Two organisations approached Tactics for email writing training. The two companies operated in different industries, different countries and had very different staff profiles. But in both companies, poorly written emails caused misunderstandings and delays, and resulted in disgruntled customers and suppliers.
Emails had become a cost to the business and were damaging the brands.
Both companies initially faced staff resistance to the training. The team at Company A were mostly people with English as a second language. They were comfortable talking to customers and suppliers on the phone, but lacked skills and confidence communicating in writing. Their emails took too long to write, lacked a clear message and were riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes.
In Company B, staff were university-educated and thought they were good at writing. But their idea of ‘professional’ writing was overlong, convoluted gobbledegook. Staff were based in different countries and there was no common style or tone that reflected the company’s brand. Instead, there were too many misunderstandings and emails going back and forth and complaints about unreadable proposals and reports.
Our workshop instructor looked at the emails from both companies and customised the workshop to address each team’s specific training needs. We delivered the workshop virtually via Zoom to the team in Company B, who were used to connecting via video-conferencing and happy to engage remotely.
But we recommended an in-person workshop for Company A, where the face-to-face contact with the instructor was important to put the participants at ease and build their confidence. The classroom set-up also allowed the instructor to provide extra support during exercises to those who needed it.
Both workshops opened participants’ eyes to ‘what good looks like’ when writing emails. They learned how to plan first and then apply simple, fail-safe formulas for writing emails with a clear purpose, attention-getting subject lines and unambiguous (but polite) calls to action. Simple tools for structuring information and writing in plain language gave participants the confidence to write easy-to-read emails in less time and get the responses they needed.
The managers from both companies were delighted with the result and noticed immediate improvements.
This comment from a workshop participant sums up what we often hear:
“This is my first course for writing emails and I wish I had done it 10 years ago”