6 Incredible Ways to Improve E-mail Writing

Hi, dear visitor! Do you struggle to write proper e-mails? Do you wish that you knew a way of magically improve you e-mail writing skills? If you said “Yes!” you have come to the right place!

E-mail is a fundamental part of business communication and having effective e-mail writing skills is crucial for professionals. According to a study, a business person sends about 43 e-mails and receives 97 of them daily! A survey found that 64% of professionals have faced negative consequences as a result of confusion, tension, etc. caused by their e-mails.

Hence, it is absolutely necessary to have effective e-mail writing skills to be successful in your professional life.

In this post, I have created a list of 6 tips to improve your e-mail writing to ensure that your e-mails are clear and effective.

(1) Be Precise

Be Precise
  • When you write an e-mail, please keep it short and to the point. Use short sentences that clearly convey what you intent to. Long sentences can be hard to understand.
  • Would you ever read a 1000 word e-mail completely? I am sure you will say “No!” People don’t read long e-mails, they skim through it and could miss necessary information. According to a research, an ideal e-mail contains between 50 and 125 words. Hence, drat an e-mail that falls in this range.
  • The idea is to stick to the main subject and draft an e-mail around it. Follow the KISS method – Keep It Short and Simple!
  • However, if you want to cover several topics, send a separate e-mail for each one of them. It’s also important to keep each one of them clear and to the point.
  • An ideal example of a precise e-mail is as below:
    Subject: Revisions for Sales Report

    Hi Suresh,

    Thank you sending the report last week. I read it yesterday and feel that the demographics data could be comprehensive.

    Could you please update the report and resend?

    I appreciate your hard work on the report!

    Cheers, Jeet

(2) Write a Specific Subject Line

Write a Specific Subject Line
  • The subject line of the e-mail must summarize your message, so, the reader can decide whether to read it or not. A lot of times, subject line is ignored even though it is important. It is the first impression of your e-mail, hence, make it as specific as possible.
  • Also, do not keep the subject line blank. This type of e-mail usually suggests a spam e-mail and could be ignored by the reader.
  • It is also important to have a relevant subject line. I have received many e-mails about promotions with the subject line of English Communication Skills. Avoid this mistake and write a specific and relevant subject line.
  • A well written subject line gives an idea of the entire e-mail with the reader having to open it.
  • A few examples of an ideal subject line are:
    • Revision of Sales Report
    • Question about the data used in Sales Presentation
    • Summary of the meeting
    • Monthly Page Views Report

(3) Use the Person’s Name

Use the Peron's First Name
  • Whenever you write an e-mail, please use the person’s name. Even if they are at a higher position in an organization, use their name.
  • Don’t begin your e-mail with “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Ma’am”. Try and find out the name of the person that you are writing to. It is respectful, but, to the reader it might look spammy! If you use such phrases, the person might think you don’t care whom you write to.
  • It is more respectful and interesting to use the person’s name. We usually use the person’s first name. If you want to make your e-mail look formal, use their last name (surname).
  • For example, Hi, Mr. Kumar and then type your e-mail.

(4) Be Polite

Be Polite
  • Although your e-mail can’t be heard like your words when you speak, it’s crucial to keep its tone polite and friendly.
  • Your choice of words, sentences and punctuation can be easily misinterpreted by the reader and could make a negative impression.
  • Repulsive tone:
    Hey Sujot,

    I need the sales report by 5 PM today or I will miss the deadline.

    Regards,
    Mahi
  • Friendly tone:
    Hi Sujot,

    Thank you for the report you created last week. Could you please create the new version and get back by 5 PM, so we don’t miss the deadline?

    Regards,
    Mahi
  • Having a friendly tone maintains a healthy relationship with your clients and business partners. Write your e-mails in a way that you actually feel the words. If your words are misunderstood, find another way of writing them.

(5) Don’t Use Shorthand

Don't Use Shorthand
  • E-mail writing is not like chatting on social media. Always use full words and avoid shorthand. E-mail needs to have full spellings of words and correct spelling of words.
  • For example, use “thank you” instead of “thx”
  • I have seen many of my friends using shorthand, because they think it is “cool”. In formal situations, please write full words. Extra 5 seconds of writing won’t harm anybody.
  • If you have a habit of using shorthand, please leave it as might do more harm than good. Shorthand makes you look careless and can have negative consequences.
  • Shorthand while chatting with friends is awesome, but, in formal situations always practice writing full sentences and words.

(6) Proofread

Proofread
  • Be sure to proofread your e-mail once or twice before sending. You might have made mistakes while typing, hence, be extra sure to check what you have written.
  • It will take only a few extra seconds to read the e-mail again and you will save yourself from the embarrassment of making silly mistakes.
  • When you proofread, look for the following:
    • Spelling mistakes: Check if you have made any spelling mistakes.
    • Check if your message is clearly understood.
    • Attachments: And the most important thing is to make sure you have attached important files and/or necessary links.
    • Sentence structure: See if your sentences are properly structured grammatically.
    • Length of sentences: Keep your e-mails as short and to the point as possible.
  • An e-mail is a part of your professional image, hence, make sure you send clear and well-structured e-mails.

If you wish to learn more about effective e-mail writing, please refer to the below sources:

Conclusion

  • E-mail is a fundamental part of business communication and having effective e-mail writing skills is crucial for professionals. According to a study in 2018, a business person sends about 43 e-mails and receives 97 of them daily! A survey found that 64% of professionals have faced negative consequences as a result of confusion, tension, etc.
  • Hence, it is absolutely necessary to have effective e-mail writing skills to be successful in your professional life.
  • I have created a list of 6 tips to improve E-mail writing:
    1. Be Precise: Use 50 to 125 words as no one would be interesting in reading a 1000 word e-mail.
    2. Write a Specific Subject Line: Write a subject line that is relevant and summarizes your e-mail.
    3. Use the Person’s Name: Using the person’s name makes you look like you care for whom you are writing to. You might look careless if you use phrases such as “To whom it may concern”, etc.
    4. Be Polite: The tone of your e-mail is crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship with your clients and business partners.
    5. Don’t Use Shorthand: Please avoid using “thx” and use full words to write e-mails.
    6. Proofread: Before sending, please read the entire e-mail for spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, etc. if you find a sentence that could be misunderstood, please change it to a clear and an easy to understand sentence.

Watch this video if you want to learn the most useful e-mail expressions:


Happy learning!!!