How to Write Great Emails in the Age of Social Customer Service

Social customer service is extremely popular these days and with good cause – it helps brands retain customers.

Companies that have implemented social customer service experienced a whopping 92% customer retention rate. But that doesn’t mean you should stop perfecting your emails to customers or abandon the email approach.

A recent study found1 that customers believe that email is the easiest mode of communication when it comes to customer service. So, you need to buckle down on your email strategy to ensure that you’re sending out high-quality emails that are to the point and solve issues quickly.

Here’s how to write great emails in the age of social customer service:

#1 Personalize It

The goal of personal service is to treat customers like humans and not like just another transaction. When customers feel that the service they receive is personal, they’re more likely to stick around and stay loyal to your company.

In fact, recent research shows2 that 79% of companies that exceeded their revenue goals also have a documented strategy for personalization.

The easiest and quickest way to start getting personal with your customers through emails is to simply use their names along with your own. Multiple brands like HP are already doing this in their social support posts, and there’s no reason this shouldn’t extend to emails as well.

Wouldn’t you feel great to receive an email from a person rather than a nameless support team?

Make sure all your company emails include a signature from the employee who sent the message, like this email from Squarespace.

It’s also important to use images to make emails even more personal.

By using photos of faces on your site, you can boost conversion rates, humanize your brand, and build a stable, trusting relationship with customers. When you do this, customers can picture a face and persona to your business, as opposed to just interacting with an unknown agent.

When your team members create their personalized email signatures, include a small photo of each agent next to their name. The end result should look something like this3:

Aside from personalized emails, canned responses will also take your email game to the next level.

#2 Use Canned Responses to Save Time on FAQs

Even the most detailed knowledge base won’t stop every frequent question from being sent to your inbox repeatedly. A few are bound to leak through even the most stringent filter. These questions force your agents to repeat themselves while other serious and more technical questions may be waiting in line.

This is when canned responses come into play.

Creating canned responses in Freshdesk is simple. Your agents can create predefined replies that they can send out to customers by just clicking a button.

The next time a customer sends in an email with a frequently asked question, your agents can quickly send a canned response and move on to the next email or ticket.  

Each canned response is customizable, so agents can add their own name, signature, and other details using dynamic content placeholders.

To create a canned response in Freshdesk, head to the Admin tab on the panel on the left, go to Helpdesk Productivity > Canned Responses, and select “New Canned Response.”

Give your canned response a clear title so both you and your agents will know when to use it. Type out the response using the rich text editor, and click “Insert Placeholder” if you’d like to automatically add dynamic content like the ticket ID, subject, or requester name, within the reply.

You can also select visibility and access permissions for each response. Selecting “Myself” will set the response to be stored in a personal folder where only you can use it. Selecting “All Agents” will set the response to be viewable by every agent. Selecting “Agents in group” will cause the response to be viewable to a particular group of agents only. (Like a returns/damages team). Then select the folder you want to add the new canned response to.

Include relevant links to more detailed instructions in your emails so that your customers can find in-depth information about their issue.

#3 Link to Detailed Help

On social media, brands link out to longer, more detailed instructions all the time. These are usually knowledge base articles and tutorials from their website.

Here’s how Printful sends support responses to their customers via Twitter:  

Do the same in your emails and keep the conversation short rather than giving lengthy instructions in the email. Summarize the steps that the customer should take to solve their problem, and add a link to a knowledge base article at the end of the email.

If you don’t have a knowledge base, building one with Freshdesk is quite easy.

You can even create a knowledge base that appeals to a global audience by adding different translations of each article you create.

When sending emails, avoid using complicated, technical vocabulary.

#4 Explain It Like They’re Five

The Explain It Like I’m Five technique, also known as ELI5, includes taking complex topics and explaining them to customers in the same way you would explain them to a five-year-old.

Examples of this technique in action can be found on the Explain It Like I’m Five4 subreddit, where users can post questions and receive explanations that are easily understandable.

Spend some time looking at this subreddit to get an understanding of how the technique is used in action. Then, apply the same approach to your emails.

While industry-specific terms are second nature to you, they can confuse and frustrate customers. So you need to speak in their language.

When explaining complex answers in support emails, keep your responses as simple as possible.

You’re probably already doing this with social messages owing to limited character count.  

Finally, don’t forget to proofread your message before hitting send.

#5 Proofread Before You Hit Send

If your emails include errors, they can negatively affect your business. But not every agent has time to compose the perfect email, and to err is human.

Luckily, there are many online tools and resources that you can use to automatically check each email before it goes out.

Spelling and grammar mistakes can be easily avoided by using tools like Grammarly, to check emails and receive suggestions on spelling clarity, quality, punctuation, word choice, and more.

Use Easy Word Count to keep track of the word count of your emails. No customer wants to read an email that’s unnecessarily content heavy.  


To write great emails, you have to keep things personal. This will make your customers feel like humans instead of just another transaction.

Call customers by their name and have agents include their own name in every single email they send.

Use canned responses so that agents can respond to frequently asked questions with the click of a button.

Link to more detailed instructions for specific support issues by adding a link to a knowledge base article in your message.

Try out the ELI5 technique to keep your messages simple and easy to understand. No one wants to have to decode tons of technical words when trying to talk to customer service.

Finally, be sure to proofread your emails before you hit send, checking for grammatical errors, issues with clarity, or problems with length.

Use an online tool to run quick and easy checks on each message.

Begin using these tips today to start writing more effective support emails that your customers will appreciate.

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