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Hitting the right voice and tone in emails ensures that you can reach your customers in a meaningful and authentic way. It may seem tricky at first, but we promise it’s easy once you get the basics down.
What is the difference between voice and tone?
Simply put, voice is what you say to your customers (the message) and tone is how you say it (the attitude with which you state your message).
Think of voice as the personality of your email –– how do you want to come across to your customers? Your voice should remain consistent throughout your messaging. To find your voice, think about the values of your company and what message you want to share with your audience.
Tone, on the other hand, is the attitude of what you’re saying in your email. And just like your attitude can change, so can your tone. Your tone can be whimsical, serious, or even funny — if that’s the attitude you’re trying to convey.
Finding your voice and tone
So now that you know what voice and tone are, how do you find them? That’s a great question. It depends on your goals for your email marketing strategy and overall brand.
If you’re new to email marketing and need help settling on your tone and voice, we recommend writing three different emails to express the same message — let’s say to offer a coupon for ten percent off a purchase. Write the email in three different voices to your ideal customer with what you would say to them about this coupon.
Once you’ve written three emails in three different voices, see which one resonates most with you. Which email sounds most like you and represents your brand the most authentically? Have it? Great – that’s your voice.
Now, let’s move to tone. Do you want your emails to feel upbeat, heartfelt, or maybe even objective in your emails? Again, test out a few different emails by taking the email that you wrote to find your voice and now try out a few different tones with that message. How does that feel? Are you presenting your audience with the right attitude?
After you’ve settled on your tone, take note of your voice and tone with a few words that can act as your North Star when you’re writing your email. For instance, perhaps your voice is conversational, and your tone is funny. Write this information down and keep it next to you when you’re writing your marketing emails -— it will help you stay consistent in both voice and tone, which is incredibly important in marketing.
Using voice and tone in email marketing
This brings us to our next point: consistency. Once you’re comfortable about your voice and tone, it’s important that you stick with it. That’s not to say you can’t crack a joke here and there even if you have gone with a more formal tone, but for the majority of your emails, they should sound the same.
The more consistent you are with voice and tone, the more recognizable your brand will be to customers who receive your email. That consistency helps your email stand out from all of the other messages in their inbox.
Think of it this way: Your audience should be able to tell it’s your email even if they couldn’t see your shop’s name in the email — that’s how distinct you want your voice to be. So whether you’re writing a welcome or happy birthday email, you should let your North Star guide you.