Writing effective emails
Whether you’re sending emails to prospective employers, investors or colleagues, there are some guidelines to follow to ensure everyone remains happy. Take a look.
Only send necessary emails
Before you begin to write an email, ask yourself: is this really necessary? Is it better to pick up the phone or speak to someone in person?
Plan what to say
Take time to think about what you are going to write, organise your ideas and make notes of your points in a logical order.
Know your reader
Think about who you are writing to. This will help you determine the level of formality to take. All emails in the workplace demand a certain level of professionalism and attention to detail.
However, a message to a colleague is likely to read differently than to a potential customer.
Include a subject line
A good subject line should summarise your message and deliver key information without the reader even having to open the email.
Use an appropriate salutation
Your email should always open by addressing the person you are writing to.
Be clear and brief
Write in short paragraphs to ensure your content is clear and punchy.
Be polite and check your tone
Unlike face-to-face meetings or phone conversations, we are unable to read the other person’s body language, facial expression or vocal tone, so it is important to get your tone right and be polite.
Use capital letters correctly
Emails should follow the same punctuation rules as any other writing.
Avoid text speak
Avoid informal language, slang, jargon, and inappropriate abbreviations. It can be confusing and unprofessional.
Use a sign off and email signature
It’s polite to always sign off your email. The formality of the sign-off you use will depend on who you are writing to.
Edit and proofread
Take time to review your message; proofread for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors and correct them.
Also, pay attention to the length of your message, people are more likely to read short concise emails rather than longwinded ones.