8 Tips for Writing Better Emails


Email is a significant part of daily communication for professionals in the business-to-business world. You’ve all experienced an email that was lengthy, ineffective or difficult to understand. After all, the original intent of email communication was to provide an easy way to send a quick message, whether you’re communicating with a client, coworker or peer.  Are you guilty of sending long-winded emails that are hard to interpret?  Start by freshening up your business writing skills with these eight tips:

  1. Proofread. Giving your message one brief look before sending takes very little time. If there’s a missing word, misspelling or partial sentence, you will catch it and avoid additional messages asking for clarification.
  1. Organize your email. Focus on the main points and goals, and put the most important items first. This will help you stay brief and avoid getting caught up in details.
  1. Remove extra words. Getting to the point saves time and energy for you and your recipient. When I first wrote this bullet it read, “Don’t use extra words.” But realizing I had done just that, I changed it. Simple word changes make a noticeable difference.
  1. Avoid long paragraphs. When people see a block of text, they tend to skim and skip over important information. Avoid this pitfall by creating succinct sentences and inserting frequent line breaks.
  1. Keep it simple. But don’t leave anything out. While it’s good to condense your thoughts, it won’t be helpful if you leave out information or don’t fully explain a situation in an effort to be brief.
  1. Read it out loud. Especially if one of your points seems unclear. Email is a conversation, so imagine yourself explaining the point to your recipient in person. Rework the sentence out loud a few times until it reads clearly.
  1. Provide a summary. If you’re forwarding a series of messages, provide a quick introduction to the email conversation. This is especially important if they are just entering the conversation, and prevents the recipient from having to scroll through every message in the thread.
  1. Make your subject line purposeful. Your message can be set apart from others by featuring a question or mentioning a specific situation in the subject line. You want your email to take priority, so make it look as interesting as possible.

 

Have additional email tips for our list? Write them in the comment section below!


Emily Kishler • May 22, 2014

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