As life is moving technically fast 😊, we are spending more and more of our time chatting and managing emails. Emails are now very important in our everyday life for business or personal communication. The rate of receiving emails has increased drastically and our mailboxes are flooded with emails – important and junks – doesn’t matter.
So nowadays it needs to be more careful while drafting emails. A mail to friends or family may be casually written but if you are thinking of writing a corporate or business mail, be careful and it should be written in a proper way or format.
Here comes the concept of business email writing. Although writing a mail completely depends on your requirements, moods, common sense and of course the receivers you want to send the mail yet there are some rules and email etiquette you should follow while writing a mail – does not matter personal or corporate. Let’s discuss some of the main aspects of writing a business mail.
A good subject line works magically
I can remember the quote “First appearance is the last appearance”. The quote suite well here. The first thing your recipients get is the subject line. It is the line that then compels the receiver to open an email and go through the details. Now you can imagine how a bad or not good subject line affects your email open ratio. Sometimes people even do not write a subject line. I do not think I need to say anything about the mail without a subject line – God saves the mail 😋.
The art of writing a subject line states it as a catchy but simple & specific sentence. Specific here means using a summary of the whole content of the message – use keywords or highlights from your message body. Sometimes you can use specific abbreviations crafted for emails such as FYI, AEAP, ASAP, AR, FAO and many more.
Check my article on List of commonly used abbreviation Used in E-mail.
In short Ideal subject line should have 6-8 words explaining the complete message scenario.
Some of good subject line examples:-
- Website development proposal as per telephonic conversation
- Workshop on WordPress on 6th march at 10 AM.
- Your Flipkart shipment will arrive on 7th March
Some of bad subject line examples:-
- A workshop
- The gift is on the way
Start an Email with Salutation / Greetings
It sounds good to start a day with salutation or greetings, the same applies here. It’s always good to start your mail with a proper salutation/greetings. Generally, you should address a person by name – First or last – but depending on the context, personalizing of mail can be avoided.
Some of the standard greetings variations are
- Greetings from Company Name
- Dear Firstname
- Dear Lastname
- Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname
- Dear Mr./Ms. Firstname Lastname
- To whom it may concern (can be used)
Message Body should be Clear & to The Point
If you are planning to draft a business mail, ask yourself some questions like Why do you want to write this mail and or what are you expecting from the receiver. Try to get the answer before you type your first letter for mail. This will help you make your message clear and concise.
Drafting a mail body should be an art where you need to take care of every trivial thing in mind. You can mention your purpose clearly at the start of the mail.
Some of the message starting sentences are
- I am contacting you as….
- As per our telephonic conversation….
- I am writing to you in reference to/about/regarding….
- Continuance of the XYZ mail
These are some of the examples – the list is long – think over the lines above properly, these lines intend to mention the purpose very clearly.
The next point you need to make a habit of making your emails as short as possible – but delivering the necessary details properly – as people are too busy today to spend a lot of time reading emails. Make the sentences short and to the point.
Also, message body formatting plays very vitally while drafting an email. Make your email body into several paragraphs. As per requirement use bullets points, make fonts bold or underlined, etc. So you can use different formatting styles as per your need.
The message body structure changes as per the purpose and nature of mails. So keep your mind open while drafting it.
Include URLs or attachments
Sometimes including URLs or attachments make your email more purposeful. Try to use Text for making URLs rather than putting URLs directly into mail.
For Example, write the text then include URL on the text so that the recipient can click on the text to open the link. “Click here to know more about the workshop on the basics of WordPress”, Do not use something like this “http://www.highedgemedia.com/workshop”
Put some Warmth / Empathy
Putting yourself at the place of the recipient while writing your mail is a good idea. Imagine the emotion and impact of the message as a recipient to analyze the interpretation by him. Empathy plays wonders sometimes to make strong bonds between you and the recipient. So putting some warmth is always recommended while drafting your message but of course keep your eyes on the length of the message.
Use a formal tone for business email
You can talk informally with your friends and families but need to be formal with your corporate relations – may be a client or boss or others. The same rule applies while writing an email.
Let me show you some examples for both
- I am here contacting you…
- I was wondering if you could…
- It’s just a quick note on …
- Sorry, it’s been so long since my last email.
- Sorry, it took me so long to get back to you.
- I am afraid I will not be available…
The list is long you can check the link below for the complete list.
Some Useful Email Phrases to make your email impressive.
So make the tone of email as professional and as clear as possible. Also good to avoid abbreviations wherever you can and use full-length sentences/phrases.
Use Sandwiches method
The Sandwich method of writing mails means putting some good information at the beginning and then using a negative or bad one. After that use the closing with some warmth. So it’s something like putting some stuff – the bad news – in between the two pieces of bread – good news at the start and a warmth closing at the end.
The sandwich method works nicely while delivering some bad or bitter message, as I think everybody has had to deal with some negative or bad news while working in the corporate sector. So here your motto should be to hide the problem or negative news with your warmth and good news.
Closing your emails
Now you have already crafted the body beautifully, it’s time for closing. Here are some of the examples you can use as closing phrases before your signature goes.
- Yours sincerely
- Best regards
- I look forward to your response,
- I hope to hear from you soon,
- Thank you for your time,
- Kind regards
- Thank You,
- Take care
- Have a great day
And many more, but again it depends on the situation, matter or mail and of course your relation with the recipient.
Your Signature at the end of the email
Brand identity – personal or corporate – is getting trendy nowadays. So it’s now important to put a section of brand identity at the end of your email. Here the magic of Signature comes.
You should always use a professionally crafted, neat and clean email signature. The signature should have your name, company name/logo, designation your job title, phone number, email id, social media links, website address and other. All the items listed above are not necessary but yes you can use some or all of them as per your requirement.
There are many online email signature builder options available, so if you are not a programmer or you do not have someone to code for you, you can easily google and get some online website to create your email signature.
The last exercise – Proofread your corporate email
Think of a house without whitewash or a piece of furniture without polishing, the same applies to your email. If you have done your email drafting keep appropriate time to proofread your email – recommended two times minimum. The proofread helps you polish your email, grammar, spellings, punctuation if required and also in some cases you can put some extra warmth or empathy while proofreading.
Nowadays most email providers like Gmail, Hotmail provide inbuilt spelling and grammar check options, you must use that.
So the thumb rule should be to review your email minimum of two times before you hit <
So above are some of the points you keep in your mind while drafting a business email, but on the other hand, you need to use your common sense as all or some points may or may not apply to every mail. Depending on many factors like relation with recipients, nature, and purpose of the email, you should consider the points wisely.