any answer that needs an attachment to go with it.

Step 3

Proof the email and make sure that the main questions for the client have been answered.

Make sure you didn’t spell things wrong.

Read it out loud and make sure that it reads right.

Correct any mistakes.

Step 4

Now you can write your intro and ending to the email because you’re actually finally ready.

You actually addressed the main things that were important to the client first, instead of some mostly toss away intro.

Each interaction

Yeah that seems like a lot of work for an email, and it is.

Each interaction with your client can either be awesome or not. If you want clients to love you then you better make them awesome.

Making sure that you start writing by addressing their concerns is one way to help make your interactions awesome.

None of the first batch of editors I interacted with answered all of my questions. In fact a few didn’t answer any and I didn’t bother going any further with the interaction.

photo credit: kwl cc

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