With email being one of the most commonly used forms of communication in the business world, it’s crucial to ensure you are communicating properly when crafting your message.
Poor email communication can negatively impact the way people see you. You want to come across as a credible resource, a trusted partner, and a reliable individual.
With a strong reliance on email communication, it is more important than ever to maintain proper email etiquette. Here are 4 tips to ensure you are making a strong and lasting impression on those who receive your emails:
1. Pay attention to the first things the receiver will see.
You may have heard the phrase, “It’s the little things.” This phrase certainly applies when it comes to email etiquette.
When crafting your next email, consider the initial elements that will stand out to your receiver:
This is the first element of your email the receiver will see. Subject lines should be straightforward, easy to read, and insightful. A Salesforce article recommends keeping your subject lines 50 characters or less.
Make sure you are being as specific as possible. One trick is to generate your subject line after you have completed the body of the email. This is because you can see the main points laid out in your email, which gives you a pretty good outline and the idea of how you can perfectly summarize the contents within the message.
Personalize your subject line whenever you see fit. To be even more specific, including the receiver’s first name in your subject line may cause more interest to open.
Finally, avoid using things like all caps, misspellings, abbreviations, and technical terms that are hard to understand. As it may be tempting to form a sentence in your subject line, try forming a title instead, as subject lines in title case perform better.
If you want to check the quality of your subject line, click here for an email subject line tester tool offered by CoSchedule.
The second most obvious piece of your email is your greeting. Once the receiver has found your email’s subject line compelling enough to open, your greeting should be just as compelling to ensure your reader reaches the finish line, the closing. Now, greetings really depend on the receiver. Is this individual someone you have been in contact with before? If so, examine previous conversations you have had with them. Ask yourself the following question: Are they formal or informal?
If you answered yes to the individual being formal, then use openers like “Dear,” or “Hello.” If it’s a more informal receiver, you may want to utilize openers like “Hi,” or “Hey,” but it’s recommended you continue to use formal greetings, as they read much better. Another alternative if you are unsure of the formality of the receiver is just using their first name, accompanied with greetings like, “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” or “Good evening.”
2. Take your time to write up the body of the email.
Now that you have crafted up a subject line and greeting guaranteed to interest your receiver, it’s time to write the letter inside of the envelope, the body. Don’t rush this part, as effective email communication takes time.
When it comes to the body of your email, be sure to break up the content into sentences, allowing for paragraphs with appropriate spacing. Many of us can agree that receiving emails with a wall of text is very hard to follow. Don’t provide readers with run-on sentences and disorganized content. Consider the below when structuring your next email:
- Have proper grammar and punctuation.
- Prioritize: Put the most important topics at the top, and go from there.
- Pay attention to your tone.
- Maintain a level of professional communication. This is not a text or chat!
To put more emphasis on the fact that this is not a text or chat, make sure not to use broken language, slang, multiple emojis, or abbreviations. Put the above items together, and you are off to a great start with the body of your email.
Consider the Receiver
Just like you would with your greeting, consider your receiver when writing out the body of your email. Ask yourself questions such as:
- Is this individual detail-oriented or more visionary?
- Is this individual commonly very busy?
If you answered yes to the individual being more detail-oriented, the word “detail” should be your main focus. Be sure to include every detail the person may expect. This could be anything ranging from what the task within the email entails, information on the offering you are mentioning, how you are going to support them through an issue, etc. On the other hand, if the individual is more of the visionary type, focus on what their vision is regarding the subject, how you can satisfy their vision, and why it matters.
Last, if you answered yes to the individual being commonly very busy, then do the opposite in crafting up your message and ensure the email is not busy. Avoid over-explaining, limit any introductory or background information, and don’t use too many hyperlinks. Be clear in what you can offer the recipient and if you need advice from them in return, give a clear explanation as to what you need from them.
3. Craft the perfect closing of your email.
Once you’ve completed the subject line, greeting, and body, you’re off to the finish line, the closing. Some of the most common closing lines are:
- Thank you
- Have a great day/weekend
However, you are certainly not limited to the basics. You can also try more specific closing lines such as:
- Looking forward to your response.
- Looking forward to speaking with you.
- Appreciate your time.
Be sure to avoid less formal closing lines like:
- Your friend
- Chat soon
Keep in mind that a closing is better than no closing. If you are using email mobile, be sure to remove any “sent from my iPhone” language that is automatically populated in the email from the device. Avoid using abbreviations, emojis, or sign-off quotes.
Finally, if your organization provides you with a signature line, be sure it is up-to-date regarding your occupational title, hyperlinks, or phone numbers.
4. Before you hit send, consider this.
Now that you have completed your message, take the time to review. Would you be comfortable having your manager or even the CEO of your workplace see this? If the answer is no, double-check, maybe even triple-check, the message until you are completely confident. If the answer is yes, congrats! You’ve got email etiquette down.
Other things to consider are:
- What information are you communicating?
- Who could it be forwarded to?
- Will the receiver understand your tone?
Be cognizant of the information you are communicating, and that you are communicating properly. Also, be aware of who this could be forwarded to, and if you are confident in the information portrayed. Last, be mindful of your tone. Don’t be afraid to pop in a few exclamation points here and there, as they emanate a more positive tone.
For more email writing tips, click here to read our previous blog titled, “5 Tips You Need to Know for Fantastic Email Customer Service.”
Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may apply to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your legal advisor regarding the specific application of the information to your plan.