How To Write Effective Emails: 7 Practical Tips
Almost everybody sends emails in a work capacity. In the 21st Century, electronic communication is an integral component of any business, and should be one of several key elements in effectively carrying out your duties as an employee.
This becomes even more important when you look at statistics. On average, a modern worker will receive somewhere in the region of 120 emails per day, while it has been estimated that last year saw approximately 7 trillion emails sent. That’s a lot of emails.
Yet the fact remains that the vast majority of people do not know how to write suitable and impactful emails, and so how many of those aforementioned 7 trillion were truly effective? In the ever-changing modern workplace, the art of effective email writing is not widely practiced, yet at the same time can be easily achieved by following a few practical tips.
Let’s commence a look at how, in a few simple steps, you can begin writing emails that will be the envy of the office.
Keep the email as brief as possible, and be succinct
No one wants to open an email and immediately be faced with an essay! The first tip is to get straight to the point, but at the same time always being polite. What exactly are you requesting or offering? If there is a call to action, what is it? Don’t leave important information buried in the middle paragraphs of a long-winded email. Be concise, be polite, say what you want to say, and that’s it!
If you have separate requests, include them in sperate emails
Instead of listing unrelated actions, include every individual request or offer in a separate email with a clear heading. This not only helps in keeping emails concise, it also assists in making information much easier to find at a later stage. The alternative is having to browse through a number of stodgy, over-long emails, which is a waste of time.
Use clear headings
This point is relevant to not only the subject line of the email, which of course will make the all-important first impression on the receiver, but also the individual paragraphs in the email itself. This not only clearly states your intentions, but also makes things a lot easier to reference and find at a later stage, both for the sender and the receiver. Once again, this can save a lot of time.
Make clear references
If your email refers to previous correspondence, be sure to include it, or at least reference it by clearly using the date and subject line. There is nothing worse than an email that alludes to an earlier message, yet is unclear what that communication was. If it is part of a chain, clearly keep it so, and do not change the heading. If you are starting afresh, then adapt the heading to show that.
Do not use abbreviations, slang, or over-familiar language
Know your audience. Emails leave an impression, and that impression will be of you. So, do not leave the wrong opinion by sending an email as you would a text message to a friend, and be careful not to come across as over-presumptuous or over-friendly, at least until a clear relationship has been established. And make sure you are polite too – it is not uncommon for people to interpret brevity as rudeness, so although it is important to be concise, do not forget the all-important ‘pleases’, ‘thank yous’ and so on.
Include timeframes if possible, and respond within adequate time
Have you ever heard someone complain that their email wasn’t responded to? Have you ever made that exact compliant yourself? Then do not delay. If you require more time to respond, then send a simple message stating this. If you cannot assist, also make this point clear quickly. If you require action within a certain period of time, then also politely state this. Nobody enjoys being ignored or left hanging!
Always proofread your email before you send it
This may seem an obvious point, but it is incredible how many people don’t read through their writing before hitting that all important ‘send’ button. From that point on, what you have written becomes a permanent record, so why litter it with spelling mistakes, poor punctuation or anything else that may reflect badly upon you? Use Linguix to avoid such problems!
Not to mention the old mistake of sending it to the wrong person!
By following these simple tips, effective email writing is within your grasp.