How to Write Clear and Professional Emails
Email is the communication tool of choice for most of us. Email’s great because you don’t have to be available at the same time as your conversation partner to communicate. It allows us to keep projects moving when our co-workers are unavailable or on the other side of the world.
Writing emails that are short and to-the-point will reduce the time you spend on email and make you more productive. By keeping your emails short, you’ll likely spend less time on email and more time on other work. That said, writing clearly is a skill. Like all skills, you’ll have to work at it.
To begin with, it may take you just as long to write short emails as it took you to write long emails. However, even if this is the case, you’ll help your co-workers, clients, or employees be more productive because you’ll be adding less clutter to their inboxes, making it easier for them to respond to you.
Is there a format for writing a professional email?
Writing a professional email comes with a universally accepted email format that can help you write an email that the recipient receives well. It is important to be concise so the recipient can keep their attention on your email and understand the reasons you have for writing. If you require them to take any kind of action in your email, place a call to action (CTA) phrase at the end of your email.
1. Start with an interesting subject line
The subject line is a short message that is displayed before the contents of the email are visible in the inbox. It summarizes the intention of your email in usually seven to eight words. Moreover, a subject line helps the recipient to quickly identify your email in their inbox. For example, Minutes from today’s meeting or Update on developments on the XYZ project .
2. Give greetings
Ideally, you must include the recipient’s name if you are aware of it. If not, then a sir/madame would do. If you are struggling to abide by a gender-neutral approach, then in the case of women, prefix their name with a Ms. Most importantly, irrespective of the recipient’s gender, add a comma at the end of the greetings line. For example, Dear Ms Jessy or Dear Mr Arjun .
3. Write the core email body
This section holds the key information that requires the recipient’s focus. Write a detailed, yet succinct, message that describes your intention. It is imperative to be mindful of the time your reader may need to understand the intention of the email. For example, This email is in reference to my job application at Fine Foods International. I have received my interview results and I’m glad to embrace this opportunity.
4. Include a closing line
The closing line is usually where you can place a call to action or inform the reader of the next steps. Consider ways to avoid forcing them to respond to you. Instead, write your line in such a way that they feel inspired or motivated to take action. A best practise is to find ways to continue the conversation, whether that is through email or in person. For example, We can chat about this on-call tomorrow afternoon. or If you could update me on this I would really appreciate it.
5. End with a signature
Being the very last section of your email, the signature maintains a sense of neutral authority and professionalism. It usually includes your complete present professional identification by name, job position, company name, phone number and possibly, an alternative email address for you. Ensure that you begin your signature with S incerely or B est regards .
6. Proofread your email
Double-check the tone of voice of your email. Establish a neutral tone that helps the reader concentrate and craft a reply that you are expecting. An email that is free of spelling and grammatical errors is easier for others to read and comprehend, meaning you may be more likely to receive a response. Aside from spelling and grammar, it is important that your email have a high readability, meaning the recipient can understand your communication.