Cases of misunderstanding
Have you ever received an email which made you feel frustrated?
This has happened to all of us more than once. I will tell you a story that happened to a friend of mine. She received an email about a product marketing campaign where they wanted her to collaborate with them. The email made her angry. The problem was not the email or the subject of the email, the problem was how the email was written and the tone of the voice the person used.
We decided to make a small social experiment. We send an email with 4 different texts; one in Finnish and the translation to English, one that sounds aggressive and the last one sounds relaxed and no too serious, and analyze the reaction of the people, the results were unexpected.
To analyze the emails, we asked three simple questions:
What kind of feelings are you experiencing after reading this email?
What kind of image did you get?
Would you want to do business with him?
The first email and the second they got similar reactions from the questions, but people were more open to doing business with the person who wrote in English.
The third and fourth were very different, but surprisingly none wanted to do business with either of them.
And in the end, we asked which was the worst and best email, people didn´t like the third email but people really liked the second email.
This is a very curious fact, people liked more the second email written in English, although it is a copy of the original that is written in Finnish, It may be because English sounds more professional.
My conclusion after having analyzed this social experiment, we must be very aware of the purpose of the email, the tone of voice, and how we use titles and exclamation marks, and capital letters. If you sound very funny nobody will take you seriously, and if you write in English people will be more willing to have more contact with you.