These days email is an important communication tool for your business. In this article we’ll cover some tips to efficiently compose emails.
Composing an Email
A business email should be treated with the same attention to projecting a professional image as any other piece of business correspondence. When composing an email, keep these tips in mind:
Email Subject Line
Writing a clear informative or proactive subject line helps the recipient not only know what you are writing about, but also helps them follow conversations about a specific topic.
Something like Hi! isn’t very clear as a subject line but something like About Your Order #123456 is much clearer.
You do have to be careful how you word a subject line, some spam filters at the web server level or on the recipient’s computer might mark your email as spam and it will be missed or automatically deleted.
Writing Email Subject Lines
Emails are best written short and to the point.
When composing emails, use short paragraphs and make your calls for action stand out by separating them into paragraphs or by using a bulleted list.
If there is a deadline attached to your question or request, state it in your email. This gives the recipient important information on what is expected of them and also gives them the opportunity to convey that they cannot meet the deadline and propose an alternate deadline for consideration.
Sign the Email Professionally
Include a professional signature with each email. This signature should include the following at the very least:
- Your name
- Your company name
- Your contact information
It is possible to set up signatures in your email program to be inserted with each email, or different signatures for different use.
Formatting an Email
When composing emails, keep in mind that some Internet users have their email program to read emails in plain text format only for security reasons or that’s just the way their email software works. Large companies may have a policy like this for security reasons.
Also, the recipient’s email program may be set up to not show images. This is another security measure people and companies use.
So keeping the above in mind, avoid the following when composing emails:
- Email stationary – it won’t show up if email is read in plain text. It is also sometimes very hard to read an email that arrives that uses email stationary when you allow HTML emails. You might think it’s cute, but the person receiving the email might not think it is very professional.
- Logo images – these won’t show up if the recipient has images turned off in the email program or if they use plain text to read their emails. You just wasted an opportunity to promote your company.
- Image signatures – like logo images, these won’t show if images are turned off or the message is read in plain text. The person receiving the email won’t know who sent it. Another wasted opportunity to promote your business.
- Avoid relying on font formating (bold, italics, enlarged font) to convey a point, these do not show up in plain text. Your effort to emphosize a point will be lost.
- Don’t use coloured text, this won’t show up in plain text and it does make it hard to read for some recipients.
Another tip when composing emails, is to set the line length to 70-80 characters. This makes reading the email easier.
Before you hit the Send button:
- Reread the email to make sure you covered all the points you wanted to.
- All the content is related to the subject line of the email and doesn’t jump into another topic.
- Spell check your email. There are 2 versions of English, British English and American English. Pick the version that is used in your country and have your email program check the email for that version. The default for most email programs is American English so you will have to check and change this if applicable.
Composing emails that give a professional appearance will also boost the credibility of your business. Take your time when composing emails, they can make a lasting impression on those who receive them.