When communicating with current and potential clients, co-workers and supervisors, or business prospects the content of your emails should always be professional. Many miscommunications can occur from a badly written email. If you work from home, the manner in which you conduct your business communications is even more important.
Below are several items to keep in mind when creating your business emails:
- Greet your recipient. If you are sending a prospective client or company an email, do your research. Try hard to obtain the name of the person you are sending the email to; however, if you cannot determine a specific person then at least use a greeting. “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” is much better than leaving the greeting blank and jumping directly into the email body.
- Get to the point. Do not use the first paragraph to describe the weather, discuss your personal news, or ask questions of your recipient. There is nothing wrong with being “friendly” in your email, but the recipient would most likely enjoy your getting to the point of the communication rather than reading ramblings about the new pet your family just adopted.
- Summarize lengthy emails. If the email you are sending is long or contains of a lot of information, use the first paragraph to summarize what your recipient will be reading.
- Use bullet points. This is especially important for long emails and can still use a summary in the first paragraph. There is nothing worse than opening an email only to scroll down and find 7 long paragraphs. Use bullet points or even a numbered list to make it easier for the recipient to read.
- Be professional with your words. Try to stay away from slang, vulgarity, or terms that your recipient will not recognize. Be clear in what you are saying or asking of the recipient.
- Make your calls to action clear. If you are specifically asking your recipient for something, be very clear about it and also use it at the end of the email if it is a lengthy one. If you ask your recipient for something in paragraph one, but do not mention it again and the email is long, they may not even remember. Closing with the calls to action will help your recipient.
- Say good-bye. Whether you close with “thank you”, “have a great day”, or “I look forward to hearing from you”, it is always good to use some sort of closing before your signature.
- Include an email signature. There are many reasons to use an email signature and for business emails it is a must. Your recipient should know exactly who you are, where you work, and how to contact you (among other things). To make things easy, create and store your email signature to be automatically added to all of your emails.
Remember that your business communications have a reflection on your company and ultimately on you. Do your best to write emails that are professional and that you took the time to create them. This will reflect very well on you and your company or business.
Do you have any suggestions for how to make business emails sound better? Or, do you have some examples of emails you have received from businesses that were just poorly written? Feel free to share in the comments below!