Emails are an important part in communications at work. Finding the right words or creating sentences that make sense is sometimes a difficult task. Apart from the content, you also need to be careful that the form of the email is correct. The right email written in the right way can do a lot for you and your business.
- It will get you more clients
- You will get more opportunities to do business
- You will create the right impression among your business associates
- Your emails and way you interact, reflect the image of your company
GENERAL GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW WHEN WRITING EMAILS
- Keep them short. People do not have time to read lengthy emails. So always get to the point as early as you can
- Your sentences should be short and the language simple. There are less chances of making mistakes this way
- Avoid long and bulky attachments. Corporate mailboxes usually have a limited storage capacity; so do not clog inboxes unnecessarily
- Respond to emails within a day or two; or use autoreply if you are away. It is polite to do this
- Maintain an up-to-date address book to save time
- Never send chain mails or obscene jokes at work. Your company can take action against you if somebody complains
- Don’t use email when you should really see someone face-to-face or talk to them on the phone
- Don’t send an email when you are angry or upset. You may write something, which you are likely to regret later
- Always keep back-ups of your email. This is for your own records and to use in case any disputes arise
- Use formal language and a traditional letter format when writing to senior management or customers
- Start your emails with the appropriate salutation (such as Hello, Dear etc.) and always end with a ‘thank you’
- Do not forget to fill in the subject line
- Do not hit the ‘reply all’ button if it is not needed. Not everyone needs to be marked in all mails
- If you are dealing with a sensitive matter, make sure that you mark a copy to your boss/supervisor/Head of the Department etc.
- Use the ‘bcc’ button if you want to maintain the confidentiality of the person to whom you are copying the mail
THE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT OF YOUR EMAIL
The email is not just a message but also a vital source of information for the recipient. You have to keep the following in mind when you are writing an email:
- Why am I writing the mail – this will be the subject of the mail. For example: you may be writing to convey some information. That conveying of information is the reason why you are writing the mail. Alternatively, you may have a complaint to make.
- The Objective of the email – if you are writing to give information, you expect that information to be of some use or to have an effect on the receiver of the email. That is the objective of the mail.
- Give a context for the subject – the topic of the mail has to have relevance. It could be continuation of a subject on which emails have already been exchanged or an issue discussed earlier
- List the facts supporting your argument. Whatever you are writing has to be backed by facts and logic
- What do you expect the recipient of your mail to do? Clearly state what action you expect from the receiver of the mail.
- The tone of your email: angry, apologetic, regretful, annoyed, irritated, happy, urgent, satisfied, informative or just plain neutral. You have to maintain the tone uniformly throughout the mail;otherwise, the recipient is likely to become confused.
REVIEWING YOUR EMAIL
After you write your email, you need to review it for the following:
- Check for errors in spelling and grammar
- Check for errors in punctuation
- Make sure that you have avoided jargon, abbreviations, difficult words and exaggeration as they will confuse people
- Ensure that the person in the ‘to’ address field is the right person and the intended recipient
- Make sure that people, not concerned with the matter, are not marked on the email
- Check to see if any attachments, mentioned in the email, are attached
- Always include your contact details in the email
- Be polite when you write an email. Do not be rude or use abusive language