In the business world, communication is everything. Today, the email is the primary method used by professionals for the delivery of important information. An email can make or break business operations. By adhering to the following guidelines, you can be writing effective business emails like a professional in no time.
The subject line: your email should be informative before it is opened
The content of the email should be clearly stated in the subject line. Nothing creates confusion more than receiving an email with the title “no subject.”
Write a subject line that specifically states the purpose of the email. Keep it short. Include exact titles of important projects, names and time requirements. Your recipient should feel the email is as important as you feel it is.
The ideal introduction: be proper
A greeting such as “Good morning” or “Hello” makes the email speak directly to the recipient from the beginning. Always professionally greet your recipient.
In a formal email, address your client or customer using the appropriate salutation, such as Mr. or Ms., followed by his or her name. Write a brief introduction that quickly presents your intents for sending the email.
The perfect body: get right down to business
Use short and complete sentences. Concise language gets your point across with the least amount of difficulty. Focus on the objective at hand. Stay on topic. Refrain from rambling on about anything that does not pertain to the email.
For example, if writing to an associate about a scheduled meeting, you should clearly state the time, location and reason the meeting is being held. Unnecessary details can significantly slow down business productivity. If requesting an action from the recipient, do so with clarity. Additional emails should not be necessary to retrieve supplementary information.
Nobody’s business: what not to include in a business email
This is not your social media page. This is the face of your company and your professional image. Write your email with a tone of respect. Remain neutral yet friendly and communicative. The following have no place in a business email:
- Political views
- Religious affiliation
- Cultural background
- Comments about gender
- Tasteless humor
- Office gossip
Professional courtesy: keep your emotions to yourself
Some business emails pertain to frustrating issues. Sending an angry email only makes matters worse. Business emails are designed to share solutions. They are not designed for complaints. State the issue at hand. Always bring a solution to follow.
Joseph Bubman of The Huffington Post suggests running your email by a trusted colleague to ensure you are addressing the conflict at hand appropriately.
CC and BCC: when and how to use carbon copy and blind carbon copy
When you need to send an email to more than one person, use carbon copy. The carbon copy feature is set up for group communication. Use your email to update everybody at once. Enter the addresses for all recipients into the CC field. This saves time by eliminating the need to send multiple emails.
Use blind carbon copy or BCC to send your mass email to multiple recipients without revealing their professional contact information to others.
Attachments: emailing important business files
Business emails often include important files as attachments. Properly attaching files to your email ensures that all important business materials will be received.
The attachment feature is often displayed as a “paper clip” icon located in the toolbar while you are composing your email.
- Click the attachment icon.
- A window will pop up prompting you to select files from your hard drive.
- Select the necessary files.
- Allow the files time to upload (this may vary depending on the size of their content).
- The files will appear “attached” to your email with their corresponding file names.
Check that your email has all of the required attachments; then, send them along with your professionally written business email.
Simply design your business emails for efficiency
Your email should not require a map. Do not allow the recipient to get lost looking for important information. Clearly format your email. Divide the main points into separate sections. Utilize bullet points or itemized lists. Use basic, legible fonts. Be bold if you have to.
Different colors can draw effective emphasis to key ideas, but don’t get carried away. Business emails are reference materials that need to be designed for efficiency.
The right conclusion: always end on a high note
Wrap up your business email with class. Thank your recipient for their time. Keep communication professional while being personable. A simple closing, such as “Thank You” or “Kind Regards,” always leaves a good impression.
Use an email signature that includes your first name, last name and job title. Include important contact information, such as phone numbers, company names and website links after concluding your email.
Before you hit send: always proofread your business emails
You want your business email to be taken seriously. Always reread your email before sending. Poor grammar and careless spelling errors distract from the content of your email.
Use appropriate punctuation. Capitalize words only where needed. Double-check that all numerical figures and important data are correct. The spell check feature can overlook certain grammatical errors. It is your responsibility to ensure everything is ready to send.
Responding to emails promptly: time is of the essence
Effective business communication is a two-way street. Just as you want your recipient to respond to your email quickly, your response time needs to be fast, as well. Time is money in the business world. Respond to important emails as soon as possible. Most companies run on strict schedules that revolve around crucial deadlines. Do your part to keep the momentum moving toward accomplishment. Your prompt response facilitates more professional goals to be reached.
Understanding how to construct a well-written email will allow you to carry out business with confidence. Practicing effective business communication is your gateway to professional growth and success.