10 Tips for Writing Effective Business Emails

by Ian Nock

Email communication has a pivotal role in business communication. The following tips will help you to make your email communication efficient and effective.

1. A Meaningful subject line
People receive a huge number of emails are present in the mailboxes every day. To get your email noticed among them, it is important to give your email a subject line that grabs the attention of the receiver. The subject should also associate closely to the content of the email. When replying remember to change the subject line rather than just let the mail program add “Re:” at the front.

2. Cue it right
It is important to send the mail to the right recipients. No one wants to receive emails in their inbox that really do not concern them. You should use the cc and bcc options only where it is important. Moreover, emails should have a personalised touch to make people relate to them more.

3. Grammatically correct
It is very annoying for people to find mistakes in an email. That is why you should proofread your email after completing it to correct grammar and check spelling. The use of incorrect grammar would only reduce the reputation of your organisation and yourself in the eyes of the recipient.

4. Simple and concise
The attention span of people is limited and they want to be able to read emails quickly. Therefore, use simple and plain English as much as possible in your emails. For example use “buy” instead of “purchase”. Avoid clichés such as “last but not least” and legalese such as “in reference to” and “please contact the undersigned”.

5. Appropriate Format
Your email should not have all the text in just a single paragraph as this makes it difficult for a reader to understand your meaning. Also avoid long and complex sentences with multiple clauses. Organise the content of your message logically and include bullet points, headings and subheadings for clarity.

6. Appropriate Diction
Words like urgent and important are meant for grabbing the attention of the reader. If these words are used unnecessarily, it will only contribute to making your email seem worthless to recipients. Therefore, use urgent sparingly and resort to other such words only when absolutely necessary.

7. Know the target audience
It is important that you know whom your email is supposed to convince and target. For this purpose, you should know your audience well and must have a clear idea of what they are anticipating before you start writing them an email.

8. Use of links and attachments
The effective use of attachments and hyperlinks helps you communicate your message in an efficient manner and allows your email to be concise. Use links rather than copying and pasting large sections of text.

9. Give a deadline for reply
If a reply to your email is required, then the email should clearly state the deadline for the respondent to reply. This makes it easy for the receiver to understand what actions are intended.

10. A clear action call
If your email requires the reader to perform some action or task, then the call to action should be clear and simple. Mention it more than once, so that the reader does not miss it out.

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Writing Business Emails

Writing Business Emails

By David P Smit
There's something final about an email. Once it's gone, you can never get it back. So if you are composing an important business email make sure that you have got everything right and have covered all the basics.
A business email represents you and the kind of impression you make on your business contacts. So, be sure of your email before you hit the send button. You need to keep some important things in mind while composing a business email. It will greatly affect your future prospects and how well things turn out. Yes, a simple email has so much power, so it's a wise idea to be careful before you compose your email. Here are some pointers that should keep you on the right track.

  • Formal tone - A business email is not like a business letter. Even so, you have to maintain a certain amount of formality when writing it because this is what conveys your professional attitude. With a business letter, you have to make sure that the addresses are correct and aligned and the date is in the right order. With an email, you could probably skip all these things and head straight to the important stuff. However, how you write a successful business email largely depends upon who it is addressed to.
  • Salutation - Getting the salutation right is another important facet that is common to both business letters and emails. Mixing them up is a typical faux pas that immediately lends the wrong kind of impression about you and implies that you have not done your research before writing in. In addition, if the person you are sending the email to is someone you know, starting off with Hello isn't a bad idea at all.
  • Concise - While business emails do lend themselves to a certain way of writing which is convoluted at best, avoid this tendency when writing a business email. This is because the person reading on the other end may simply not have enough patience to read through the lines. Use bullet points if necessary to convey what you have to say effectively.
  • Subject line - The subject line is not there just for decorative purposes. It's useful because it helps the receiver understand what your email is about. Moreover, it's very important because it helps the receiver search for your email from hundreds of others. In addition, the subject line will prevent them from dumping it into their trash thinking that it's spam. Keep it short and to the point.
  • Sending attachments - Sending attachments is a big no-no unless it is specifically requested. Most business people are paranoid about getting viruses in their email attachments and might straight away delete your email thinking that it could be potentially dangerous.
  • Avoiding capitals - Surely, everyone knows now that writing in capitals in an email is tantamount to shouting in the real life. If you want to emphasize something that's important, use different methods. Use italics, underline the sentence or simply use a different color. However, never use capitals.
  • Proof read - Just as you would with a business letter, go over your email a few times to make sure that everything is perfect and there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors that could portray you in a wrong light.
  • Contact details - Always include your contact details at the end of your email, most particularly your cell phone number because it will make it easier for the recipient to call you if required.
  • Think and then write - The biggest drawback with email is that it often fails to convey tones. In informal emails, we might use emoticons to suggest what we're feeling as we write something, but this can't be done in a formal email. Nevertheless, think carefully before you write something because there's no saying what the recipient might perceive in your email.
  • Email only when required - Some people don't hesitate before picking up the phone and calling but most business people prefer emails because they are non-intrusive and give them time to compose their thoughts before they can answer you. Even so, email only when it's required.

Hitting the send button on your email is a final move. Before you do it, make sure that you've ensured all these elements are in place and your email is as perfect as possible.
Some useful English language reference sites include the
online dictionary at Datasegment and the synonyms database at Synonyms360.
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