It might surprise you to know that kids aren’t learning how to write proper emails in school. Email is an older technology and can sometimes feel outdated, but it is still widely used in the workforce. Most companies communicate with their employees over email. In addition, many recruiters use email to interact with candidates.
Here are some basic pointers that will help you write a successful professional email:
The Email Address
Your email address should include your full name. This tends to be more of an issue with younger people with emails like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Instead of getting creative, opt for something more mainstream: email@example.com, for example.
The Subject Line
Marketers know that subject lines determine whether or not the recipient is going to open the email. Generally, writing a personal email to someone is enough to make them open it. But you should still think about the subject line. The subject line communicates the central purpose of your message. For example, “Application for Associate Accountant” to a future employer or “Absence from class next Friday” to a teacher.
Begin your email with an appropriate salutation. If you’re sending an email to someone you don’t know, it’s usually best to begin the email with “Dear ______,”. If you know the recipient, you generally do not need to be as formal and can begin the email with “Hello ____,” instead of “Dear”. The greeting should be followed by a comma and a line break.
The body of the email should do three things:
1. Have a personal element.
This is usually achieved by simply asking the person how they are doing or wishing them well.
2. Clearly articulate the purpose of the email.
Usually this comes in the form of a question. In the example below, the purpose is to confirm the interview and ask for its location. Pro tip: use the purpose of the email to write your subject line
After the purpose, the email should have a clear concluding sentence to transition from the content to the closing.
Conclude the email with something like “Sincerely”, “Warm regards”, “Best wishes”, “Thank you”, etc. There are a million ways to end an email but they aren’t all appropriate. Make sure to finish your email with something formal enough.
End the email with your full name. If you want to include all of your contact details like your address and phone number you may do so. This can help the recipient easily respond to you. However, it is not essential to do so. This depends on your comfort level.
Don’t overuse exclamation points
As it turns out, exclamation points are rarely used in professional writing even though they’re often used over text. Every time you include an exclamation point, make sure that you really want to emphasize that sentence. Otherwise, switch it out for a period.
You must read your email over at least once before sending it. Spellcheck doesn’t catch all of your errors so make sure to look carefully. One way to catch most of your mistakes is to read the email out loud and follow the words with a pen or with your finger. This helps you catch any mistakes that your brain might automatically correct when you’re reading the email in your head.
Include enough detail
Even though you know exactly why you’re writing the email, your recipient probably doesn’t. Make sure to give them all the information that they need to reply to your message.
Below is an example of a well-crafted email:
As always, reach out to us with any clarifying questions. We would love to help you write more effective emails.