Using Formal Writing to Write an Effective Email

August 21, 2019

Each insurance agency has their own brand and personality. In email marketing, this can come across through the tone of voice used to write the email. In our latest episode of Operation Agency Success, AgencyBuzz Product Manager Heather Cherry explains the differences between formal and informal writing in your agency's email marketing.
 

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Video Transcript

Each insurance agency has their own brand and personality. In email marketing, this can come across through the tone of voice used to write the email. Some agents may like to use friendlier slang, while others may use more formal language.

Deciding whether an email is formal or informal is an important step in writing an effective email. So, what are the main differences between formal and informal writing?

When writing a formal marketing email, you should only use standard English terms. Colloquial terms and slang are considered informal writing. For example, in Texas many people say y'all when referring to a group of people.

You should also be aware of common grammatical errors so you can avoid them. For example, the difference between their, there, and they're. Or, the difference between possessive and plural apostrophes.

In formal or business writing, the use of contractions like won'tcan'tdon't, is usually avoided. Write these expressions in their complete form in a formal email. But, in an informal email, feel free to use these contractions.

Formal writing often has longer, more detailed sentences and passive voice. Informal writing makes use of the active voice and a more direct sentence.

For example, “Your quote request was received yesterday” is passive voice. The same sentence rewritten in active voice would say, “I received your quote request yesterday.”

When writing a marketing email, you should address your contacts by their first name. This creates a since of familiarity and begins to build a trusting relationship between you and your client.

By using their first name, you're conveying to them they may address you by your first name as well. If you're on a first name basis with your clients, they look to you as a friend or adviser when it comes to their insurance coverage and protecting their family.

Regardless of whether you are writing a formal or informal email, take the time to proofread your message before sending it out. Checking for correct spelling and grammar can make the difference between someone trusting you as an insurance professional and someone dismissing your expertise because your misuse of “their, there, or they're.”

If you've spent too much time looking at one email, before sending it out have someone else take a look. It's better to have someone catch a mistake beforehand than to have 15 clients reply to your email telling you the difference between “then” and “than.”

Also, as a final note. Using all caps makes you appear to be yelling at your clients. Never, never, use all caps.

Email allows you to market yourself as the insurance expert you really are. Deciding on a specific tone of voice can help your clients feel more comfortable and at ease. And, it builds your agency brand.

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