1. Don't over-communicate
2. Make good use of subject lines
3. Keep messages clear and brief
4. Be polite
5. Be positive
6. Be very careful of capital letters, punctuation, spelling and basic grammar
Nowadays we all receive hundreds of emails, whether personal or for work and it is easy for people to overlook your email if it is not written correctly. Your email needs to stand out and you have to use good writing skills to grab people’s attention..
Below are 6 tips to write effective emails.
1 – Don’t Over-communicate
We all receive numerous amounts of emails and we do not have time to read long complicated ones. Before you start writing your email, ask yourself if it is necessary, maybe a phone call is more appropriate.
Business English is very direct and to the point compared to other languages so don’t write long paragraphs which will bore the reader and risk your email not being read. Keep sentences short and to the point.
2 – Make Good Use of Subject Lines
You need to grab the recipient’s attention and that is what the subject line is for. Get straight to the point! If you’re asking for a meeting, write something like Meeting request 19/05/2015 2 pm to 3 pm. With such subject lines, the reader already knows what the email is about and doesn’t have to waste time trying to guess.
3 – Keep Messages Clear and Brief
This is similar to over-communicating. If you have more than one topic, consider writing more than one email. Keep your email clear to tell the recipient what you expect from them. If you want to meet someone, then ask them directly, for example: Can we meet tomorrow at 2 pm? By doing so you are being clear and brief and the reader knows what you expect.
4 – Be Polite
It sounds obvious but we see so many emails where the writer is rude. Use appropriate language according to who you are writing to. Use the correct tone! You should know how to adapt your writing style between formal and informal. Avoid using slang, jargon and so on in professional emails. Remember that everyone can read your email so do not write something you do not want other people to see.
5 – Be positive!
Being able to adapt your language is a good skill to have if you want people to read your emails. Use positive words to grab the reader’s attention.
Positive: helpful, good question, agreed, together, useful, I’d be delighted, mutual, opportunity.
Negative: busy, crisis, failure, forget it, I can’t, it’s impossible, waste, hard
Which words you use to determine how someone will perceive you so be careful.
6 – Be very careful of capital letters, punctuation, spelling and basic grammar
While these can be tolerated in informal emails, they are very important in business emails as they are an important part of the image you create. Give yourself time to edit what you’ve written before you push that send button. In today’s busy world, it’s very easy to send out many emails without checking them so make a conscious effort to edit.