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Writing the Perfect Email, Every Time

October 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm

How many emails are you writing every day?  For many people, checking and answering emails can take up to 50% of your day or more!  So after all of our time spent on sending emails you’d think we’d be good at it right?

Maybe we can do a little better.  As much as it frustrates me to say it, networking and impressions in the workplace go a long way towards a career.  They can be the death of a career if you’re not careful, or set you up for success if you are doing it right.  I know that experience, skill, and knowledge should be at the center of your focus and be what matters.  But if you are not making good impressions to your co-workers and customers, no matter how great you are at your job, you are not going anywhere.  That’s life.

In today’s world, an email might be all someone has to create an impression of you, so you better make sure you are making it a good one.  Here are a few tips for writing a perfect email every time, and leaving a great impression.

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Make the Subject Count:  Have you ever received an email where the subject line is the whole question or statement and the email itself is blank?!  These are one of my personal pet peeves, I can’t stand this.  It makes it difficult for me to read; usually I have to change the view screen in my outlook to view the whole question.  The subject line can be the most important part of an email.  It may be a deciding factor in whether your email is even opened and read!  Make sure the subject line has something to do with the email.  And keep it under 5 words.

Keep it Simple:  Keep your messages as short and concise as possible, and deliver information in a digestible way.  Your purpose for writing needs to be clear and presented in a way that will appeal and relate to the recipient of your email.

Tell Them What You Want: Always start or end your email by making clear what you would like the reader to do (if you can’t think of a reason, then maybe you don’t need to send this email?).  Do you need an answer to a question?  Do you want an opinion?  Do you need to meet with this person?  Don’t forget to include your reason for writing the email.  Phrases such as “I look forward to hearing from you” or “Please let me know your thoughts” invite a response and make it clear you would like to hear from them.

Keep it Clean:  Emails from work should be only about work, there is no need to utilize your work email to send jokes to your friends, rally your political views, or sell your child’s school fundraiser.  This is what personal emails are for.  Emails become part of the big black hole of the internet.  Which means they can always reappear, even if you delete it.  Emails sent through a work email address are the property of the company.  You do not want to be sending anything inappropriate through email as this could lead to some very uncomfortable conversations with management.  Not to mention what the person on the other end might think about your joke, cartoon, quote, etc.

Categories: Human Resource Consulting.

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