Lean how to write a professional and effective emails with 11 tips

Emails have become the official medium of communication in today's world. We spend a lot of time reading and writing emails. Here are some tips on how to make your emails effective. This article assumes you know the basics of email writing so will concentrate on advanced tips.

how to write a professional emails
How to write a professional emails

1. Get grammar and spelling right

  • This is the most basic requirement of a professional email.
  • An email with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes creates a very sloppy image of the writer.
  • Use inbuilt tools for spelling and grammar. Most of the tools actively point out the errors as you type. 

2. Brief Subject Lines

  • Always have brief subject lines.
  • Include keywords like "Approval Required", "Possible Delays", "Urgent Issue" etc so that the email reader will know he needs to do some action.

3. Always Use Bullet Points in the email content

  • Use bullet points to make your content more readable.
  • People tend to ignore large paragraphs and just skim the email because of the larger volumes of emails.
  • Do not write very  large paragraphs as people will not spend a lot of time reading unless they don't have anything else to do.
  • Try and logically divide the email into smaller section and have a bold heading for each section.

4. Highlight Key Issues

  • Always highlight key issues with either making the text bold or highlight in red color.
  • When mentioning an issue in the email always mention the impact it has on the project or task.
  • It is good to be proactive and also mention the different solutions for the highlighted issue.

5. A heads up before sending any controversial email

  • It is always good to talk to the person before sending a controversial or surprising email.
  • Often many people react in a better way if they know what they are getting.
  • This trick is very use full when conveying some bad news or sudden changes.

6. Wait for sometime before sending an email

  • This is applicable when you are sending an escalation or a complaint.
  • Always avoid sending emails when you are angry or annoyed with something. 
  • Many times this hurts other people and you will feel bad about it later.
  • You can type the email and keep it in your inbox for sometime. I sometimes do this and keep my emails for few hours. Many times I delete these emails and prefer talking to the person.

7. Include a picture or snapshot when possible

  • A picture is worth a thousand words so always include a picture or image if applicable.
  • I use pictures or table when I am sending information about project overlaps and its impacts.
  • Sometimes it is easier to explain with a picture then just words.

8. Document all the assumptions

  • Make sure you document all the assumptions you have made when sending the email.
  • This is especially true when you publishing project plans or key project dates.
  • Clearly state all the assumptions under single heading like "Assumptions" at the end of email.

9. Always close the loop

  • When sending  an email to which you need a response make sure you give an accurate date and time by which you need a response.
  • It is a good practice to highlight the time by which you need a response by.
  • Examples are "Please respond by 2.30 PM Today", "Please respond by COB 12-Dec" etc.

10. Review email with your managers before making a commitment

  • When making a commitment on a date or some other important aspect it is a good idea to review the email with your manager before sending it.
  • Something that is written in black and white seems to have a greater impact than something that is verbally discussed so just show your manager what you are going to send.

11. Read your email Once... Twice... Thrice before sending

  • You should always read your emails before hitting the send button.
  • I read my emails at least 3 times before sending them out. 
  • I do this for important emails and not all of them.

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