Basic Email Writing Strategies

No matter where you work, email writing is a crucial aspect of business communication. And thanks to the subtleties of the English Language, superficial grammar checking software, and an ever increasing inbox, email composition can be a daily struggle.

There are numerous components to consider when writing an email.

Here are a few strategies to help you navigate through the daily craft of email communication.

Write a clear and compelling subject line

Assume that the person receiving your email has an email inbox that is just as cluttered as (if not, more cluttered than) yours.

Creating the right subject line can insure that your email is not overlooked or lost.

1.) Consider the main topic of your email.

What is the most important thing that you would like your reader to take away from your message?

If you are sending your resume to the head of a human resources department, a good subject line would be the position for which you are applying.

If you are writing an email to promote your product, you might want to make your subject line a question that best pertains to the company’s needs.

For ex:

Are you running out of sales representatives?

Do you want to redecorate your home?

Looking for the perfect gift for your boss?

The key is capturing your recipients attention and making sure that your message is clear.

2.) Keep it short and sweet

Although “An essay pertaining to the the social and political commentary of Sir Walter Scott in Waverly” might perfectly sum up the thesis of your final essay, chances are that your professor might skim right past your submission.

You should make the subject line as short and clear as possible.

In the case above, a more appropriate subject line for the student to use would be “Final Essay, Naomi R. AENG 402”

This subject line is shorter and tells the professor everything that he/she needs to know.

This is Naomi R’s final essay, and she is in my 402 Modern British Literature class.

Personalize your openers

An opener is a quick greeting to the person reading your email.

In most cases, you want to add a personalized acknowledgement to your audience.

A simple “Hi,” might be too informal depending on who you are addressing.

Using a “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” or “Good Evening” can be a safe way to be conventional while also professional.

Adding the name of your recipient can be another way to create professional camaraderie.

Organize your body

Just like anything you write (from a text message to a dissertation), organization is important.

1.) Make sure that you have a clear and specific purpose for your email

If you find yourself having more than two matters (or questions) to address in your message, try numbering your points.

Clearly separate your topics.

Don’t stray away from your main subject.

2.) Be concise

Let’s be honest, no one wants to read a long, running piece of text.

The last thing you want is for your readers to skim your email. They could miss crucial information, and the responsibility would be yours.

Separate your thoughts into sections.

It will be less intimidating for your audience and will make it easier for them to address the content of your email.

Personalize your closer

Just like your opener, your parting message should be personal.

Keep it professional, but make it yours. A little personality goes a long way.

Below are 10 common email sign-offs:

  • Thanks!
  • Best wishes,
  • Sincerely,
  • Respectfully yours,
  • Cheers!
  • Ciao!
  • Best!
  • Talk soon,
  • Thank you in advance,
  • Looking forward to hearing back from you

Again, keep your audience in mind.

“Ciao” might not be the best way to close an email to the owner of your company, but would be perfectly fine for ending an email to your co-worker.

Reread your email before pressing send

Carefully take a look at what you’ve written.

Keep a close eye out for typos and misspellings that your software system might not catch (like using form instead of from).

Breath.

If you take your time and follow the steps above, you will be a master at writing emails in no time.

Happy Writing!

© 2019 by Naomi Roberson

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