The General Direct Plan

  1. Seeking information – ask right away.
  2. Give information – give info right away.
  3. Ending in Goodwill


A prompt reply will be appreciated

Thank you for your consideration

Example where deadline must be met:

If you answer these questions about Ms. Hill right away, she and I will be grateful

Routine Inquiries

Two types of Beginnings

  1. A specific question that sets up the information wanted


“Can you please send me additional information about the floor plan of the office suite that you advertised at ______?”

  • In the body of this, you can include more questions
  1. A general request for more information.


“Will you please send me a description of the features of the (# suite) advertised at _______?”

Informing and explaining

  • If not explain enough or misjudge reader’s knowledge, you make it hard for the reader.
  • A good place for general explanatory material is before or after the direct request in the opening paragraph
  • If a message asks for more questions, include more explanations. Try question then the explanation.

Structuring Questions

  • Organize them, so it is easier to follow
  • Use bullet points, etc.
  • Try questions that stand out are written in question form

    “Would you please tell me…?”

    “How much would one be able to save…?”

  • Avoid yes or no questions unless you want a simple yes/no answer.

Choose the right font

  • Sans-serif or Serif
  • Sans-serif fonts do not have tails (more space, easy to read)
  • Serif fonts have tails. (Ex. Times new roman)

Favorable Responses

  • Tell readers what you know
  • Directness
  • Answer the most important question first
  • You can begin by saying that you are complying with the request.

Skillfully handling the negatives

  • If your response has some bad news in it
  • Subordinate bad news and emphasize good news
  • Place good news first then bad news.
  • Place good news in paragraph beginnings and endings and beginning and ending with the message.
  • Keep bad news short.
  • Use more positive words

Considering Extras

  • Do extra things that will make the reader feel special (such as thinking of alternatives).

Closing Cordially

If I can help you further in deciding whether Chem-Treat will meet your needs, please email me again.

Adjustment Grants

  • Create situation happy for customer
  • You correct the error and do what asked to do
  • Direct order
  • Same as the ones above, but it stems from unhappy experience
  1. Special needs for unhappy experience

Need to overcome negative impressions that the experience leading to the adjustment has formed in the reader’s mind.

  • Place yourself in reader’s shoes
  • Grant claim will take care of the problem but negative thoughts could remain.
  • Enclose with positive checks


The enclosed check ______ is our way of proving to you that we value your satisfaction highly.

Need to regain confidence in company, products, services, that may have been lost.

  • Survey the situation to see where they are
  • If something can be done to correct it, do it.
  • If it is rare, unavoidable, explain this.
  • Sometimes need to explain how a product should be cared for.


  • Use subject line to identify transaction
  • Explain truthfully
  • Don’t mention negative words
  • You can sell them something at the ending paragraph

Order Acknowledgements

  • these are routine messages
  • can make the reader feel good about doing business with the company

Directness and goodwill building in order acknowledgments

  • include a warm expression of thanks for the order especially when a first order is involved
  • goodwill building-emphasize receipt of the goods rather than merely sending the goods

Tact in order acknowledgments

  • sometimes, delays are routine expected and do not pose a serious problem
  • you can use the direct approach, still, minimize bad news
  • minimize bad news by focusing on what can or will happen


So that we can send you precisely the phones you want, please check your choice of colors in the space below

we will rush the inkjet cartridges to you as soon as our stock is replenished by a shipment due May 9

  • If the back order. It is longer, offer the customer an alternative.
  • Giving the customer choices builds goodwill

Strategies for other thank you messages

  • thank you should be short and sweet.
  • Sometimes it is a good idea to tell them the benefit of what they did to make them feel good
  • you should be informal and friendly


  • for the remainder of the message, you could use a customer welcome and subtle settling
  • the message could enclose a note of appreciation and a friendly forward look