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Emails aren’t best served cold: How to speak from the heart

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Author photo: Christina Scannapiego

Christina Scannapiego

Director, Content Marketing

Valentine’s Day is for celebrating love and the relationships that make our lives better. Which makes today the perfect time to talk about customer relationships. After all, where would you be without your customers? They are the lifeblood of your business.

So, let’s chat about customer emails – nurture email best practices, to be specific. You may be coming off a little colder than you mean to be.

The thing is, without verbal cues like tone of voice to show your intent, emails can lose their humanness. Many business leaders are so focused on being professional that our emails end up sounding impersonal and indifferent, which isn’t the way to win your customers’ hearts.

Don’t fret: you can make simple changes to bring warmth into your nurture emails and show some love to your customers.

7 ways to warm up every email (plus examples)

These are some of our favorite techniques for warming up customer emails, whether for nurture email campaigns, drip emails or everyday communication. With just a little extra work and some testing on your end, you can perfect these methods to improve your email communication.

1. Use casual language.

Professionalism and casual language aren’t mutually exclusive. You can be casual and professional at the same time. Going for a more relaxed tone immediately humanizes your emails:

  • Use contractions (i.e., don’t instead of do not)
  • Ditch stuffy vocabulary and business jargon
  • Aim for a Flesch Kincaid reading ease score of 60-70 or reading grade level 7-8. (Do this with shorter, less-complicated sentences).


Formal Text: I did not want you to miss the opportunity to update your app, so let me know when you have signed into your account, and I will update it for you.


Casual version: I didn’t want you to miss the opportunity to update your app. Let me know when you’ve signed into your account, and I’ll update it for you.

2. Use active voice.

We’re taking you back to high school grammar lessons here, but stick with us. You can write in passive or active voice. Passive statements tend to de-personalize the action. Active statements are how we typically talk to our friends and family.

Using active voice can bring emails to life and make them feel so much friendlier:

Passive Sentence: “Once the link is clicked, your profile can be edited.”


Active Sentence: “Once you click the link, you can edit your profile.”

This small switch can be tough to get used to, but it can make a huge difference in how warm your emails sound.

3. Gratitude is the attitude for success.

It’s well-documented that gratitude improves relationships. Find ways to say thank you in your customer emails to express your appreciation.

You can do this by blatantly thanking them in emails. You can also swap out some common declarative phrases with more gratitude-filled ones.

Instead of: “It was nice seeing you.”

Try: “Thanks so much for meeting up with me.


Instead of: “Let’s chat this week.”

Try: “When you have time, I’d really appreciate a call with you.”

4. Trash the spammy subject lines.

With the volume of emails we all receive these days, no wonder 35% of emails go unread. Grabby subject lines aren’t enough anymore. They need to be immediately relevant to the recipient. The key is to be empathetic and remember there’s a human on the other end. Pull meaningful information and personalization into the subject line for nurture emails whenever possible:

I have a question about our call, [name]

I knew I forgot something, [name]

From one tech nerd to another

From one consultant to another

Thanks so much for your time, [name]

I found the perfect house for you, [name]

Help? I’d love your feedback on this new feature.

The more personalization you can add to the subject line, the better.

5. Speak directly to the person at the other end.

For some marketing emails or nurture email campaigns, you have to use the same copy for everyone. But with a 1:1 customer email, you have the opportunity to show that you see them as a person and not just a sale.

When you’re just getting to know a customer, you can add personal tidbits to your emails like “I loved your latest blog article,” or “I noticed your area code is 650. Are you from San Francisco? I have a cousin who lives there!”

Once you’ve spoken to them more, you should translate that into the email. Throw in a “How’d your son’s game go?” or an “I sure enjoyed our lunch last week.” Take notes on your interactions and record your relationship history in your CRM so you can apply those nuggets of knowledge in your emails.

6. Listen and reiterate.

This is such an easy trick with a powerful impact. When your customers express concerns or feedback in an email, reiterate their struggles in your response to show you’ve really heard them.

If a customer emailed: “I have two charges from you in my bank account, and it should be just one.”

You could respond like: “Oh, I’m sorry. Let me fix that.” Sure, this response is acceptable, but it could be better.

Or you could reiterate by saying: “Oh, I’m sorry. You definitely shouldn’t be charged twice for one month. Let me jump on your account and fix that.”

By reiterating the problem they’re facing, you’re showing them that you’re listening and have heard their concerns. It’s a much warmer response and one that immediately puts the customer at ease.

7. Be eager to help and chat.

We’re always willing to help our customers, but too often, we forget to tell them that. Integrating small phrases like “I’d love to help” as a standard nurture email best practice can show your customers that you’re eager to lend a hand.

More than that, you can leave the door wide open by ending your emails in a question.


Rather than: “Let me know if I can help with anything.”

Try: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

By asking a question, you’re taking the pressure off your customer to ask for help. You’re also clearly demonstrating that you want to continue the conversation.

Spread the love: Get rid of impersonal customer emails

With a few simple changes, you can cut through the noise of overly professional emails. Adding some warmth to your email communication and nurture email campaigns not only improves your results, but it will enhance your customer relationships too.

In today’s climate, enduring customer relationships will be the difference-maker between businesses that thrive and those that struggle to survive.

Want to learn more about warming up your customer relationships? Sign up for Copper Chronicles to get first access to our forthcoming eBook on putting the heart back into customer relationships. (Plus, as a newsletter recipient, you’ll see firsthand how we shower our customers with love).

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