6 Tips for Writing Effective (and Professional) Emails

Author: Alyssa Gregory | October 9, 2015

Most of business owners use email as a primary form of communication. It’s quick, easy, and very time efficient when compared to sitting on the telephone for a prolonged period of time. But not all email communication is created equal. In fact, some email communication can be horribly unproductive and unprofessional. These tips will help you write more effective and more professional emails.

1. Use Descriptive Subject Lines
Let your recipient know, before he or she even opens your email, what you’re writing about. When you think about how many email messages most people have in their inboxes on a daily basis, you will be saving everyone time (including yourself) by making it clear what your email is about with just a glance at the subject line.

2. Don’t Write a Novel
There’s nothing wrong with having a lot to say, but it doesn’t do you any good to cram it all into one email. Break down long and complex messages into smaller topic-based emails. And if it seems like there are too many emails required or that it’s difficult to get to the point, pick up the phone and make a call.

3. Use Subheadings and Bullets
Have you ever received an email that was one super long block of text? How many times did you have to read it to fully understand the message? Improve readability by breaking your message into sections with distinct subheadings. Bullets accomplish the same thing — allowing the recipient to scan the message for the key points without having to take notes as they read.

4. Repeat Action Items
Your email probably includes some sort of call to action that you want the recipient to do after reading the email. And since it’s so important, you probably stated the desired action close to the top of the email. Try adding that requested action again at the end to remind the reader that action is required.

5. Make Sure You Include an Email Signature
Email signatures never go out of style. If you’re sending emails for business on a regular basis, you should include a signature. It doesn’t have to be something fancy, packed with links and embedded images, but it should include your name, title/business name, phone number, and website address at a minimum. Don’t make your recipient have to search for a way to contact you aside from responding your email message.

6. Check Your Spelling
Yes, this one is obvious, but definitely worth mentioning. First, run a spell check every single time you send a message (set it to run in your preferences before you send any message). It also doesn’t hurt to take a few minutes to proofread before sending to make sure you’re being clear and succinct.

What email tips would you add to this list?

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