Especially in the newer generations, texting and social media have become mainstays in communication methods. While they’re vital tools for any marketing strategy, they’re the death of grammar and the adjective, as we know it. Without constant attention, we find our bad online habits creeping into our normal wavelengths of contact throughout our workday. There’s a finely-tuned art in crafting effective business emails, and you risk serious credibility for even the slightest errors. Faux pas in your writing can lead to assumptions about your organisation; after all, if you miss the minor details in simple email communication, how can you be expected to apply command any sort of deals where money is involved? In order to avoid this travesty and contributing to the seemingly imminent loss of descriptive language, here are our tips to drafting professional and effective business emails to best achieve your goals in the average 140 emails people will be sending/receiving per day:
To Writing Effective Business Emails, Steer Clear of the Text-Speak FTW
Of course, this would be our first rule for any corporate email use, and if you were wondering, FTW isn’t anything bad, it just means “For the Win”. While we’re glad we enlightened you on the acronym, if you didn’t know what it meant, you just proved our point for us. Not only are terms like “lol” or “ttyl” extremely unprofessional, but they can be confused and cause misinterpretation. When forging important details over business email, the last thing you want is to clutter your message. But just in case you happen to see another one you’re unfamiliar with, there’s a cheat sheet here.
Be Concise and Specific
Remember when you used to have to lie to your parents, so you’d be vague and try to mislead them? Well, if you’re not clear in the point of your business email, you’ll be doing the same thing except unintentionally. There’s no room for that incorporate email communication because really, no one reads more than they have to. So, put the key information right up front, and be firm about it. Especially if you have a request of some sort, make sure it’s the first thing the reader sees! They’ll be much more likely to acquiesce because your email objective is obvious. Don’t say more than you have to.
Be Cordial and Don’t Abuse Capitals
I DON’T KNOW WHY people think caps lock is an effective tool, but it really won’t get you far. Use language to get your point across in any business email, or some bolding or italicising if necessary (to a very limited extent). Abusing these tools will appear rude and condescending, and getting your way immediately becomes less likely. And when we say to be polite, we don’t mean waste space buttering someone up, but simple please and hello’s will go a long way. The work day is difficult enough as it is, and adding undue pressure on someone in a standard business email is extremely unfair.
Use Effective Subject Lines and Appropriately Sign-Off
The subject line is there for a reason – to let the reader know what your business email is specifically about. The more generic and simple it is, the less likely the receiver is going to consider it a priority. It still has to be crafty, especially if you’re marketing because you don’t want to make your reader feel dumb. Something like “Buy Our Christmas Products” won’t fly, but “Current Christmas Sales” tells exactly what to expect and provides interest.
On the more corporate email side, don’t be the person whose signature is fourteen lines long. It makes you seem arrogant, and especially when you’re trying to get something out of someone, it creates a bad stigma. Your business email signature should be simple – name, title, and contact information. Make sure the phone numbers are direct lines as well! If I need to speak to you, I shouldn’t have to go to war with an automated introduction and keypad commands.
Use Copy and Blind Copy Wisely
With the cluster of business emails a person receives in a day, they have to be prioritised and compartmentalised, and unnecessary copies and blind copies make that a pretty difficult task. It’s kind of a The Boy Who Cried Wolf situation. If you’re constantly copying people on things they don’t need to be privy to, they’ll pick up on it pretty quickly. All of the sudden, the very important input you require will find its way into the trash bin. The same goes for that pesky “reply all” button.
In short, keep it short. Business emails are a necessary function for operation, and effectively crafting them to best achieve your goals is truly an art. Follow our suggestions, and you’ll be more than okay. What are your tips for inciting a quick response? Alternatively, what annoys you the most about business email communications?