Email is one of the most broadly used forms of communication both in and out of the workplace. Because of its speed and efficiency, you will likely use email in some capacity, no matter your role or business. You can write professional emails for a variety of reasons. For instance, you might need to send your worksheet, exchange information, relay a critical update, or send a letter of meeting announcement.
Consider the following tips and best practices to help you write effective, professional emails:
Identify your goal.
Respect your audience.
Keep it concise. I mean short!
Proofread your email.
Use proper behaviour and remember to follow up.
1. Identify your goal
Before writing an email, ask yourself what do you want the receiver to do after they’ve read it. Once you’ve determined the goal of your email, you can assure everything you include in your message supports this action. For example, if you want the receiver to review a report you’ve attached, let them know what the report is, why you need them to check it, what sort of feedback you need and when you need the task completed.
2. Respect your audience.
When you compose an email message, make sure your tone matches your audience. For example, if you’re emailing a business executive you’ve never met, keep the email polished and free of any funny jokes or informalities. On the other hand, if you’re emailing a colleague with whom you have a good relationship, you might use a less formal, more friendly way.
3.Keep it concise. I mean short!
Consider that your audience might have limited time to read through your email, so make it as short as possible without leaving out essential information. Don’t address too many subjects at once, as this can make your message lengthy, difficult to read and challenging to take action on. When you are editing your email, take out any irrelevant information to the topic you’re addressing. Use brief, simple sentences by removing filler words and inappropriate information. This will make your note faster and easier to read.
4. Proofread your email
A flawless email shows persistence and professionalism. Before you send an email, take a moment to check for any spelling, grammar or syntax errors. Also, double-check to ensure you’ve included any attachments you may have referenced in your message. If it is an essential email to critical stakeholders, you might ask your direct supervisor or a trusted colleague to read over it before sending it.
5. Use proper etiquette
Add a polite greeting and closing to sound friendly and courteous. Additionally, be considerate of the recipient and their time. For example, unless it’s an emergency, avoid emailing a contact asking for something after-hours or while they’re on leave.
6. Remember to follow up
Most people receive several emails per day, so they might miss or forget to respond to your message. If the recipient hasn’t replied within two working days, consider reaching back out with a friendly follow-up email.