In business, email is one of the most used communication tools. Everyone in a business setup will rely on it since it’s affordable, accessible, and provides an efficient way to relay information at different levels of the organisation.
Nonetheless, let’s face it. When applying for a job, or when you want to approach a business partner, you may have to use specific email etiquette for the recipient to open your email, read it, and provide an appropriate reply. Because remember, sometimes, you might never get a response, mainly if you write the message inappropriately.
Therefore, in this article, we’d like to provide some tips business professionals can use to become proficient in writing emails. Read on to learn more about this.
Write a better subject line
Most people make the mistake of not writing a subject line for their email. Now, if you have ever received such an email in your inbox, the chances are that you trashed it. You didn’t bother to open it or even know who sent it.
Hence, include a subject line in the first place. Secondly, depending on the context, contain a phrase that will push the recipient to open it with urgency. A good rule of thumb is not to use many words. Studies show that subject lines with 60 to 70 characters work perfectly.
Keep the introduction formal
Research has it. Most people have a few seconds to read your email. Apart from a catchy subject line, your introduction matters. Now, since we are talking from a business standpoint, how do you email a business partner or a prospect?
Do you just jump in with a “Hey pal?” Or what exactly do you write about?
Normally, phrases such as ‘Greetings’, ‘Good afternoon/morning’, ‘Hello’, ‘Hi [Name of recipient]’, will do the job. The other thing you should do is introduce yourself and provide some background information about yourself.
The email should be short and sweet
If you are writing an email to your friend, it doesn’t hurt if you include many paragraphs. Because anyway, this is your friend, and you’d like to catch up with them. When it comes to writing business emails, the dynamics change a bit.
You now have to be direct to the point. The email should have a few paragraphs highlighting the reason for emailing them. And that’s it.
As you write, keep the paragraphs short. Use bullet points for lists, and use line breaks. That makes your email scannable, especially for someone who may be busy.
Apart from making your email easy to read, you need to find the right tone to use. You might decide to add humour and sarcasm to the text only to offend the reader. Written text is easy to misinterpret; choose your words carefully.
Ensure that you are kind and grateful. Don’t use slang. Avoid emailing negative comments. On the other hand, you don’t have to make the email boring. Try to make the email as informative and engaging as possible.
If you are emailing someone from a different culture than yours, it’s good to understand the culture there, sometimes. It will help you use the right words and appropriate salutations.
Include a call to action
After the reader is done reading the critical part of the email, think about what you’d like the reader to do next. Include a call to action, which can be as simple as, “Let me know what you think, and in case of any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.”
Use an appropriate signature
Your signature should include several things, including your first and last name, job title, company, contact information, and a link to your personal website or any other page. The recipient will have the relevant information they need about you, especially if they have to contact you.
Proofread your text
Before you hit the ‘send’ button, make it a habit of re-reading what you just wrote. I say this because our goal is to ensure that the email is easy to read. Edit the grammatical errors you might make while writing, including spelling issues, sentence structures, and punctuations. You can use proofreading tools to help you, or you can re-read it aloud.
That’s it, friends. You should use these few pointers next time you write a business email. If you feel inadequate, you can rely on various online tools such as this email software. And remember to check any attachments or links you might have added to the email before you hit ‘send.’