Digital communication is an integral part of our life. What is more, office workers cannot spend a single day without writing and receiving at least of couple emails. The art of business lettering is not something that comes naturally. To make your emails resultative, you should know everything about the business email format, style, voice, and ethics.
This quick guide will provide you with efficient methods of email writing. Use it in your everyday professional life, and you will make your communication much better!
Preparing to write an email
Before you start writing, there are particular questions to answer:
- Who is my recipient?
In business lettering, your recipient is the primary consideration. A person you send your email to determines how to write it.
Each of your potential readers, be it a partner, manager, or colleague, has a different background and project understanding. For instance, your colleagues understand the concepts related to your current project, while your customer might have no idea about their meaning. So if you don’t know how to write a professional email and where to start, think about a person who will read it first.
- What aims do you follow?
Remember, one email equals one aim. Each message should be focused on one idea or task. Too much information might be confusing and lead to misunderstanding. Limit the content to one theme, and this will increase productivity.
If you have several questions on the same topic, you should add a numbered list. This will help your reader orient himself/herself in the letter and respond to your requests without missing anything.
- Do you really need to write this message?
Not all questions should be solved via email. Before you write one, ask yourself if you should. Maybe, you’d better make a phone call or write a chat message? If you need a small remark, email might be not necessary.
Formal elements to consider
To learn how to write an email for business purposes, you need to consider some formal factors:
Choosing an appropriate tone might be a challenging task. In business lettering, it can range from cold and formal to friendly, but there is one thing to remember – keep your audience in mind.
Don’t overdo with politeness – this can make your message too wordy. At the same time, don’t forget to include “thanks” and “please” every time it is required.
Don’t use CAPS LOCK because this will make you sound like you are shouting at your recipient. If you want to highlight something important, use underlining or italics.
- Headings, subheadings, and lists
Break your text with headings and checklists to make it easier to read. Your audience will grasp the information easier this way. White space assists your readers to perceive your words better.
- Emojis and excessive punctuation
There is no need to add too many exclamation marks. Also, avoid any emojis in business emails. They are not appropriate.
You need to find a perfect balance between briefness and enough details. Make sure that you include everything essential but don’t make your message too long.
Here are some more tips on how to write a business email. They relate to the general look of your message:
Don’t leave your letters without a subject line because a properly-written one ensures that your message will be read.
Your subject line shouldn’t be too brief of too long – 3-8 words will do. If your subject line doesn’t tell anything about the topic of your email, the chances are that your recipient won’t open it. The worst headings sound like “To Your Consideration” or “Important”. Good examples are: “Salary Reports for December: Please View by 5 PM”.
Your letter should start with a greeting. If you know the name of a recipient, make sure to include it.
If you have received something from a recipient before, thank him/her for the letter. Indicate how you met each other if you are writing for the first time. This is a necessary context that will help the reader orient himself/herself in your message.
If you don’t want to make it personal in any way, general pleasantry will also work. Write something like, “I hope you are doing well” or “Thank you for your interest in the project.”
Now you need to present the core information clearly. Be direct and straightforward. Never make your request blurry or not obvious because you risk staying ignored or misunderstood.
If you have some clarifications about the purpose, idea, or task – provide them at the end of your letter. Make sure that these details are relevant and helpful.
- Call to action
End your letter with a call-to-action statement. This should be a strict and precise sentence that includes a particular action and the desired timeline. If you expect your recipient to do something, clarify what exactly you want him/her to complete and when. This way, you will avoid the risk of misinterpretation.
The bottom line of your email should be your sign. Something like “Best regards, (your name)” will do for most cases.
When writing a business email, make sure that it concisely presents the information you want to deliver. The most crucial task here is to make yourself clear. Always remember about your audience, your relationships, and their background.