Yet thinking of other people will transform the way they respond to you. In a moment, we'll look at how you can embed compliments and a thanks into the structure of every email you send. When you're emailing someone for the first time, you need to let the recipient know who you are.
You can usually do this in one sentence. One way of keeping introductions brief is to write them like you're meeting face-to-face. You wouldn't go off into a five-minute monologue when meeting someone in person. So don't do it in email.
Not sure whether an introduction is needed? Maybe you've contacted the recipient before, but you're not sure if she'll remember you. You can leave your credentials in your email signature. This is ideal because:. Talking of signatures, make sure you've set one up. It's a shorthand way of sharing information that you should include in every email.
But putting this information in your signature, you keep the body of your emails short. Optionally, you can include links to your social media accounts, and a one-sentence elevator pitch on how you help people. In every email you write, you should use enough sentences to say what you need and no more.
A helpful practice here is limiting yourself to five sentences. There will be times when it's impossible to keep an email to five sentences. But in most cases, five sentences are sufficient. Embrace the five sentences discipline, and you'll find yourself writing emails more quickly. You'll also get more replies. What's the key to keeping your emails short? Using a standard structure. This is a template that you follow for every email you write.
As well as keeping your emails short, following a standard structure also helps you to write fast. Over time, you'll develop a structure that works for you. Here's a simple structure to get you started:. This is the first line of the email. When you're emailing someone for the first time, then a compliment makes an excellent opener. A well-written compliment can also serve as an introduction.
If you're writing to someone you know, then use a pleasantry instead. A pleasantry is typically a variation on "I hope you're well. As Vinay Patankar of the Abstract Living blog explains:. Ingrain this into your fingers so that you naturally spit it out with each email you write. You will never have anything to lose by adding in a pleasantry, you will make people more inclined to read the rest of your email, you will soften criticism, and will hit the positive emotions of a few.
Most will simply ignore it, but for two seconds of your time, it's definitely worth it. The reason for your email. In this section you say, "I'm emailing to ask about A call to action. After you've explained your reason for emailing, don't assume the recipient will know what to do. Structuring your request as a question encourages the recipient to reply. Alternatively, you can use the line "let me know when you've done that" or "let me know if that's okay with you.
Before you sign off your email, be sure to include a closing line. This has the dual purpose of re-iterating your call to action, and of making the recipient feel good. Back in , George Orwell advised writers to:. Short words show respect for your reader. By using short words, you've done the hard work of making your message easy to understand. The same is true of short sentences and paragraphs. Avoid writing big blocks of text if you want your email to be clear and easily understood.
This leads to another of George Orwell's rules for writing, which can help you keep your sentences as short as possible:. Once you've followed your standard email structure, trim every sentence down to be as short as it can be. The active voice is easier to read. It also encourages action and responsibility. That's because in the active voice, sentences focus on the person taking action. In the passive voice, sentences focus on the object that's being acted upon. In the passive voice, it can appear that things happen by themselves.
In the active voice, things only happen when people take action. With that volume of mail, individual messages can easily get overlooked. Follow these simple rules to get your emails noticed and acted upon. One of the biggest sources of stress at work is the sheer volume of emails that people receive. So, before you begin writing an email, ask yourself: As part of this, you should use the phone or IM to deal with questions that are likely to need some back-and-forth discussion.
Also, email is not as secure as you might want it to be, particularly as people may forward emails without thinking to delete the conversation history. So avoid sharing sensitive or personal information in an email, and don't write about anything that you, or the subject of your email, wouldn't like to see plastered on a billboard by your office. A newspaper headline has two functions: The subject line of your email message should do the same thing.
A blank subject line is more likely to be overlooked or rejected as "spam," so always use a few well-chosen words to tell the recipient what the email is about.
You may want to include the date in the subject line if your message is one of a regular series of emails, such as a weekly project report. For a message that needs a response, you might also want to include a call to action, such as "Please reply by November 7.
A well-written subject line like the one below delivers the most important information, without the recipient even having to open the email. This serves as a prompt that reminds recipients about your meeting every time they glance at their inbox.
If you have a very short message to convey, and you can fit the whole thing into the subject line, use "EOM" End of Message to let recipients know that they don't need to open the email to get all the information that they need.
Emails, like traditional business letters, need to be clear and concise. Keep your sentences short and to the point. The body of the email should be direct and informative, and it should contain all pertinent information.
Unlike traditional letters, however, it costs no more to send several emails than it does to send just one. So, if you need to communicate with someone about a number of different topics, consider writing a separate email for each one. This makes your message clearer, and it allows your correspondent to reply to one topic at a time. Thanks for sending that report last week. I read it yesterday, and I feel that Chapter 2 needs more specific information about our sales figures.
I also felt that the tone could be more formal. Also, I wanted to let you know that I've scheduled a meeting with the PR department for this Friday regarding the new ad campaign. It's important to find balance here.
You don't want to bombard someone with emails, and it makes sense to combine several, related, points into one email. Be specific about what it is you want. Just look at your own inbox. Maybe the name of the person sending it. Your subject line is like a headline in a newspaper. Your email subject lines should definitely be useful and ultra-specific. For example, if you try to make every email you send seem urgent, then none of them will really seem urgent. Also, being too unique could make your email look like spam.
Would you use exclamation points and all caps in a formal letter? To readers, too many exclamation points will seem like yelling. Keep your emails polite and formal. Remember, your emails may not be only for the person you send them to. A good email is clear and brief, but not curt rudely brief. Use sentence length, punctuation and polite language to create the right tone.
Business emails are like letters. They have a format. The salutation you choose changes depending on who your audience is. What do you write when your email is going to a group of people? Some common salutations for groups are: Your opening sentence is the key to writing a clear email. A good opening sentence tells the reader what the email is about. Try these, followed with your reason for writing: The more specific you are, the better.
Being specific adds to the clarity of the email. When ending an email, ask yourself what you want the reader to do. If you want them to contact you if they need more information, you can write: Just like your salutation, your closing will depend on how well you know the reader. These closings help create a closer relationship when you already know your reader.
FluentU takes real-world English videos —like movie trailers, instructional videos, interviews and clips—and turns them into personalized language lessons. Within those two subjects, there are more specific situations that will come up over and over again.
The standards of writing change. What was once correct in business messages now comes across as old-fashioned--or does it? Take this true-false test to check your knowledge of basic formatting standards for business letters and emails.
How many business emails do you write in a day? A lot? If so, you’re not alone. Email is incredibly important in the business world. 92% of people in a study thought email was a valuable tool for working with others. But 64% of people also found that email can cause accidental confusion or.