The modern world has become faster and busier. Emails in the workplace are a great way to communicate with fellow coworkers, managers, and clients. One survey reports, “[w]hile 92% agreed email is a valuable communication and collaboration tool, 64% reported having either sent or received an email that resulted in unintended anger or confusion.” Because so much content is going into everyone’s inboxes, you want your email to be effective and succinct.
Here are 10 tips on writing great business emails:
1. Use the subject line
Not using the subject line in your email does not look professional. Anastasia Koltai suggests, “Always have a subject line that summarises briefly and clearly the contents of the message (example: Re: Summary of Our Meeting with ABC Suppliers).” It doesn’t need to be super long. Just don’t leave it blank.
2. Be polite
Email may be more informal than other forms of communication, but make sure to still be polite when you communicate with others. One warning is that people may share the email with other people: “Recipients may decide to print emails and share them with others, so always be polite.” Additionally, people can forward emails easily. You never know who else may read what you wrote.
3. Remember your tone
Is the email your sending more informal or formal? The answer to this question will definitely determine the language/jargon you use. For example, you might want to avoid using YOLO in the next email to your boss.
4. Address potential questions
According to Megan Broussard, “anticipate the questions you might receive ahead of time, and answer them . . . . Remember: the more work you do for the original email, the less work you’ll have to do following up on it.” Make it easier for your reader by addressing potential questions or concerns they may have.
5. Include a beginning, middle, and end
In your business emails, don’t forget to include a beginning, middle, and end. One Forbes writer says, “Just because we live in a 140-character world, doesn’t mean your emails should be that way.” Consider each part:
- Beginning: In your intro, include dear, good morning, or good afternoon and the person’s name. You can summarize something you had previously talked about with the reader or explain briefly why you’re emailing.
- Middle: This is the meaty section of your email. Present all necessary data and information. Remember to address questions or concerns, as mentioned in point 4. Include your reasoning and explanation.
- End: Wrap up your email with steps toward action. For example, if you want to schedule a meeting, suggest a time and place. Or if you need something answered, remind your reader those specific questions. Always close with your name and full signature, which appears more professional than not doing so.
6. Make it smartphone-friendly
Make it easy for your reader by making your emails smartphone-friendly. Entrepreneur’s Ann Handley says, “Don’t do anything that might render in a strange way on a small screen. The key here is that whatever email provider you use should rely on responsive design.” We live in a digital world, which means information comes and goes quickly. Don’t make it hard to read!
7. Delete adjectives and adverbs
This tip is pretty specific, but the reasoning behind it is to keep your emails succinct. Bill Murphy Jr. argues, “Get to the point. Delete adjectives and adverbs. It’s very unnecessary to add many additional words that make your most important emails seem overly lengthy.” By being less wordy, your emails will be direct.
8. Thank the recipient
Be sure to thank the recipient because it makes you appear professional as well as polite. It can be as simple as writing “Thank you for taking the time to read this.”
9. Proofread All Your Business Emails
Or at least read through it before clicking send. That way you can catch any glaring errors.
10. Follow up quickly
Don’t take forever to reply! Richard Nordquist suggests, “If you need more than 24 hours to collect information or make a decision, send a brief response explaining the delay.” Consequently, your business emails will be more professional.
Thank you for reading this post about writing better professional emails. I’d love to work with you with editing, designing, writing, or managing social media platforms. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.