Writing emails are a major form of communication in the business world. It’s the business world’s version of chatting or sliding into someone’s DM. So you want to get it right, don’t you? Well, here are a few tips to help improve your email writing skills:
1. Email Subjects Matter
Think of your email subjects as the title of an article. You want the recipient to open and read the email. You also want them to have an idea of what the email is about, so use the right keywords. Lastly, it makes it easy for you to refer to the email in the future if the need arises. Say you want to send an email about a vendor’s overdue payment for a job just completed, your subject title can be ‘ Sunflower Vendor Overdue Payment for Retreat’.
2. 1 or One?
In general, there are a bunch of rules about when to use numerals or words when writing numbers. For instance, you can use numerals for time of day and sums of money and words when the number begins a sentence. For emails, try using more numerals than words, it makes your email shorter, easier to read and absorb the information. It also makes important timelines and figures stand out from all the other text. For example, ‘Please note that it will take us 5 working days to deliver’ as opposed to ‘Please note that it will take us five working days to deliver’.
3. The Power of Bullet Points
Using bullet points actually helps you write faster. It also makes it easier and more interesting for the recipient to read your email. In addition, it is a great way to communicate key information, especially if the message you are trying to communicate is lengthy.
4. Stop With The Jargons
You are writing an email, not an exam. You don’t want your recipient to go ‘Huh?’ after reading your email. Avoid using too many technical terms or long words. Keep it simple.
5. Watch Your Tone
Writing an email like chatting via text message or a social networking platform can be interpreted differently from a phone call or face to face conversation. When proofreading, if you think it sounds rude then it probably does. Ensure you are polite and professional always.
6. Exclamation Marks, To Use Or Not To Use?
Keep the use of exclamation marks to one or two per email. You can use to make your tone sound more friendly. For instance, ‘Hi!’, ‘No problem!’, etc. Double or more exclamation marks for one a word or phrase in emails are a no-no. It might make you sound unbelievably too enthusiastic or like you are shouting. For instance, writing ‘No problem!!!’, might just make your recipient think there’s a problem but covering up with a smile. Lastly, the use of too many exclamation marks increases the chance of your email ending up in spam.
7. The Shorter The Better
Keep it brief, simple and straight to the point. Ain’t nobody got time to read your long pointless emails. Be respectful of people’s time and show you are able to make your point in just a few sentences. If the email needs a long explanation, then try calling first and follow up with a short email.
Pause, take a deep breath, read, edit, repeat. Make sure you read your email at least once again before sending it. If you’re not convinced, you can get someone around you to help proofread; it’s possible there is something they’ll see that you didn’t. There are also tools that help with correcting grammar and punctuation e.g. Grammarly. It’s a great add-on we use in-house.
Have any other tips to add to this list? Then, share with us!
Client Service Executive