Emails fly back and forth to our inboxes every day. Used for many years, we’d be pretty lost without them as a way of keeping in touch with business clients and colleagues, and yet by the end of each day you’re probably inundated with several dozen that all need a response. Business emails are just that – for business. They’re imperative to keep your business afloat and consequently need quite a lot of attention; if you let them fall by the wayside, your business could suffer. Take a look at these helpful yet incredibly simple tips to help you write better emails.
Keep the address professional
Many people are still using their personal email address as a business email. If you work independently for yourself it may be the case that you’re working with a Gmail email, or perhaps a Hotmail address you’ve been attached to since the late 90’s. As convenient as this email may seem as your main point of contact, having a professional one is much more, well…professional. If you own a domain name, consider paying for an email address attached to this. i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org – Prospective clients and associates will be much more likely to read your email straight away, rather than an email coming from email@example.com.
Call To Action
When you send an email for business, its intent is usually to inform or get the recipient to act on something, whether it’s to call someone, read over a report or accept an invitation to an early morning GoToMeeting to China. Ask yourself as you’re writing the email: does my email invite the reader to do something? Has my point being put across and my call to action been clarified? Ensuring that your email has a call to action ensures that it’s much clearer for the recipient and will ensure a faster response for you.
Watch the length
Yes, emails are an incredibly useful way of communicating, but unless you’re writing to a dear friend and telling them about your recent new job/house move/bargain at the sales, aim to keep it short. Dozens of emails arrive in an inbox daily, and many – if not all – will need a response, so keep your message brief, to the point and at a length that’s sensible.
Reread before sending
Have you ever hit send and then realized you’d left a very embarrassing spelling/grammar error in your email? Or missed out something really important? Or realized it was perhaps unsuitable? Always re-read your email, and then a second time. This ties in well with the point above; if your email is short, it’s quicker to read over. In a famous example, several days after Steve Jobs died in 2011, Samsung executives discussed using his death as an opportunity to attack the iPhone. These emails have since been leaked, and come across as very inappropriate; perhaps someone should have re-read these before sending them to multiple officials.
Check Your CC’s and BCC’s
If you’re copied in to an email but only want to reply to the sender, ensure you hit ‘Reply’ and not ‘Reply All’. Hit the latter and everyone will get your email…which isn’t always ideal. It’s also important to be careful of who you want to be sent your email, so double check your CC’s twice before sending that very important email to its recipients. Always add addresses last on emails too, in case you hit send too early.
When it comes to writing an email, unless you’ve been discussing something in length with the recipient, assume that whoever is getting your email knows nothing. They don’t necessarily know about the meeting planned for next week or about the project you’ve been working on, so give them a short brief of anything they may need to know, and invite them to ask for further information if need be.