Whether you’re a floor manager or administration assistant, email is a crucial part of daily office communications. With increasing globalization, you need to be an effective email communicator regardless of the job or the industry you work in. Poor grammar, bad spelling, incorrect names and untidy formatting can result in embarrassing errors.
While every email has a similar written structure – with a subject line, greeting, content and closing – there are standard rules you should follow to ensure that it gets the results you want.
Use the following strategies to construct clear, effective and successful business emails.
Keep the subject line concise (restrict the length to 150 words or less) maintain a professional and polite tone. Avoid using slang, exclamation marks and emoticons. Don’t use cursive fonts and avoid excessive small talk. If you’re emailing a new client, use Mr./Mrs./Ms. Instead of addressing them by their first names.
Improve the Readability of Your Text
Use bullet points, vary the fonts and use white spaces to reduce the clutter. You can also use color-coding to highlight important information like dates or venues.
Present the Information Correctly
Place the key message near the top and arrange the content from most to the least important. Keep sentences short and use simple, everyday language instead of complicated words.
Review Before Sending
Review, edit and correct the email before you send it. Use spell-check and grammar tools and check your email for typos. Also ensure that you have included the correct names and titles and attached any required files or links.
Additional Tips to Keep in Mind
- Write in active voice and write like you’re talking to the person;
- Pretend that you’re the recipient and see how you feel about the email;
- Ensure that you use correct punctuation, capitalization and sentence length; and
- Craft your emails slowly and carefully; don’t rush to finish the task.
Sloppily Written Emails Often Result in Confusion and Business Losses
As long it’s used correctly, email is one of the most efficient, quick and productive ways to communicate. Poorly written emails can cause confusion, create misunderstandings and lead to internal and external conflict.
What’s more, at times, a small mistake may cost the business thousands of dollars. Constructing effective, engaging emails can help you improve customer service, foster good relationships with your superiors and have a big influence on your career path.
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