If you write emails in English and often do business emails, then we're going to look at the top 12 tips for writing awesome killer business emails that will get you that interview, clinch that sale, or establish a better business relationship with a client contact or a work colleague.
When emails first started being used for mass business communication, they were seen as informal, sometimes even inferior alternatives to written letters. But today email is used for everything, whether for formal or informal situations.
When it comes to writing business emails, you need to get your act right on many different aspects. The factors that affect your emails are not only the English language, the grammar, but also the style of writing. And then, there is the structure of the message itself besides the choice of words you make.
The final aspect that you need to consider is that the formatting of the business email should look great as well as practical and to the point. We're going to cover all of these in this article so that you get that email really perfect.
Use Proper Etiquette
It always pays to be polite, courteous, and considerate and you can do so by following certain accepted practices such as:
The First Name of the Recipient
In most cases It is okay to use the first name in business communication, more so if someone has sent you an email that includes his or her first name at the bottom. You can then use it as it is also considered to be polite. You may avoid using the surname as it makes the email sound too formal and creates a distance between the writer and the reader.
Addressing the Recipient
It is also considered most appropriate to open an email using 'Dear' at the beginning and 'Best wishes' or 'Regards' at the end. 'Hi' is often not considered appropriate for business emails unless you are quite familiar with the person you are writing to. If you do not know the person's full name, you may use the person’s title or position he or she holds in the organization, (for example 'Dear Head of Customer Services').
Balance between Formal and Informal
You need to make a balance between being too formal or too informal. It is most unlikely that your being formal may offend someone, on the contrary, you being too informal may likely offend somebody for being rude and casual.
Keep Your Communication Short
It is always important to keep the emails short, crisp and concise. We must keep in mind that people are busy. The average office executive receives thousands of emails every day and you would have higher chances of having your email considered if you are right on topic without wasting their time by asking questions about their wellbeing. So don't ask ‘ How are you?’ and such similar questions. You may just say ‘I hope you are fine’ and then just get to the point politely.
The Subject Line
The subject line should be short and clear enough to catch the attention of the recipient. Your subject line should give the reader a taste of what to expect in the email. For example, if you're applying for a new job then the subject line could be ‘Job application Senior Software Engineer with five years' experience’
If you're writing a more marketing-based email then a good thing to do is to write a subject line that touches the curiosity of the reader, for example, ‘This new app will turn the property market on its head’, now, if you work in the property field you most probably would read that line and would try to find out more about it.
Here are some tips on the grammatical aspects of emails. These tips can equally apply to those who are good in English yet make these types of mistakes.
Remove the word ‘Very’
A simple tip that can make your email look more ‘native like’. Go through your email and remove the word very and you will notice that it makes no difference, in fact, it enhances the text quality. If you use ‘very’ too much the email loses its emphasis, for example, ‘It was a very nice day and I was very happy to meet you last week and I enjoyed the talk very much.’ If you instead write, ‘It was a nice day I was happy to meet you last week and I enjoyed the talk a great deal ’ the sentence not only retains its meaning but sounds much better.
Use Active Voice
If you want your email which is easier to read and sound more confident and convincing then you should use the active voice. So instead of saying, ‘The package was delivered by Ravi’, say ‘Ravi delivered the package’ Instead of saying, ‘The meeting has been scheduled for the next week.’ say ‘We have scheduled the meeting for the next week', similarly instead of saying, ‘the work is produced to the highest quality’ say ‘We have produced the highest quality of work.’ By using the active voice your emails give the recipient a feeling of ease yet being more persuasive.
Avoid using negative sentences
You will always sound more positive and convincing if you avoid using negative sentences in your business emails. Positive language helps convey a positive feeling, for example, if you say, ‘…don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.’ The reader, while reading the word ‘hesitate’ may interpret, at a subconscious level, that you do not wish to get bothered. A better sentence would be, ‘Do let me know if you have any questions.’
Another example of that is, ‘Don't forget to read our sales brochure.’ With this sentence, there are more chances of the sales brochure going straight in the bin. You should instead say, Please, do have a look at our sales brochure.’
Avoid attachments as much as you can
A lot of communication these days is done through mobile and downloading attachments is frustrating and time-consuming. So, either if the information is short, put that in the body, or else put the information on a webpage and just include the link of the webpage in the email. Your recipient would surely appreciate this in a big way.
Never use emojis
It is so important for you to understand that you never use emojis in a business email unless you are 11 years old. Just by putting an emoji, which has become so common nowadays, that you would take the gravity and the sincerity of the email away. A sure no-no in business emails.
Closing your Email
The last line of your email, which is just before your signature, should wrap up your message by reiterating any requests that you had made in the body of your email. For example: “I look forward to speaking with you on Monday. Thanks again!”
Remember to follow up
It is common in today’s work environment to receive several emails per day. There is thus, a high probability of you not receiving your reply, as people might miss or forget to respond. You may consider reaching back to the recipient with a polite and friendly follow-up email within 2 or 3 working days.
Let us kick start whatever purpose you have in mind, by Just following these top 12 tips for writing that awesome business email.