Whether you like it or not, writing and sending emails has emerged as the leading tool on the internet for communications in the corporate world. Besides being quick, efficient and best of all its free, emails are also highly versatile in placing work reminders, meetings and official correspondences at the tips of your fingers. This have certainly allowed people to reach anyone in the world easily in mere seconds if they have a portable blackberry or iPhone in hand that immediately download the emails into their handsets from their email inboxes. However, even with such diverse applications, emails may lose their intended impact if the message is not communicated properly with proper email etiquette. In order to ensure that your emails get the attention they deserve, here are 9 tips that will assist you in writing an impactful email:
Tip #1 – First impression counts!
The subject line will be the determinant factor whether your emails are read or not. As with any physical encounter, first looks determine if something is worth their attention or not. If your email subject line is meaningful and relevant to them, chances are it will be prioritise for reading instead of being dismissed as spam. Therefore, avoid generic and informal subjects such as “hi”, “urgent” or the worse, a complete blank subject field. These emails normally end up being deleted or black listed as spam.
Tip #2 – Proper greetings please.
Avoid casual and generic openings in your emails. Address the person with proper salutations and greet the person by their last name. This not only shows that you are serious and respectful for the stranger you are communicating with, it also projects a professional image of you and your company to the other party. If the addressee’s name or title is unknown, simply use”Sir” or “madam” instead.
Tip #3 – Your tone matters.
Emailing is hard to convey the intended message as it doesn’t allow tones and therefore emotions to be adequately transmitted. However, you can still convey the state of your emotion by emphasizing certain words, using capital letters and punctuation marks. But if you are not careful, you will appear as aggressive and rude, sometimes even to the extent of being insulting. Avoid typing your email all in capital letters with exclamation marks strewn all over. This will suggest that you are angry and shouting, and will make you a very rude person.
Tip #4 – Write in proper English and grammar.
Be sure to check for grammatical mistakes and avoid writing in broken language. Avoid being pretentious and misusing words with meanings distorted. A prime example is “revert” which means to return to doing, using, being or referring to something usually bad or less satisfactory. Simply use “reply” instead.
Tip #5 – Proper paragraphing of your content.
Imagine reading one whole long chunk of text that is cumbersome to read and digest. Whenever possible, be direct and straightforward; use simple English to convey your message. Separate your sentences and organize your points accordingly into neater paragraphs. This makes it easier to read and digest the content.
Tip #6 – Be considerate with your file attachments.
Be aware when sending emails with huge file attachments. It can be very frustrating for the receiver when the inbox is taking forever to download a message and hence resulting in the email client crashing.
Tip #7 – Scan your files before sending them out as file attachments.
One of the easiest ways to turn your potential client away is by sending them a virus directly. Always make it a habit to scan your files before they are attached and sent to your client.
Tip #8 – Signing off properly.
Remember to end your email politely by signing off with the proper closing such as “with regards”…etc
Tip #9 – Send the email only to the people involved or have a need to know.
It can be irritating when you keep receiving emails that do not involve you in any way. Email allows you to vary the way addressees receive their messages. CC and BCC stand for “Carbon Copy” and “Bind Carbon Copy” respectively. Use the former for discussions between you and the person you are liaising with and also to keep your boss updated regarding the progress. The latter is best used to email different recipients who do not know each other and to prevent email addresses from being disclosed and harvested unnecessarily.