Voice and Tone for Emails

There’s one key thing to remember when you’re writing an email: you’re a human being. It’s important to sound like one. Write like you’re talking to a person standing in front of you.

Voice

When it comes to Bethel’s voice, we try to make it consistent across our electronic communication. Users should feel like they’re interacting with the same Bethel no matter what email they're reading.

Tone

It’s important that we match our tone to how our recipient is feeling. So what are our recipients thinking when they receive our emails? That depends on what we’re communicating.

We’ve outlined common types of emails to help you think about what your recipient is feeling and expecting.

Reminding your recipient...

One common type of email is the reminder email. This is the email you send when you're reminding someone to do something they already know they need to do. Maybe you're asking them to pay a fee, submit a form, or complete a waiver.

To get your tone to match your recipients, think about what you're reminding them to do and how it will make them feel. Think about how you'd remind them in person.

User:

"I can’t believe I keep forgetting to mail that check."

What I'm feeling:

  • Anxiety
  • Surprise
  • Insecurity
  • Self-consciousness

Bethel:

“We understand that you’re busy and these things can be overlooked, but completion of this step is important for this reason...”

Tips:

  • Remember that receiving this type of email can be alarming.
  • Think about their context. Maybe they simply forgot, in which case they might feel insecure. Maybe something in their life is preventing them from completing the task.
  • Be sensitive to the fact that the recipient knows they’re supposed to complete the task, knows they haven’t, and probably doesn’t feel great about the situation.
  • Avoid making accusations or judgements.
  • Show grace.