Despite the increasing popularity in texting, social media messaging, and other ways of connecting with one another, email remains the biggest means of written communication in today’s business environment. But too often when writing our business emails, we abuse the ease and speed of this form of communication and our intentions and specificity are lost in translation. Below are several tips on how to write professional emails that your recipients will appreciate:
1) Make sure your subject line is specific.
“Please read!”, “Important” or “Details” are too vague and unspecific to gain the attention of your reader. This also makes it more challenging for your reader to search and quickly find your email in their files should they need to reference it in the future. Use a few words to communicate something that is meaningful to your intended reader, for example – “Tuesday 3 PM meeting location.”
2) Be concise, but be polite!
No need to snap, growl, or bark at your audience in your effort to send a brief email. As always, words like “please” and “thank you” go a long way to drive home the true intention of your message. Reflect on the tone of your message – remember, email is not supported by body language, facial expressions, or intonation.
3) Think before you emoji, over-punctuate, or text-speak.
Multiple exclamation points, emojis, and text-speak are typically well-intended ways of conveying your enthusiasm and excitement, however they are not the most appropriate when used in professional emails. Before adding that smiley face at the end of a sentence, question yourself if it is really conveying the professionalism the communication deserves. Otherwise, your reader may not LOL about it!
4) Make sure your signature block is clear and concise.
Ensure that all necessary contact information is present, and when applicable, any company branding that is consistent throughout the organization.
5) Be sure to proofread and edit your emails before hitting send.
You may take for granted that your reader understands the intention behind your email, or perhaps you think you’re too busy to worry about picky details. Unfortunately, your reader may wonder how you passed 10th grade English class with such terrible grammar and punctuation.
6) Be sure to respond to any urgent or important emails promptly.
If you need more than 24 hours to research an issue or make a decision, take the time to write a brief (but polite!) email explaining as much.
In a world where we are inundated with email, taking a few moments to apply some of these tips to your professional email will make your communications easier for your audience to read and ensure that your intended message is clear. What tips do you have for crafting professional email? Let us know in the comments below! Or find more tips for professional email HERE.