In many cases, writing professional emails can be daunting. Moreover, many can struggle to properly address professionals when sending emails. Here are seven effective steps to consider to ensure that your email content is appropriate and applicable to the setting.
1. Always Include a Greeting
Regardless of the length of your email, a greeting is always a formality, as the alternative fails to address the recipient. Just like many become frustrated in a setting where colleagues simply yell, “Hey you!” across the room, failure to include an email greeting disregards the presence of the recipient. Always include a name in your greeting if able, and title when applicable.
2. Use a Short But Clear Subject
Subject lines serve as clarifiers not only to convey the message but also the importance of the content. Furthermore, subject lines serve as a gauge to the recipient as to whether they want to read what you’ve sent.
Keep your subject lines brief, but ensure the subject line clearly articulates what you intend to discuss in your email so the recipient is prepared.
Failure to do so is reminiscent of the text message you receive that says, “We need to talk,” without any reason why.
3. Thank the Recipient
Manners are important, and emails are no exception. Thank the recipient for reading or considering your message, regardless of necessity. This is a polite way to nod to the time the recipient takes not only to read your message but also to respond swiftly and appropriately if the subject warrants it.
4. Introduce Yourself When Necessary
Just as if you were meeting someone for the first time in person, introduce yourself over email when the situation demands. If the recipient is unfamiliar with you, be sure to include your title or the way you obtained the connection to bridge the gap.
5. Get to the Point
Though long emails may seem thorough, most people will simply not remember the entire contents of a long email or will skim through and sometimes miss major points.
Instead of spending time composing a draft that may or may not be read in its entirety, make your emails concise. Even using bullet points or editing to remove filler can help.
On another note, getting to the point will also simplify your message. The more words we use to communicate something, the more tainted the meaning becomes.
Communicate your message efficiently by saying exactly what you mean.
6. Close Your Email Well
Resolve your conversation by thanking the recipient for their time and attention to the matter at hand. If the email was of length, use your closing to summarize major points presented, or confirm a time to follow up.
7. Don’t Forget a Signature
Your signature serves as a final handshake between you and the recipient. Ensure your signature clearly demonstrates your role, expertise, and calls your recipient to act.
Even if the action is unrelated, your signature reminds anyone you contact of your role and value.
A version of this post was previously published on FEE and is republished here under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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