Email Excellence Posts Free Writing Tools

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Salient's email samples help business professionals upgrade their writing. For managers, they meet a critical need: tools for coaching staff on a core business process.

With email, business people have nothing to measure themselves against—no models that might point the way to simple improvements, no documented standards, no established best practices... Email Excellence aims to fill this void.

EmailExcellence.com has begun posting business email samples to support companies and individuals wrestling with email writing challenges. Over the next several months, it plans to continue building an entire catalog of writing tools, email examples, and what it calls "eLearning nuggets"—brief clips of interactive content, each focused on a particular writing situation or challenge.

Most surprising: It's all free. And unlike many websites posting free content, Email Excellence doesn't require visitors to register or otherwise surrender personal information.

The company behind Email Excellence is Salient, Inc., and Salient founder Roy Speed says his company's ambition is to fill a costly gap in business today: the need for email writing standards. "In many professions and small businesses," he says, "email has come to dominate critical functions, like sales and customer service. Yet no one's quite sure whether they're doing it well or doing it poorly."

Individual business people, in other words, have nothing to measure themselves against—no models that might point the way to simple improvements, no documented standards, no established best practices.

Email Excellence aims to fill this void.

As for large corporations, Speed says, "For 20 years now, we've watched email's evolution in amazement. In large companies, it's grown from an electronic novelty to a core business process. But unlike most business processes, this one consumes at least one third of each workday."

One third of each workday becomes one third of each year. So for professionals earning $75,000 a year, an employer will typically invest well over a third of that sum in their email activity alone. Yet few companies have email writing standards. Nor have they developed methods for measuring, improving, or rewarding email productivity.

As Speed says, "It all starts with having standards." Salient already helps companies define writing standards across the pharmaceutical industry, where Salient programs are required training for more than a dozen companies and more than 130,000 employees. Versions of its Email Excellence training have been well received by employees in pharmaceutical and biotech companies—despite the program's being mandatory in those companies.

Brian Werneberg is a senior clinical scientist who recently experienced the training: "The most valuable thing in the program," he says, "is its reader-centric philosophy—plus the concrete tools for implementing that philosophy." Salient believes that millions of employees yearn for intelligent discussion of email and practical guidance with the medium. "After all," Speed says, "professionals of all kinds now spend an enormous proportion of their entire worklives in their Inboxes... They naturally think about this stuff."

The catalog of "Free Writing Tools" posted at EmailExcellence.com is already rich. It addresses a variety of email challenges—like emails requesting action, or messages that simply deliver information, or how to handle your email signature. For each challenge, Email Excellence provides befores-&-afters, with commentary on what works and what doesn't, and practical guidelines. The result: Email messages that are both professional and reader-friendly.

One of the most useful tools provided here: downloadable email job-aids. Any manager seeking models to distribute to staff can access each of these job-aids with a single click; the manager can then use them to convey to employees the desired standards of clarity and professionalism.

In addition to its email writing samples, EmailExcellence.com offers free previews of its five-part eLearning program and two different blogs: Email Writing, which discusses writing issues and offers free eLearning nuggets, and Email Leadership, which discusses email as a business process now much in need of management attention.

For more information, contact Salient, Inc., at 203.748.9078, or send email to info(at)emailexcellence(dot)com.

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