When was the last time you read an email that triggered a response? Quite some time, isn't it? In this era of WhatsApp messages and 140 characters, it's easy to overlook the basic email etiquettes and give up on writing effective emails.
But Email still remains as the most powerful tool of communication in any Business environment. Be it following up with a client or closing a business deal. Hence, it is vital for us to craft emails that strike a chord with the receiver. Well, here are a few tips.
Keep your subject line clear and to the point. For example, a subject line like ' Awaiting your approval for team meet' is better than ' Regarding Team meet '. Emails with concise subject lines invite the recipient to look into the content. So spend adequate amount of time to nail the subject line right.
Yeah, you got that right. KISS the content – ie., Keep it Short and Simple. Structure your message in proper paragraphs. Long forms of content with lengthy sentences are intimidating. Break them into smaller chunks, making it easier to read. Ensure that your content is coherent and adheres to the same tone of speech.
Determine your audience and pay attention to the words that you use in your email. Discriminate when to keep your email informal and when to make it sound professional. For instance, if you are emailing to the VP of your dream company, you must carefully weigh every word before clicking on to the 'SEND' button. Whereas, if you are dropping an email to your office colleague, simple and pleasant words would suffice.
Every time you send an email, it’s your personality that is perceived in the first instance Hence it is advisable to compose the email in a positive, polite and affirming tone. Instead of saying ' “I would be glad if there is a vacancy in your company”(doubtful), you can put it across like “Looking forward to work with you”. Remember, subtle variations make a huge difference.
Pay due attention to the fonts used in addition to the content drafted. Comic Sans is a font which is no more considered to be ‘cool’. Choose a professional font like Helvetica and maintain consistency along all your emails. For example, you can have all your business emails of high priority with fonts that are blue in color and marked as important. And ensure you don’t use emoticons in your emails. The last thing you want is your smiley mocking at your somber client.
You may be an adept writer, but that does not mean you can skip proof-reading. Check your email twice or thrice for spelling errors, grammar mistakes and punctuation marks. Apps like Grammarly should make this work easier for you.
Ensure that your contact details are clear and easier for the recipient to reach you. If you are designing your signature, make sure to test it in different browsers. Send a test email to yourself to check how your signature looks. Your signature has the last say in the entire context and hence make the best use of it. If you are on the lookout for a job, adding a LinkedIn badge to your signature will probably help in a positive response.
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start working on your most dreaded email.