Writing More Effective Business Emails: 7 Tips for Better Business Email Communication
Though email can be an effective way to get work done, it isn't a perfect means of communication. Words can be vague, meanings misconstrued, directions misunderstood - and sometimes whole emails can get lost in the shuffle of all the messages received in a day. And occasionally, very long emails are starred or flagged and left to be read later, only to be forgotten entirely.
Seven Tips for More Effective Business Emails
You don’t need to search for white label marketing services when it comes to set up effective business emails. It isn't possible to make other people's messages communicate any better, although there are ways of managing the daily onslaught of email messages that make them easier to work with. But anyone can make their own email communication more effective, and thus make email recipients more likely to respond in a positive way, by following a few tips to improve the quality of their emails.
- State the subject: The subject line should be specific about the topic or purpose of the email. Lines like "Need your help" or, worse, "(no subject)," are not informative enough and should be avoided.
- Include a greeting: Whether it's "Hi Bob" or "Dear Mr. Customer," a salutation is a friendly and proper way to begin an email.
- Identify the sender: When an email is the first point of contact with the recipient, it should clearly identify the sender and the reason for sending the message in the first paragraph. The signature line should also be used to good effect, with the sender's full name and alternate contact information (phone, fax and mailing address, for example - even the sender's Facebook or Twitter page if that information is relevant).
- Short, sweet and to the point: The email should be as brief as possible. Ideally, it should only have one point to make and should be clear in what it is asking the recipient to do with the information (the "call to action"). Also, short email messages are much kinder to Blackberry users reading them on the go.
- Revise, revise: No email should ever be sent without revision - or at least a quick proofread, concentrating on making the message as concise and clear as possible. And more recipients mean that the message should be read even more closely, because the more people who read the email, the greater the risk that someone will misunderstand part of it.
- Get serious: Emoticons ("smilies") should be avoided in business emails unless the emails are informal messages between coworkers. Likewise, text-messaging jargon is also something to avoid in professional emails (srsly!).
- Careful with that "Reply" button: It's all to easy to hit "Reply All" instead of just "Reply" or vice-versa, and clicking the wrong one could have very bad repercussions.
Why a Prompt Email Reply is Important
Besides following the above tips when writing a business email, it's good form to reply promptly to other people's emails. Even if it isn't possible to fully reply at the moment, sending a short message to acknowledge the email and say "I'll think this over and give you a fuller answer in the morning" is much better than ignoring the email until later.
Better Email Etiquette for a More Professional Image
It's easy to send an email, and that's why so many of them are poorly written, error-filled and vague - a poor reflection on the person who wrote them. Following the tips above will result in emails that not only business communicate better and get the job done more effectively, but make the sender look better, too.