It can be difficult to achieve a balance between a professional voice and a casual voice when it comes to email marketing. Here are some tips and tricks to help you perfect that balance.

Nothing turns people off more than marketing jargon. We live in a time when everything is digital. That means that the people on your business contact list loathe distracting ads and understand how to smell sales pitches from a mile away.

If you want to have genuine relationships with your customers and leads, you cannot just rely on a good price or a good product. That means you must use language that builds trust. You need to say things that feel more like one-to-one conversations rather than advertisements.

It has been shown that casual language is useful for marketers to bridge the gap between casual social media interactions and professional work exchanges. If you are able to find a way to incorporate that into your email copy, you’ll be on your way to more effective email marketing. Is that true? Let’s see why it is.

You should improve your image.

That is, in “casual language” we use conjunctions, fragments, and idioms that cause your third grade grammar teacher to be scowling. What actually happens is that casual language is less about breaking rules and more about writing in a way that reads like a message that comes from you, and not like a text that you have read from a textbook.

An example from LinkedIn really highlights the difference casual language can make:

Going down this road with your marketing materials can make a huge difference. And now, before we explore how to include casual language in your emails, let’s first summarize what you should know about this technique. Is this valuable to brands?

Build a brand that people can easily understand.

Some of the most effective brands achieved success by putting a focus on building trust with consumers. You can divide that into a few concise actions that you can take.

  1. Be sure to continue to stick to your brand’s core values.
  2. Assure that all channels are consistent.
  3. Rely on experts in this field.
  4. Build connections with your audience.

And why is that last one of them so important? As part of being a brand that people will recognize, it is important to create shareable content.

Social media marketing is just as powerful as any other form of advertising. That’s because people feel safe engaging with brands in a digital space, where they feel safe and anonymous.

In these conversations, casual conversation plays an important role, and it really ties back to each of the steps to building trust with your target audience. If you create content that speaks to people, and specifically, to their own struggles or expectations, you are building a platform that invites people to engage with you.

Authenticity needs to happen organically, and part of doing that is getting away from stuffy, sales-driven messaging.

Continue to be an expert in your field.

But shifting from a language that is more casual does not mean throwing your image in the garbage. In fact, for brands in certain industries, picking up too casual of a tone could discredit your company or attract a different audience than the ones you’re used to.

Regardless of how you communicate with your customers, there is always a risk of going too far either way.

Self-explanatory. The source of the news was Semrush.
Self-explanatory. The source of the news was Semrush.

The challenge for marketers is to find the right balance between talking with a professional and talking with a casual person. You might use a formal tone some days, and you might use a more personal “face-to-face” tone other days.

You want to come off as someone who is real, and not as an advertisement that is preprogrammed. Be sure to speak with authority, to demonstrate to people that you are able to lead a conversation about your industry in a way that is entertaining and informative.

Each customer persona needs different things from a brand, and those personas may vary depending on the industry and field that they are in. So, as you try to find that happy medium, people will still expect that you are knowledgeable and that you are very capable when it comes to what you do.

You want to be recognized as a trusted and knowledgeable voice in your industry.

Write emails that are engaging.

All digital marketers have a process for writing emails and drafting their copy. So, instead of pretending that you’ve never done it before, let’s look at a couple ways you can approach writing emails with a unique, personable brand voice.

1. Write a letter to an individual.

Do not sit down to write an email with a very specific goal in mind. Be sure to take that as what it is: correspondence between two people. When you write an email to a friend or colleague, instead of sending it to a friend, you naturally will start to use more casual tones in the message.

2. Stay true to your tone.

If you’re thinking about jokes or puns, there’s a good chance that one of them will stick out for the reader because he “forced” them to do something. There is nothing wrong with editing emails and looking for some humor, but a cheesy email can be just as bad a turnoff as an abrasive sales pitch.

3. Read a lot of emails.

Before you become a good email writer, you must first read a couple great emails. If you regularly subscribe to the email list of your competitors, so that you can find out what they are doing on the other side of the fence, then it is important that you subscribe to other brands that you respect or admire. Check out the way they approach the email copy, and feel free to experiment with things that you like. Successful emails are the foundation of other successful emails.

4. Every time you do something, test it.

It’s another useful tool that should be in any marketer’s toolbelt. Always test something before you send out a mail. When you’re transitioning from a formal voice to a more relaxed tone, that’s an easy place to start. First, find out how casual your voice is, and test it out to see if it helps people respond to it.

5. Create A Style Guide for Men.

After you have determined the right balance for your audience, you can try and standardize that. If you can think of some rules or tips that might help with future emails, then think about them and share with your team. So, each email that you send to your followers will be matched to the tone of your social media posts, blog articles, and web copy. Also, make everything consistent.

(If you’re curious what that looks like, Mailchimp has made their content style guide public. If you do that, you will get an idea of how the leading voice in email marketing approaches their tone and voice.

It is important that you have a style guide and split testing, but that is all that you will get. They can help you experiment with (and standardize) the voice of your brand, but it’s still up to you to decide on what you should think of it. After you secure those details, you will be able to start using casual language in your email marketing, and you will reap the benefits from that change.