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5 Steps to Writing Better Emails
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Most people take email writing for granted. In terms of business etiquette, writing emails with slang, poor grammar and spelling mistakes is considered unprofessional, doing little to further your cause. As part of an Orlando digital marketing agency, emails are a huge part of our correspondence when communicating with clients, other employees and agencies.
The suggestions for proper email etiquette are lax when emailing friends and family members. Even then, some simple steps should be taken to make sure the email you are sending out is clear and carries your message across in the way you intend it to.
Here are some simple steps you can take to improve your email writing and the overall presence of the message.
1. Always put a subject line and make it specific
a. A lot of times emails get sent out with vague subject lines or without any subject line. If you are sending out an email to someone who receives a lot of mail, chances are your mail may get lost.
b. If it is your first time emailing someone, that person may not be inclined to open the email if there is no subject line. It can be mistaken as junk mail and be deleted.
c. A specific subject line should focus on the content of your email message. For e.g. ‘Inquiry about chemistry test scores posted 1/3/12’
2. Remember your opening and closing remarks
a. At the start of your email remember to use a proper greeting. It is polite to start with something like Hello [Person’s Name], or Hello Mr. /Ms. [Person’s Name]. Consider it similar to writing a letter. Don’t take it for granted.
b. The same goes for ending your email with a form of goodbye. ‘Best Regards,’ ‘Kind Regards,’ ‘Best Wishes,’ or ‘Sincerely’ are all good examples to use before you include your name signature at the end. In business related correspondence, include your title as well as contact information for you and your office.
c. When it comes to family and friends, your opening and closing remarks may be a bit different. You may not need to be as formal but still greeting them and saying goodbye should be done.
3. Keep it simple and to the point
a. Your correspondence should be concise. If you have a lot of information to get across, don’t send it via email unless it was in an attached document.
b. Be clear and make sure your message contains one main point at a time. Don’t send a message with two or three entirely different subject matters. The message could get confusing or tedious for the person on the receiving end.
c. Make your paragraphs short and use bullet points if needed for spacing in order to make your content easier to read.
4. Check your spelling and grammar
a. Often, our grammar and spelling goes unchecked. Spell checkers are useful tools and a good start, but they can’t catch every grammar error you may have.
b. If you’re not the best speller, make it a habit to use a dictionary or a second pair of eyes to proofread your email before you send it out, especially if it is of high importance.
5. Format your email properly
a. Emails are usually viewed in plain text. However, HTML emails are quite popular today. When it comes to HTML emails, you need to be cautious of the way you use italics, bold and underlining for instance.
b. Use italics for things like the names of titles, books or quotes; use bold for headings and try to stay away from underlining since they can be mistaken for hyperlinks.
I hope these tips helped you understand the importance of sending carefully formatted emails. Remember that an email can give someone a perception of your character and in this digital world, it is often one of the first impressions you will make. Someone who takes their time to formulate a polite and well-prepared email will be seen in a more positive light compared to someone who carelessly threw something together.
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