How to Write Professional Emails: Tips for the Modern Business World

how to write professional emailsThe modern world of business rarely involves letters sent via postal service now. With computers in every office, it’s often easier and faster for productivity to simply send an email. In fact, many businesses will even reach out to customers via email instead of sending postal mail.

Links to catalogs or email newsletters are just a few ways that companies are now reaching out to the consumer via the digital world. You can even take a class in growing your business with email marketing. However, writing a professional email is not like writing a personal one. Consider these tips and tricks when writing your professional emails.

Avoid Being Bossy

Professional emails are frequently abused. While attempting to be concise, many people end up coming off as bossy or rude. You can easily avoid doing the same by being polite and using proper tonal wording. Words like “please” and “thank you” easily change a sentence from sounding bossy to simply requesting something.

You especially want to avoid coming off bossy when emailing your consumer. Very rarely will a customer return if a business is bossy and rude. So, do your best to keep your clientele by avoiding bossy tonal words. Consider this article in business language for more help on changing your tone.

Always Have a Subject

If you’re sending out business emails with no subject written, that could be one of the reasons why your emails aren’t getting responses. Avoid one-word, vague subjects that might not have any meaning for the reader. Take a course in email marketing if you really want help building your list of customers via email. If these professional emails are between you and employees, you might want to include what action you’re requiring of them like by saying, “Response required in regards to email marketing.”

Keep the Main Point at the Beginning

No customer is going to stick around for long emails. Be sure to state the point of your email within the first couple of sentences. This way, if they do decide to keep reading, it’s for the extra information about the key point instead of to find out what the email is even for. Take a course in email marketing so you always know exactly what to say to your customers.

If you’re going to send an attachment along, be sure to state that somewhere near the same area as the main point. Be sure to attach whatever it is you’re planning to send too. If you forget, send out a second email with the attachment and an apology.

Also, never be vague. If you’re sending an email to someone regarding something they need to do, don’t write “Finish this by 5:00.” Instead, specify what needs to be done; your employee may very well have forgotten. Writing something along the lines of “Email marketing ideas need to be done by 5:00” will give them a reminder of what project you’re emailing them about.

Avoid Capitals, All Lower-Case, or Chatspeak

NO ONE ENJOYS READING ANYTHING THAT’S WRITTEN COMPLETELY LIKE THIS. BOTH YOUR EMPLOYEES, AND YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL FEEL LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING AT THEM. THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO POINT OUT THINGS YOU DON’T WANT THEM TO MISS IN YOUR EMAIL.

you also shouldn’t write your email in all lower-case. it makes you look unintelligent, like you don’t know that capitalized words start a sentence. your email would be even more confusing if you didn’t even bother to use periods or punctuation. my husband writes like that.

U don’t wanna write w/textspeak either. R u really expecting sum1 2 try n translate ur emails? it’s a waste of ur time n theirs. it doesn’t matter if u r trying 2 b c00l w/the kids. LOL n ROFL r not biznez writing.

(Translation: You don’t want to t write with textspeak either. Are you really expecting someone to try and translate your emails? It’s a waste of your time and theirs. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to be cool with the kids. LOL and ROFL are not business writing.)

Keep Your Message Brief

Again, no one likes to read long emails. If you’re sending out newsletters, send them as attachments. Create a brief summarizing newsletter that’s no more than two or three paragraphs. Anything longer than that, and you should consider revising the message to be shorter. Just remember that being concise doesn’t mean you have to be rude.

Use Words Properly

Don’t promise a sale then go back on your word. You’re not a politician; you’re in the business field. People don’t like to be lied to, and it’s tough to run a company if you’re always promising things to your clients only to end up taking it back later on.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep, both to your customers and to your employees. Disgruntled employees won’t work very well if you promise a paid company lunch then don’t follow through. They likely won’t have brought lunches along meaning you’ll have a lot of starving employees too.

When you use words like “please” and “thank you” in your emails, don’t color the words with sarcasm or bossiness. No one likes to read an email that reads, “Thank you for understanding why lunch breaks have been cut.” Instead, you can briefly explain why lunch breaks had to be cut then write, “Thank you for your understanding while we attempt to clear up lunch break issues.”

The same can be done with the word “please.” If you’re writing an email reminding people to clean up after themselves in the break room, you shouldn’t write, “Please remember that the break room is for everyone, and your mess is not the responsibility of others.”

Unless you know exactly who is making the mess, and you plan to send this email only to them, this is an inappropriate sentence that blames the reader for another’s problems. Instead, you could try something like “Please remember that the break room is for everyone, and clean up after yourself.” In this way, you’re just reminding everyone to clean up their own messes.

Even Emails Need Editing and Proofreading

You should always edit and proofread your professional emails, especially when sending them out to customers. Even Google has an option to check spelling in emails. If you’re having trouble with proofreading, consider an online course in proofreading, or have your executive assistant read over the email before you send it.

Don’t Forget Your Signature Block

Whether customer or employee, the person you’re writing to will need to know how to contact you if they need to. With business emails to customers, you should include a link to the website or catalog you want them to visit. Include the email of the customer service department so they can get any questions they have answered.

If your email is for an employee, you’ll want to include your work email and probably your work numbers. You never know when your employee might need to get hold of you a lot more instantly than email, especially if you have a habit of checking your work email only once per day. Don’t forget to include your name with that signature block too, and don’t clutter it with clever quotes or some kind of artwork.

Be Prompt With Replies

Most companies have automated replies that are sent out to customers when they contact technical support or any other support department. This is to let the customer know that their email was received and not lost in cyberspace. It also gives you the chance to show your customers that their concerns are important.

Automated responses don’t quite work as well when writing to employees unless it’s to remind them that you’re actually on vacation and not available to answer work emails. When answering an employee’s email, let them know if you’re going to need time before making a decision, and give them an estimation as far as when they can expect a response.

Don’t say something like, “I’ll let you know my decision at 2:00pm this coming Monday.” Instead, you could say something like, “I will know what decision to make after Friday’s staff meeting so let me get back to you then.” At least then they’ll know you read the email, and they’ll know to expect an email sometime after the staff meeting and before the end of the work day.

Don’t Forget Your Formatting

Just like no one wants to read an email entirely in capitals, lower-case, or textspeak, an entire email with improper formatting will drive someone up the wall too. Use a proper font, nothing informal, and be sure your font size is appropriate too. If you know you’re writing to someone with sight issues, consider a slightly larger font, but that should be the only reason to increase your font size.

No one wants to read an email written in a large font size.