Emails Are Conversations

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Emails Are Conversations

  1. 1. Emails are Conversa tions Ideas about email from the psychology of language
  2. 2. <ul><li>Psychologist … </li></ul><ul><li>Usability & Customer Experience Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>… since 1992 </li></ul>David Hawdale To increase sales and profitability
  3. 3. Not Id le Chat
  4. 4. A Conversation I say something Then I react to what you have said by saying something Then I react to what you replied to what I said by saying something And then I react to … (etc…)
  5. 5. <ul><li>“ Turn taking is k ey to an organised conv ersation. If this convention did not exist it would be mayhem!” </li></ul><ul><li>Turn Changing Cues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions, intonations, gestures, eye line </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Violations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interruption, not taking a turn, attending elsewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Email? </li></ul>
  6. 6. A Conversation I say something Then I react to what you have said by saying something Then I react to what you replied to what I said by saying something And then I react to … (etc…)
  7. 7. Grice’s Conversational Maxims <ul><li>Maxim of Quantity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make your contribution as informative as necessary. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maxim of Quality: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not say what you believe to be false or for which you lack adequate evidence. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maxim of Relevance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be relevant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maxim of Manner: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not be obscure, be clear, brief and orderly. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Email? </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>‘ Pragmatics’ - the study of the ability of speakers to communicate more than what is explicitly stated… </li></ul><ul><li>Conversational partners ‘fill in the blanks’ when the maxims are broken! </li></ul>Breaking the Maxims… Alice: “Where’s Eddie?” Bob: “There’s a yellow VW parked outside Sues house…”
  9. 9. Joined Up Would you like me to email you about flight offers? Yes Please I got one to Barcelona and one to Paris Tell me about the Paris one The Paris one costs … (etc.)
  10. 10. Emails are Conversations … not Flyers! <ul><li>Turn Taking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you do to cue prospects to take a turn? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospects not taking a turn? Don’t shout, talk about something else! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conversational Maxims </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow the Maxims. If you don’t your prospects will fill in the blanks in way you don’t expect and don’t want </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Joined Up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversational turns e.g. sign up offers, ads, emails and landing pages cannot be created in isolation, but should be written as a conversation </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Emails are Conversa tions www.hawdale-associates.co.uk/silverpop / 07980 884231

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