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Writing Effective Emails


❶Sometimes a more informal e-mail is appropriate "in house" with co-workers you know well and if it is in line with "work culture".

How to Properly Write a Professional Email (With Clear Points)

Length of a business email
Talk, tips, and best picks for writers on the job.
And One More Thing…

In every email you write, you should use enough sentences to say what you need and no more. A helpful practice here is limiting yourself to five sentences. There will be times when it's impossible to keep an email to five sentences.

But in most cases, five sentences are sufficient. Embrace the five sentences discipline, and you'll find yourself writing emails more quickly. You'll also get more replies. What's the key to keeping your emails short? Using a standard structure. This is a template that you follow for every email you write. As well as keeping your emails short, following a standard structure also helps you to write fast.

Over time, you'll develop a structure that works for you. Here's a simple structure to get you started:. This is the first line of the email. When you're emailing someone for the first time, then a compliment makes an excellent opener.

A well-written compliment can also serve as an introduction. If you're writing to someone you know, then use a pleasantry instead. A pleasantry is typically a variation on "I hope you're well. As Vinay Patankar of the Abstract Living blog explains:.

Ingrain this into your fingers so that you naturally spit it out with each email you write. You will never have anything to lose by adding in a pleasantry, you will make people more inclined to read the rest of your email, you will soften criticism, and will hit the positive emotions of a few. Most will simply ignore it, but for two seconds of your time, it's definitely worth it. The reason for your email. In this section you say, "I'm emailing to ask about A call to action.

After you've explained your reason for emailing, don't assume the recipient will know what to do. Structuring your request as a question encourages the recipient to reply. Alternatively, you can use the line "let me know when you've done that" or "let me know if that's okay with you. Before you sign off your email, be sure to include a closing line. This has the dual purpose of re-iterating your call to action, and of making the recipient feel good. Back in , George Orwell advised writers to:.

Short words show respect for your reader. By using short words, you've done the hard work of making your message easy to understand. The same is true of short sentences and paragraphs. Avoid writing big blocks of text if you want your email to be clear and easily understood. This leads to another of George Orwell's rules for writing, which can help you keep your sentences as short as possible:.

Once you've followed your standard email structure, trim every sentence down to be as short as it can be. The active voice is easier to read. It also encourages action and responsibility. That's because in the active voice, sentences focus on the person taking action. In the passive voice, sentences focus on the object that's being acted upon.

In the passive voice, it can appear that things happen by themselves. In the active voice, things only happen when people take action. Part of the hard work of writing short emails is careful proofreading. Read your email aloud to yourself, checking for spelling and grammar mistakes. If you want to show your personality in your email, let this shine subtly through your writing style.

Don't use emoticons, chat abbreviations such as LOL , or colorful fonts and backgrounds. While these might have been integral to your emails during your teenage years, they are rarely appropriate in a professional context.

The only time it is appropriate to use emoticons or chat abbreviations is when you're mirroring the email language of the person you're writing to. Email is a less formal way of communicating than writing a letter or even making a phone call. Writing as you speak makes you come across as personable and friendly.

It also helps you to keep your emails short. After all, few of us speak in extended paragraphs. Additionally, make sure your emails reflect who you are in the real world.

If you wouldn't say something to a person's face, don't say it in an email. And remember to mind your manners. Keep in mind that learning how to write professional emails is important, but so to is organizing your email inbox.

Don't let your inbox become a disorganized mess. Learn how to manage your emails right. Spend less time in your inbox, while processing your messages more professionally. We have a special offer for you. Discover how to apply the best email management techniques now. What are your top tips for writing clear and professional emails? Let us know in the comments below.

One of these professional templates may be just what your next project needs. How to Write Clear and Professional Emails. Writing Communication Email How-To. This post is part of a series called Writing Effective Business Emails. How to Properly Write a Professional Email With Clear Points Writing emails that are short and to-the-point will reduce the time you spend on email and make you more productive.

So what does it take to write clear, concise, and professional emails? Know Your Purpose Clear emails always have a clear purpose. Use the "One Thing" Rule Emails are not the same as business meetings.

With emails, the opposite is true. The less you include in your emails, the better. Practice Empathy Empathy is the ability to see the world through the eyes of other people. With everything you write, ask yourself: How would I interpret this sentence, as someone reading it?

How would this make me feel if I received it? Here's an empathetic way of looking at the world to help you get started.

They don't have time to guess what you want, and they'd like to be able to read and respond to your email quickly. If you can say something positive about them or their work, do so.

Your words won't be wasted. Like to be thanked. If the recipient has helped you in any way, remember to say thank you. You should do this even when it's their job to help you. Keep Introductions Brief When you're emailing someone for the first time, you need to let the recipient know who you are. This is ideal because: You need to know what the purpose of your email is, so start with that.

Think about the best way to make your point. Reading on the screen is not easy, so use white space. Keep your emails short and concise. Send detailed information as attachments or links. One subject per email is a good idea. This helps to focus your reader on your purpose and what you are asking of them. Use plain English and have a conversational tone. Paragraphs need to be kept short with only one topic in each paragraph.

Writing an email is as important as any other business document you write. So it needs to be planned well. A simple tool to help you plan your longer emails is Mind Mapping. This helps you focus on what you want to say. There are courses you can do to teach you Mind Mapping and its use for your business writing. Once you have your purpose, you can gather your information by research and brainstorming. Then decide on your structure by grouping and ranking the information.

Decide if you need attachments or links. Follow your plan and structure. This will make writing the email much easier. Remember to keep it concise and well formatted. Choose your recipients wisely. People often receive messages that are not relevant to them. The last step is to proof read your email. This can even be done by reading it out aloud. In this way you will hear the flow and rhythm. Any mistakes are more likely to become obvious. Also listen for the tone of your email.

It needs to be polite, with the right amount of formality or informality for your reader. Only reply to emails if you have a defined purpose in doing so. Some emails are for your information only. Adapt the subject line if appropriate.

Be prompt in your reply. In short, emails are a wonderful business writing medium.

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As a business writing expert, I should have known that I'd get the wrong response. I had written the email in a way that was easy for me but misleading for my reader, a woman named Lea.

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Email is incredibly important in the business world. 92% of people in a study thought email was a valuable tool for working with others. But 64% of people also found that email .

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The following is a guideline for writing letters and email messages, including how to write, format, and proofread your letters, with examples of various types of business letters. What to Include in a Letter or Email. Business Writing from University of Colorado Boulder. Writing well is one of the most important skills you can learn for success in the business world. Knowing how to write well allows you to deliver your ideas with the power they deserve.

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In the professional world, you will often need to write a business applying to a new job, to writing a thank you note, sending a note of apology, or sending a farewell email when you depart, there are many circumstances that will require an appropriately formatted letter. May 31,  · Before writing an email, ensure it is the best form of communication for what you want to say. There may be another form of communication that is more appropriate. Phone conversations allow the tone of your voice to help get your message across.5/5(5).