General email writing tips

20 Maj 2020

Article written by Colleen Kelly, Kelly & Associates s.r.o. for EURid

 

Our third and final article in the series of Effective Email Communication focuses on general email writing tips.

Remember, writing is a critical thinking process so it’s important to organize your thoughts before you write.

  • Know your audience/recipient and choose the most appropriate style of informal or formal
  • Write an informative subject line
  • Put the key points of your message at the beginning
  • Be brief, long emails are draining
  • Streamline what you want to happen (get straight to the point, politely, but keep the content intact)
  • Make it a pleasure to read your emails by using white space, bullet points, and correct punctuation
  • Turn negatives into positives (inject the right tone to have your content read in a positive way)
  • Avoid using templates as it’s important to personalize the email content; keep in mind the communication style of the recipient (look at their LinkedIn or Twitter feed)
  • Personalize by using a conversational tone; emails should sound like the person who is writing and not like a robot
  • Avoid using GIFs and emojis in business writing
  • Wait at least 24 hours after sending the initial email before sending a follow-up message
  • Avoid using too much hedging language (cautious or vague language) such as:  “It could be that’/’The results are likely due to’…Instead, state your opinion or idea and the ‘why’ behind your reasoning.
  • Be careful of Cc: (carbon copy); is useful if you want to send the same message to many but be careful as each person can see the addresses of everyone who has received the message
  • Be careful of Bcc: (blind carbon copy); can be useful when you don’t want everyone on the list to have each other’s addresses.  But be aware that someone who is blind copied may hit, ‘Reply all’ and send a reply to everyone, revealing they were included in the original message
  • Follow the conventions of good writing and get even the little things right
  • Spell out deadlines
  • Organize your thoughts into a coherent strategy (think before you write)

   Be mindful of these tips and refer to them often and remember:

‘Strive for progress, not perfection’.  Author unknown

 

We would like to thank Ms Colleen Kelly from Kelly & Associates s.r.o., for sharing these helpful tips.

Please also make sure to read the first article on Essential components of an effective email, and the second one on The tone of an email: formal vs informal