In an age where everything is digital, sending emails is a large part of our work day. It’s how we communicate with others within our business or company as well as how we contact others outside of our work too.
We spend so much of our time reading and writing emails, but how much time do we put into the content of each email? Are we punching out some words and hitting send just to clear the inbox? Or are we sending valuable messages that the receiver will want to read?
When it takes us so much time to weed through our inboxes, it’s important to put thought into the emails we send, so that we don’t take up valuable space with not so valuable emails. Here are 6 quick tips to improve your business email etiquette and help you write better emails.
1. Write conversationally
If you write your email like your are having a conversation with the person on the other end, your email will come across more personal and be easier to read. It will also help the flow of the email be more natural and you won’t feel like you are writing a research paper either.
2. Address them by name
Addressing your recipient by name adds more personal touch to the email and let’s them know that you are speaking to them directly. Even if you are using a canned email response, addressing them by name allows you to talk to them one on one and makes them feel important.
3. Keep it professional
Even though you should write your emails conversationally, you have to remember who you are talking to. You aren’t talking to your mom and best friend so it’s important to keep your emails professional. You can still be casual in your writing style if it applies, but you want to maintain a certain level of professionalism so that you are taken seriously too.
4. Be clear and concise
Like I said, we all have an influx of emails to read and respond to every day. By keeping your emails clear and concise you can get your point across quickly and effectively without weighing them down with a book to read. Unless the situation calls for a longer, more detailed response, you should try to keep your emails as short as possible while still communicating enough information so that they understand what you’re trying to say.
5. Send a follow up
By rule of thumb, you should send a follow up email if you have not gotten a response within a few days. The exact time frame will depend on who you are communicating with and what you are discussing via email. But if you haven’t heard back from them within a few days or a week, you can send a follow up email to verify that your first email was received and ask if they have any questions for you.
6. Send a “no thanks” email
The one thing that most people fail to remember when sending business related emails, is that they should always send a reply. Often times, we send emails asking about products or services, working together on something, or employment opportunities. But when you fail to respond to someone who took the time to send you the information you requested, it sends a bad message. Good email etiquette requires you to send a reply email to at least let them know you received the info, you appreciate their response, and that you are no longer interested. You don’t always have to give a specific reason if you don’t want to, but a simple email to let them know goes further than you think.
The next time you go to hit send on an email, ask yourself if you did these 6 things and if your email is worth reading. Before you know it, it will become habit and your emails will be infinitely better.