As I’ve learned through trial and error, when you are in business or in a position where you need to correspond with someone in a professional manner, it is incredibly important to make sure you learn how to write an appropriate email. These days, email is the way that most of us communicate in the office and, often, among friends and family. Here are some of the things you need to bear in mind if you want to write a great email:
- Choose a strong subject line. When creating a subject line for your email you must make sure that it’s concise and doesn’t come across as spam. If you are sending a marketing email for example, you don’t want to come across pushy or impersonal. The key to a good subject line is keeping it simple and to the point. Even a simple phrase such as ‘thank you’ can be perfect.
- Choose an appropriate greeting. When you are starting to write your email. The greeting you choose will depend upon whether or not you know the recipient. If you already know someone then it is perfectly fine to address them by their first name. If you don’t, you should always refer to them as their title and last name (i.e. Dr. Brown). There are cases where these rules are bent (depending on which industry you work in), but it’s good general practice.
- Ensure you have excellent, clear content. The key to creating a professional email is to keep things clear and concise. A lot of the time when people are reading an email at work they will skim it to get to the point as quickly as possible. Don’t take two paragraphs to introduce yourself before you get to the point because they simply won’t read it. Also, you may want to use an app like Grammarly to check your grammar throughout the email. The last thing you want to do is come across as inarticulate.
- Closing line. Signing off an email is, believe it or not, something which can confuse a lot of people. There are many different sign off phrases you may use at the end of an email and they will all convey different ideas. If you are applying for a job or you don’t know the person you are contacting, the most fitting sign off is ‘yours sincerely’. If you already know the person’s name but you don’t have a personal relationship with them, ‘Kind regards’ or ‘Best regards’ is the most fitting. And finally, if you know the person, you can end an email with ‘thanks’. Err on the formal side if you aren’t sure!
- Your signature. The very end of your email should be your name or you signature. If you are writing an email from your place of work you will also want to add your job title underneath your name, along with appropriate contact information. You can obtain email signature software online to allow you to create a professional digital version of your signature to add underneath your name. With any professional email, it is much better to write down your first and last name rather than just your first name.
These things may seem small, but they do make a difference in how you present yourself. Good luck! Note: this post contains contributed content.