5 Tips for Writing Better Business Email
Communicating well with peers, investors, employees, or superiors through email is an important skill for every modern entrepreneur. In fact, one of the skills employers are looking for in high volume is strong writing. 73% of employers wish their new hires were better writers. But, regardless of your hiring status, or seniority, better writing means better communication. Learning how to write more effective business emails can improve efficiency and set you apart from your peers.
1. Send only necessary emails
Employees spend nearly a quarter of their day managing emails. Some companies are even limiting the amount of internal emailing in day to day operations, and the result is increased productivity. Although it might not be possible to limit email in your office, one step you can take is to only send necessary emails. If you have a question for a peer or supervisor that you might be able to answer yourself, is that an email you really need to send? Probably not. However, if the question is brief and you can’t find the answer on your own, you might consider taking a brief walk to ask your question face to face. Doing so won’t add to the overwhelming amount of email already circulating your office, and will give you an opportunity to stretch your legs.
2. Interact professionally
Interacting professionally via email means adhering to internal expectations for the use of titles as well as establishing written rapport with your peers and superiors. Until that rapport is reached, it’s important to remember including salutations and sign-offs. Also, proofreading your emails before sending is crucial. There’s nothing more embarrassing than an easily avoided typo making its way through the email chain.
3. Organize your information effectively
An effective email needs to convey information clearly by having a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning of your email is facilitating introductions, should those be necessary, as well as explaining your reason for contact. The middle addresses questions, strategy, or context, and the conclusion is for planning next action steps, like setting dates, etc. It’s helpful to put important information in bold, as well. Lastly, email subject lines should be relevant to the content addressed in the body of the email to keep them easily searchable. Remember, your subject line is the first thing a reader will see and it will likely affect how they prioritize responding.
4. Reply all
It can be frustrating to get email alerts from email chains that include a lot of people if the questions being asked are directed at specific members of the group. When you’re involved in email chains, try to recognize when something needs to go out to the group or to individuals. Doing so can help you better manage your email as well as your time.
5. Stay timely
Time management with email can be difficult especially with the rate of email we receive during the average work day. However, if your supervisor or peer emails you in the first part of the day, it’s smart to respond that person within the same day. If you can’t respond with timeliness, at least send a message letting them know you received the email and when they can expect a response.
No matter your position on the corporate ladder, learning better methods for communication via email can affect how your peers and supervisors view you, as well as make internal processes more efficient for all involved. Do you have tips or tricks for sending professional emails or keeping your inbox balanced? Share in the comments!