English Grammar Blog
Tips for Writing Better Business Emails
When using email, it’s all too easy to just hit ‘send,’ perhaps even before noticing an error.
Because of this, the first and most crucial tip is to write your business emails either by hand or in a word processor first, allowing yourself the opportunity to correct and edit what you write. Once your letter is finished, you can copy and paste it into your email composer and send, with the peace of mind in knowing that you had the opportunity to first review your work.
So what about the actual writing process? There are a few good habits, discussed below, that will enhance the quality and clarity of your business emails, at the same time lending a professional and expert tone to your message.
Know your audience. You might not use the same wording in an email to your boss that you would to a client, or coworker. Awareness of who will be reading your message is key to maintaining a professional quality of writing. For example, when emailing a coworker, you might include abbreviations and industry terms that increase the efficiency of your message…but a client who is new to your company may not know what these mean, and so would become confused.
Keep it short and sweet. Business emails are not meant to be long explorations of prose, but rather deliver information in a polite and professional–and efficient–email. After you draft your email, edit it for phrases or words that repeat previously written thoughts and information.
For example, if your email includes the sentence, “Thank you for your time and business,” you would not want to write one paragraph down, “I am very grateful for your sale.” These sentences mean the same thing, and so only one is necessary.
Organize your business email. The content of your message should follow a clear and easy-to-follow path. If it helps, you may consider outlining your email before you write it. This serves two purposes: permitting you to organize your thoughts in a linear and logical way, and ensuring you don’t accidentally leave out an important point.
Write the subject line after you write the email. The subject line of your email should be as short as possible, while conveying the meaning of the message to the recipient. Not only will this aid in allowing recipients to respond in a timely fashion, but it will make the email easier to find if you must search for it in the future.
Consider, for example, an email containing a business quote. A subject line reading “The quote you requested” may be too vague. Rather, you might say “The insurance quote you requested” or “the [name of your company] quote you requested.”
Likewise, you don’t want a subject line that is so long that the main point of your message does not show in most email preview panes. “This email contains a business quote which you requested from me” is an example of a subject line that is both vague and too long.
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