Email has become the most common way that we communicate, on a business level and often personally too. Although emails can feel more casual than something like a letter, they still require a certain level of professionalism if they are being used in a business context. If you want to ensure that your email communication is doing you justice then follow these simple steps to writing the perfect professional email.
● Start the email with a greeting. It’s easy to forget just how much of an impact you can have with the way that you open an email. This is your opportunity to be respectful and put the recipient at ease so choose your greeting wisely. Use “Dear their name” if you’re emailing someone with whom you have a more formal relationship or “Hi their name” if it’s more casual. If you don’t have a specific name you can opt for “To Whom It May Concern.”
● Continue with a thank you. This could be a “thank you for your message,” or it might be in response to something that has been said to you in a preceding message. You might want to thank the person for their question or for getting in touch, for example. The purpose of the “thank you” at this stage is to acknowledge anything that has gone before and create a calm and receptive feeling at the start of the message.
● Get to the point. Effective emails don’t waste words and it makes sense to be concise, especially if you’re dealing with busy people. So, once you’ve opened the email correctly it’s time to get straight to the point. Why are you sending this email today - make sure you’re being absolutely clear about the purpose of the message and what you’re hoping to achieve with it. This is where the language that you use will be vital to how much impact your email makes. If you are clear, concise and informative then you are much more likely to receive a positive response than if you’re hesitant and fill your email up with lots of waffle.
● Check your message over, twice. Look for spelling mistakes and grammar errors, as these can have a big impact in terms of the impression that you make with what you send.
● Include a closing statement or remark. That could be something as simple as thanking the recipient for their time (in reading the email) or for their patience and cooperation. You could also reiterate expectations here, for example “I look forward to hearing from you.”
● Sign off. If you used a more formal opening for the email then the correct sign off will usually be something like “best regards” or “sincerely” but if it’s a more casual exchange then a simple “thank you” might be the more appropriate choice.
The way that emails are worded will contribute to the impression that the recipient has of you, as well as how willing they will be to respond in the way that you want them to. That’s why being able to write the perfect, professional email is a key skill. Find out more by booking onto our Delivering Excellence Via Email Half Day training course...