5 basic tips to write effective emails

by Aug 16, 20153Plus, Communication

 Why do so many of us get email writing so wrong?

[Tweet “We all think we write effective emails. But the chances are we probably don’t!”]

 

How to write effective emails

How to write effective emails

More than 204 million emails are sent every minute. It’s no wonder that people are overwhelmed by both ends of the process: sending and receiving. But research from SendMail Inc shows that for 64% there are downsides, resulting in “tension, confusion and resentment.”

That is a lot of tense and confused people!

Writing an email should be straightforward, yet so many people do not get and apply, even the most basic tenets. Many organisations offer few, if any, guidelines on how to write an efficient and clear email. There is a 50-50 chance of an email being misunderstood. 80% of us think we are being clear, when in fact only 44% are, according to the US Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

So if you want to send an email message which will be read and save time, you should find these basic tips helpful.  Now is the moment to become efficient and effective, and not confuse or even worse upset anyone!

Here are 5 tips to write effective emails:

Be direct

The opening sentence of your email should be the reason you are writing. Ask the main question and make the key point first. Don’t wait to introduce vital information at the end of a long winded email. The recipient may never read it.

A Good Subject Line

Your email should have a precise and accurate subject line. Never leave email subject lines blank. It wastes the recipient’s time and may send it direct to junk. They are also difficult to track later.

Be concise

With the human attention span on an increasing downward spiral, an effective mail should be short. Short sentences. Short paragraphs. It has been suggested that 200 words maximum is the longest effective length.

There is discussion about whether emails should contain the same introductions as a letter  – Dear xx. When in doubt it is recommended. With someone you have never written to before – without fail. Personally from someone I know well or if it is part of a long workplace email chain, I would not consider it rude to omit the usual salutations. But that is just me! I know some feel very differently.

Ladies, never ever, add an x (as in a kiss) to the end of your emails, unless it’s to your friends or family. In a professional setting that is just bizarre, especially if  incorporated into a standard email signature.  Your aim is to write an effective email and to be taken seriously as a professional.

Review

[Tweet “There is no place in modern electronic communication for poor anything.”] Grammar, spelling or manners. Avoid text speak, capital letters, coloured and complex fonts that are difficult to read. More and more of us work from mobile devices where the possibility for lack of clarity has increased exponentially. Effective emails are proofed more than once.

There is a new trend to put a line in signatures from mobile phones about being “on the run and sent in haste.” This is very unprofessional. If your mobile phone is your main electronic business communication device, you need to master it. Your kids won’t care. Your clients will.

24 hour rule

Email communication has opened the flood gates for ill-considered and hasty, often angry responses which the sender regrets. [Tweet “A golden rule is if you feel your pulse raised – wait 24 hours”]. Once sent, a badly constructed or snippy email, sent out in seconds, can do untold damage and take literally hours to fix. Sometimes the damage is irreparable, especially if the circulation list has not been properly checked.

[Tweet “It really is a case of more haste, less speed. “]

What tips would you give for effective emails?

Guest Contributor Subscriber
3Plus is delighted to publish posts from guest contributers

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services

Individual services

Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.

Corporate services

The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)

Upcoming events

Book Now

Linkedin Live on Ageism Friday 24th September 2pm BST with Hung Lee

Join Dorothy Dalton and colleagues -  Jo Weech, Head of People, (Exemplary Consultants),  Jacob Sten Madsen, Talent Acquisition Advisor (Nielsen) & Anne-Hermine Nicolas, Head of Executive Recruitment (ex-Deloitte), Frank Zupan, Director of Talent Management (Associated Materials) to discuss critical issues in Hung Lee’s Brainfood Live.

You can register here.

 

 

 

Dates for the Diary

 
September  21st -  ENGIE Gender bias in Performance Assessment online
September 24th -  Linkedin Live on Ageism with Hung Lee
October 26th - Banque de Luxembourg Préjugés sexistes dans le processus de recrutment.

 

 

We have Remote Learning Programs available 

Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally a digital world.

Download and listen free podcasts

Related articles

A small way men can be better allies

A small way men can be better allies

There are situations that most men would not give a second thought to, but women are programmed to think about their personal security. There are ways men can be better allies to women with simple steps.

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
3 Plus International Call Back Request