Email is a widely used tool for business communications with colleagues and, more importantly, clients. The average office worker receives around 80 emails each day. Time is spent reading and composing emails. However, the messages sent can become confusing to the recipient. Writing an effective email is only as important as the content. Email provides a fast connection that allows you to promote your business. Because we know just how important communicating with your clients is for your business, here are 5 steps to help you make the most out of your business-related email.
Step 1 – Don’t Over-Communicate
Prior to writing your email, you should consider the information you need to share. Emails, contrary to popular belief, are not entirely secure. There is no margin for human error. Recipients can forward emails, often forgetting to delete the previous conversation history. They can also choose to reply using “blind carbon copy.” This means that you never really know if you are the only person receiving their reply. Avoid sharing sensitive data or personal information through email.
Step 2 – Properly Utilize Subject Lines
Subject lines should be a summary of your email content. Blank and one-word subject lines are often overlooked or rejected as spam. Other words, such as “free,” will also be marked as spam unless the receiver has added you to their “safe-list.” This is true even if they have willfully subscribed to your newsletter.
If your message is time sensitive, you may want to consider including a call-to-action, such as “Reply Needed by August 4.” If an email only contains an attachment, you can use the subject line to relay that information. For example, your subject line may read: “See Attachment” or “Attachment Only.”
Step 3 – Clear and Concise Messages
Emails are the modern day version of the traditional business letter. Keep sentences short and to the point. Limit your email content to pertinent information. Effective communication is essential in planning and controlling an organization’s resources to accomplish the company’s objectives. A complete business message includes all of the information the receiver is required to understand and may possibly need in order to respond to the message. Concise messages are both time and cost effective because the messages convey only relevant information in a concise manner without repetition of ideas.
Step 4 – Tone
Choice of words, sentence length, punctuation, and capitalization can easily be misinterpreted. Unlike a face to face conversation, email lacks body language and verbal tones that can solidify a meaning. Tone in an email reflects the professionalism of your business. Many people will assign a tone based on the words (even if that tone truly wasn’t implied). It is extremely important that you draft your messages in a neutral manner that is harder to misinterpret. You can also include a sentence inviting the recipient to respond with their thoughts or to contact you if they have concerns about the email.
Step 5 – Proofread
There’s a funny little saying that bounces around on social media that says, “I do my best proofreading after I hit send!” Make sure that your email makes the best impression possible. Check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes before you send your email. As you proofread, check for all of the points mentioned above. Cut down what isn’t necessary.
Successfully Using Your Email
Are you using email effectively to support your business? Email is a valuable tool that can increase productivity, customer relations, and overall performance if correctly used. The importance of business messages makes effective communication skills a critical business tool and an essential employee attribute.
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