Emails are very important for effective communication and for backup purposes in the business/workplace. Naturally, one of the first things you do when you start a business is to get a working email address, preferably customized with your business name. In fact, you must have sent several emails for funding, setting up your business account and hiring people before starting the business. Thus, its importance cannot be over-emphasized.
However, the level of professionalism employed in the writing of your email could also be the deciding factor in your getting an effective response about the subject of your mail. An email could get you a job or lose you a job; an email could put you in trouble or cause you to be celebrated; an email could exonerate you in a crisis or create one for you. Basically, emails are important. But if you do not want yours to be ignored, trashed or worse, cause you some trouble, here’s how to properly structure and write an email:
Subject: If you are one of those people who click “ignore and send” when your email messenger informs you that you “forgot” to input a subject in your mail, it is time to stop that habit. Your email subject is the first determinant of whether your mail will be opened/read, or spammed/thrashed. But, your subject should not be long. Be direct, yet professional; and steer clear of grammatical errors.
Greeting: As important as it is to go straight to the point while writing a work email, the greeting at the beginning of the email cannot be ignored. It is better to be formal while greeting; so avoid the use of “Hi” or “Hello”, except when your recipients are people you talk to or see regularly. It is more professional to use “Good Day” or “Dear”, followed by the surname of the recipient. You could also include a wellbeing message of “Trust you are well” or a similar phrase.
Remember that every word in the greeting should start with a capital letter and be followed by a comma.
Be Direct: In most cases, the recipient doesn’t have much time to read your email, so remember to go straight to the point. The most dilly-dallying you needed to do was reflected in your “Trust you are well.” From here on, delve straight into it. You could also identify yourself first (for a first time recipient) or just tell them why you are sending the email. “I am the content editor for W magazine and I would like to invite you to our next W Empowerment Workshop,” is an example of how simply to introduce yourself and state your purpose.
Copy or Blind Copy: It is important that you find out whom to copy in your emails. Sometimes, copying the right person could save your job. If you are asking someone in another department to do their job so it does not affect yours, it is always safe to copy (cc) your boss. Also, you must be able to differentiate when to blind copy people in your emails. If you are sending out a bulk email, you have to respect the privacy of your recipients by ensuring their email addresses are not shared with other recipients of your mail. In this case, you employ the use of the ‘Bcc’.
Closure: You made your point known, now do not just send your email off without a closing remark. Here, remember to appreciate the person for their time (they did read your email, after all) or appreciate them in anticipation of a favourable response and extend some warm greetings to them. For example: “thank you for your time”, or “thank you for your consideration”, followed by “Warm regards” or “kind regards” or simply “regards” in a fresh paragraph.
Proof-Read: Don’t be in a hurry to press send and get the mail over with. Take your time to read through for errors, proper dictions, additions or subtractions. It is your email after all, make it neat.
Send: Then send! You’d be surprised how many times people finish off a great email and forget to actually press send. Then they sit and wait for a reply.
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