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5 Steps for Adding More Emotional Intelligence in Emails

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

This post contains affiliate links at the end. For more information, see my disclosure here.

Let's face it.

Some workplaces value IQ and/or work experience over EQ.

This continues to be a severe problem in today's society. Not only does it create a place for strained relationships with colleagues & customers, but it also breeds toxic work environments. This leads to poor work efficiency.

It's a shame that schools generally don't teach people skills. They're all about understanding, memorizing, and doing well on an exam. Forget everything about the topic after the exam. Rinse and repeat.

So I've created a guide that focuses on applying emotional intelligence in your emails.

I've read a lot of emails from customer support teams and responses from potential leads. Their current mindset is shown based on how the company or individual performs: slow and/or poorly.

It frustrates me, so I don't want you to do the same.

So if you want to increase any of the following things in your emails:

  • Establish a great long-term relationship with your customer/client/lead

  • Establish a good reputation for yourself and/or your company

  • Boost the number of leads or sales and retain them while giving yourself the ability to grow and expand later on

Then you'll love how to apply these 5 steps in your next email.

Let's start improving yourself with this guide.


Starting Off With a Small Story

I want you to imagine yourself sitting in front of your computer.

You opened up a reply from an email you've recently sent and hoped you got yourself a lead.

You're having very high expectations for a positive response from the recipient after sending them positive information from a reputable news source for a huge project you were recently involved in.

"There shouldn't be any shortcomings that would allow me to fail," you thought to yourself that they'll re-post the information on their website.

That all shatters after reading their response.

Instead of complimenting you for your efforts, they replied negatively to your email.

They claimed that you were lying about the pros of your suggestion and blamed you for their problems.

They decided to take it a step further by blacklisting your email even though you weren't planning on emailing back again.

All that's in your mind is how angry you were at them.

They called you a liar after putting so much time and effort in your free time and finally receiving good news just when you were about to give up.

But then, you thought to yourself, why you're spending so much time focusing on that negative energy on something you find so silly. You laugh it off instead, and you move on.

This is a real story I will cover in detail later in this post.

This is an example of someone with low EQ and a fixed mindset. There will be things you can learn from it since you will likely encounter people like this sometime in your life.


The 5 Steps for Effectively Communicating With Emotional Intelligence in Your Emails:

1. Do Your Research on the Person You Are Contacting

There are one to four things you should look out for:

  • Blog posts

  • About us

  • Colors and layout of their website

  • The type of person they are (if you know who they are)

If this person or group of people doesn't have a website, you can skip to the last part of this section.

Blog Posts

Depending on the writer, try to see if their posts contain the following:

  • Contains only facts or information. There's a lack of emotion in their words.

  • Makes you believe or view something in a certain way

  • Words that make you feel a certain way, such as warmth and compassion

  • The excitement in their words and exclamation marks. May contain words such as I like this or we like that.

  • A lot of call-to-actions

About Us Page

You should take a look and see if it contains the following:

  • Does there seem to be a lot of facts and information?

  • Do they have a mission statement, and are they trying to get you to believe in it?

  • Are there warm feelings to their words?

  • Is there a playful tone to their words, or is there something they like?

  • Is there a statement that gives out an action?

Colors Used for the Website

Be mindful of what colors they use since certain colors can motivate people to:

  • Feel a certain way (the yellow in the McDonalds logo)

  • Have people take a certain action or feel excitement (the red in Coca Cola logo)

  • Change your perception of trustworthiness and value (the blue logo from JPMorgan Chase Bank)

The colors used are the most crucial factor in determining whether you should write formally or semi-formally.

The Type of Person They Are

You would have to determine the type of personality of the person you would expect them to have, depending on the role of their job.

Do they sit in front of the desk and/or work in front of a computer all day? Do they have lots of engagement in individual or group conversations?

Or does their job require them to talk to people with lots of face-to-face interactions?

Perhaps it could be somewhere in between?

It all depends on the amount of interaction and engagement with people, which does not include text-based messages.

You'll have to use a bit of empathy in this part to figure out the type of person they most likely are in terms of how they act, think, and feel before writing your email.

So What Now?

Once you've gathered all the information needed, it's time to determine whether you should write your email in a formal or semi-formal manner.

You can determine how you could write out your email a lot easier and even further with PCM (Process-Communication Model), which I use.

Unfortunately, I cannot speak more information about this due to legal reasons.

So I have provided links to resources from professionals at the end of this post you can use to help write better emails.


2. Figure Out What Style of Language You Should Write With

Numerous blog posts are saying to always write in a formal language when writing emails.

However, that highly depends on who you are writing to.

If the blog posts you found to lack a lot of emotion and feel cold, you need to get down to serious business with these people and write formally.

But if it does have emotion to it and the tone of the writing feels warm, it would be best to write semi-formally since it'll be a lot easier to connect with those who think the same as they do. If they use exclamation marks, you can use them too.

Once you establish a closer relationship with the person, you can start using emojis in your subjects. Don't type anything such as brb, lol, ur. Save those for your texts with friends.

If the information you've collected contains a mixture from #1, it would be okay to go for semi-formal, or if you would like to play it safe, go for formal.

If you determine that it leans more towards formal rather than semi-formal and vice-versa, go with the more dominant one.


3. A Personalized Greeting

Depending on whether it is formal or semi-formal, use:

  • Hello [Name] (more formal)

  • Hi [Name] (semi-formal)

You'll always need to use the name of the person, if available, if you want to establish a stronger connection with the person.

If you want to go for superformal, you can start your email with "Dear Sir/Madam" or "To whom it may concern."

But the only time I used this was when it involved contacting someone that works in a significant role in the government, such as jury duty.

For other cases, it's used a lot in spam and maybe LinkedIn messages, so you know why it feels weird when people say that to you in an email or message (mainly due to the type of personality you have).

After the greeting, briefly tell them your purpose and/or why you are contacting them since you want to be considerate of their time.


4. End It With a Closing

Closing your email is necessary to establish a stronger connection with people.

In general, "Best Regards" would be the best option for closing your email formally and professionally.

"Sincerely" is best used if you want to establish an extremely formal relationship with no warm feelings whatsoever.

I would avoid using this if you have or are part of a business that wants to retain customers. You want them to keep buying your product(s) or service(s) and don't want to display yourself as a distant type of figure.

If you're going to use exclamation marks in your email to:

  • Make a statement

  • Provide benefits for something with enthusiasm

It would be in your best interest not to use "Sincerely."

It creates too many mixed feelings, for me at least. I'm thinking to myself if they're trying to be formal or if they're trying to get closer to me to generate a lead from me. The inconsistency somewhat sets up for failure even though they mean well.

If you want to build a long-term working relationship with a client or customer, using "Kind Regards" or "All the Best" is best for any other situation, such as gathering leads.

Using "Warm Regards" is a little weird for sending it to a stranger unless you have personally gotten to know the person a bit. But in general, I would avoid using it unless they are the type of person that can communicate with their feelings and emotions.

There's a list of email sign-offs that you can use which happens to get more informal as you go further down that you can check out by clicking here.

From that list, I would avoid using "Regards" at all costs since it sounds very monotone to me, as if you don't care enough about the person.

But I would personally use "Cheers" in a formal email, depending on the specific personality type of the person I'm talking to. Anything beyond "Cheers" on that list would be considered too informal for me.

But adding in only "- [Your Name]" or only just "[Your Name]" at the end of your email feels cold, and people are less likely to seek service or bother replying to you.

It's even colder when your name is in your email and you close your email with the company name you're working for instead. It's better to use your name and the current position of the company you're working for than the company name itself.

And if you don't properly close your email, you're most likely to get ignored when it comes to B2B.

So whether you use "Best Regards" or "Kind Regards," use the one you want people to perceive you as, especially if you have consumers using a product or service you provide.

Although not an email, this letter started as if it were a casual conversation. I can't fit the entire thing, so I left out the intro of this letter. A portion of this letter is blurred to help you get the main idea of what this is about and not the product I bought.

As you can see, how this person wrote his letter let me understand the type of person he is, along with his personality as he made his point.

So the way he communicated left a strong impression of making me feel more inclusive in using the product I bought. It felt we were business partners on a journey together as I learned how to use his product, especially with him ending the letter with "Warmly" as a strong way to connect with me.

This type of communication may or may not suit you. But it resonated with me since a portion of my personality is emotion-based.


5. The Personalized Reply

Whether you're working in customer service or getting responses back from leads, responding to people is an absolute must.

But it's better to personalize your response to connect with people even further. You'll want to give it to people early, which shows that you value them.

One of the best things you can do is to mirror people's words, much like body language, especially if you're working in customer service.

When you mirror people's words, it creates a sense of understanding for the other person, and it says to them, "Yes, I understand how you think/feel."

But when you use different words that give a similar meaning to the words that the person used, it creates a sense of miscommunication, and it tells them, "No, you don't understand how I think/feel" plus or minus a negative reaction and/or action.

I cannot count how many times I've contacted customer support for multiple services. They gave me a terrible response to my problem, which made me feel frustrated about how I don't feel appreciated as a customer.

Do not be this person who replied with something I did not have an issue with. This made me feel frustrated since I felt that this person didn't understand me at all since I didn't have an issue with deposits.

There were times when I did send out an implicit angry reply to their response due to miscommunication, since I can interpret 3 out of the 6 types of communication (a reference to PCM).

So don't be that person who you thought you were sending someone what you think is a helpful response. You'll end up frustrating and/or angering them instead.

The Full Story From Earlier on Personalized Replies

So a few years ago, I helped out on someone's major project, which was a big (but not massive) success online at the time of release.

I helped spread more information about the project by emailing small news outlets and individuals to pitch a story. It was mainly to benefit my collaborator and me for any possible future independent projects.

I used the Chrome extension Streak to determine:

  • Whether the recipient of my email opened it

  • The number of times they opened it

  • The exact time when they opened it for me to determine whether I should follow up with the person or not.

Usually, I would expect this type of email response from people, filled with warm and modest greetings that end up being straightforward.

A positive response from as best I could describe this person: a business client

A reply to thank the people for their actions is always a must whether or not you want to establish a long-term business relationship with the person.

It’s also a plus for your mindset to benefit from the positivity of giving, whether it’s through words or sending them a physical gift later.

But there was one specific case where a person opened my email twice, the same day I sent it and the next day.

Typically, when someone opens an email at least twice, they would express interest.

But they haven’t taken any action yet means they’re still contemplating it.

I emailed this person a follow-up about two weeks later.

(Note that don’t ever e-mail a person a follow-up two weeks late. In my case, I was busy with schoolwork at the time. Do this a week at most, a few days earlier if possible.)

This is the result of what happened:

Instead of expecting a positive response, I received a negative reply, as you can see.

They blamed me for their problems when I only provided suggestions.

I even from a reputable source equivalent to Associated Press or BBC level in a specific niche and branded me as a liar while blacklisting my email.

Furthermore, they did what I asked but didn't bother telling me about it since they expected me to find out for myself.

Not only is this inconvenient for both of us, but this is inappropriate behavior from a business standpoint that didn't involve the usage of empathy from the other person.

(Replying to my email and linking the source to their post immediately since I am a busy person.)

Their fallacy in their argument was an inconsistent comparison.

They compared their small website, A, to a much larger, reputable website, B, and thought that their website should have the same traction as B, which it didn't.

Instead of wasting their time replying and blaming their problems on me, they could've used that time and energy to reflect on how to improve getting more visitors to their website.

There are lots of factors to it: tags, keywords, H1 and H2 headings, the style of language that appeals to people, and a bunch of online resources that are easily accessible for free.

This is a great example of someone who lacks emotional intelligence in writing emails and does unnecessary actions and inaction that resulted in wasting both our time.


Final Words

You may or may not encounter people like these in your emails unless you're providing an online product or service.

And even if you encounter these kinds of people, it's not necessarily terrible.

The unnecessary actions this person did is a perfect example of being a hater of success (after I brought in about 25,000 views within 48 hours for my collaborator).

After all, haters are one of the best people to give you the most attention and are considered one of your biggest fans.

And as crazy as it sounds, your haters are one of your most valuable assets online.

After all, you don't have the time in your life to spend it on negative energy.

You might as well troll them with your higher levels of EQ and send them a positive message instead.

They might rage even further if you do this, so enjoy while you can!

But it is possible to convert them into your admirers if you continue doing enough good.

Be modest about it when it happens instead of creating more haters for the wrong reasons.

Additional resources for improving EQ in your emails

I highly recommend buying these two books that I previously mentioned on PCM because I often receive email replies from customer support that are dreadful in proper communication:

I want to familiarize myself with PCM first!

I want to understand how PCM is used to communicate with people daily!

I honestly hope more people in this world communicate and understand each other better and reduce conflicts by using this model.

And if you feel the need there should be more EQ to be used at your workplace, whether it would be writing and replying to emails or face-to-face conversations, I highly recommend getting Daniel Goleman's book on Emotional Intelligence:

I want to improve my EQ and build better relationshops with people!


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