Email writing is an essential skill in the modern business world. Whether you are an entrepreneur, lawyer, sales manager, or freelance web designer, you should be able to create effective emails.
Poor email writing skills may negatively affect your career. If the quality of your business emails is far from perfect, you will experience communication issues with your customers, business partners, and co-workers.
Do you want to improve your business email writing skills to foster your career? Here is a short guide that will help you achieve your goals.
When it comes to online messaging, the risks of miscommunication are always high. For this reason, you should try to express your ideas as clearly as possible to make sure that the reader will get your message right.
Here is an example of the ineffective email:
“Could you send me a report?”
It might be unclear to a recipient what concrete report he should send to you and when.
Be specific and clarify what you are asking about. Provide the recipient with more details to prevent any possible miscommunication:
“Could you send me a monthly marketing report before Thursday 4 p.m.?”
Think before you write
Formulate your ideas first, and only after that start typing an email. It will allow you to speed up the email writing process and reduce the time spent on editing.
Are you a big thinker but a lousy writer? Consider getting help from writing companies and experts in the field. Let them point out your typical mistakes and provide you with guidelines on how to improve your business writing.
Write explicit subject lines
Every good business email starts with a well-written subject line.
Why are effective subject lines so important? Firstly, they help a recipient quickly understand what your email is all about. Secondly, effective subject lines help ensure that your emails will not get lost in the recipient’s crowded inbox.
Here are a few examples of good email subject lines:
- Customer survey: share your opinion about product X
- Revision of a blog post. Submit edited file before noon.
- Inquiring about your marketing services
- Potential collaboration on a charity project
When people receive an email from you, they have one question on their mind: “What’s in it for me?”. Answer this simple question, and you will write a perfect subject line.
Enroll in an online course
Thanks to advanced technologies, you can learn almost any business skill without leaving your home. You can find suitable courses on Udemy, Coursera, and similar education platforms and gain the knowledge you need.
If you do really want to improve your business email writing, we highly suggest you enroll in online courses. It’s one of the most effective ways to take your skills to the next level within a short period of time.
Install proofreading tools
All people make typos and grammar mistakes in writing, and you are not an exception. No matter how strong your writing skills are, you still need to proofread and edit your emails before clicking the “send” button.
If you want to speed up your work, you can install proofreading software on your laptop, phone, and other devices you are using. AI-powered tools will highlight your grammar mistakes and typos in the text and make suggestions on how you can fix them. If you use these tools on a regular basis, you will save lots of time and improve the quality of your business emails.
Become a mindful reader
Do you get well-written emails from your clients, business partners, or co-workers? Read these emails mindfully and try to learn the best from them.
What kind of structure do these emails have? How do their subject lines sound like? Define what these emails have in common and try to apply these practices to your email writing. Follow good examples, and you will eventually improve your skills.
Create a clear structure
A good business email must have a clear structure. The body of the email shouldn’t look like a wall of text.
Here is an example of a simple structure you can stick to:
- The opening line + a brief description of your idea/request/inquiry
- Key points/ main issues (listed from the most important to the least important)
- Professional signature
You should start a new paragraph every time you present a new idea or describe a new problem. Also, you can add bulleted lists where possible. It will improve the readability of your business email and smooth your communication process.
Don’t use all caps
When you need to inform a recipient about an urgent task, you might be tempted to put all words in caps. However, that’s a terrible idea. Using all caps may give people anxiety or irritate them.
If you want to grab the recipients’ attention, you can use dashes or colons to separate thoughts. However, you should avoid special characters like exclamation points.
Find your voice
For writing effective business emails, you need to find your own voice and use it wisely. You should try to sound engaging and informative but not blunt and unprofessional.
Once you finish an email, read it a couple of times to ensure that you are giving the impression you want to give. If you want to make your email sound differently, play with the wording, and paraphrase some statements.
Politeness plays an important role in business writing. It helps to make a good first impression and win people over. So don’t hesitate to leverage your good manners to advance your career.
Don’t forget to add words like “thank you” and “please” to your business emails. The use of courtesy phrases will cost you nothing but makes a world of difference.
Start improving your business email writing skills today
Poor email writing skills hold you back from big success. It’s time for you to take a step forward and improve your skills. Use this guide to get rid of the mistakes you make and become a more proficient email writer.