These days, email is one of the most common forms of business communication, with most entrepreneurs certain to be writing at least ten of them – and most of them in the morning. Writing an email is a simple and routine task, but that doesn’t mean that electronic communication (as with all communication) doesn’t have certain rules, especially when dealing with business emails that need to be more serious and well-structured than a personal one. Find out what you need to think about before writing emails to business partners, clients, and colleagues!
A subject line is mandatory
Never send an email without a subject line, as a heading will immediately direct the recipient’s attention to both the theme and the importance of your email. The subject shouldn’t be exhaustive and detailed – it’s enough to use two or three words – but it should make clear what the content of the email will be about. Sending an email without a subject line simply looks unserious and unprofessional, and you run the risk of the recipient ignoring your message for a long time. Likewise, avoid writing your subject line in capital letters (you’ll come across as immature and loud), only emphasising the urgency of the email when it really is just that – urgent.
Pay attention to the structure of your email
A business email should consist of an introductory paragraph, the main meat of the message, and then a sign-off from the sender. It is good to start your email with “Dear madam/sir” or “To whom it may concern” and end with “Sincerely” or “Kind regards”, followed by your name, title, and professional contact details (email services generally allow you to automatically generate an email signature at the bottom of all of your emails). In other words, an email should be structured like a letter from the days before the internet.
Maintain a level of seriousness
The omnipresence of emojis have not escaped the realm of business communication, but think carefully before using them. A more leisurely approach to an email is perfectly okay when communicating with long time associates and partners, but certainly take a more serious tone when talking with someone you have not met in person before. In the latter case you can also forget about throwing in lots of jargon and humorous comments as it may come across as unprofessional. Lastly, an important note on the ending of your email: although it is common these days, try to avoid shortened sign offs (like writing “kind rgds” instead of “kind regards”) as it can leave a very poor impression – even be seen as rude – by someone you are communicating with. Your recipient deserves a full sign-off.
Format your content and take care with your grammar
When writing the main content of your email be clear, precise, and concise, use paragraphs for readability, and it can’t hurt to use bullet points to highlight or list important information. If you’re sending attachments, state that you are doing so in the email and provide a brief overview of what is contained within it. Do not forget about grammar and spelling, so read the message carefully before sending it to ensure that there are no mistakes. To help you with this, you can use many online services such as ispravi.me.
Finally, remember: writing a business email shouldn’t be done in a rush, especially when you are reaching out to someone about a potential business opportunity or working relationship. Keep in mind that your email etiquette reflects on your professionalism – the way that you approach, structure, and execute an email will be important in ensuring that the recipient takes you seriously.