At some point in your career, you’ll have to send a formal email. You may be applying for a job, sending a letter to an important client or requesting a meeting with your boss. To achieve the best results, follow these tips for writing a professional email.
Start with an Appropriate Email Address
If you are sending a message from your company email, you probably don’t need to worry about this step. But if you have a personal account, make sure your address is up-to-date and professional. In other words, dump email@example.com or other crazy email addresses.
Write a Strong Title
The subject line of your email determines whether your email gets opened. No pressure, right? Give the reader a reason to check out your message by composing a short but descriptive title. Research shows subject lines with six to ten words have the highest open rates.
Consider Your Audience
Obviously, some emails are more formal than others. Before you begin, think about the person on the receiving end. If they are a colleague or someone you know, a more casual tone is fine. Otherwise, stay formal.
Include a Greeting
When people see their name, it catches their attention. Personalize your message by opening with “Dear” for formal emails and “Hello” or “Hi” for informal correspondence. Unless you are on a first-name basis with the person, address them by their last name.
Get to the Point
People are busy. They don’t have time to scroll through a long, rambling email. The first sentence should introduce your main point. Then, keep the rest of the message as brief as possible. Short paragraphs and bullet points can make the text easier to read too.
Provide a Clear Conclusion
When the recipient finishes your email, they should know exactly what they need to do. End by outlining the next steps. For example, “Please contact me if you have any questions.” or “Let me know which day works better for our meeting.”
You want the other person to know who sent the message, so finish with your name. Closings like, “Sincerely” or “Best regards” work well for formal correspondence, while “Best” and “Regards” are less formal but still professional.
Use Business Formatting
Keep colorful text, fancy fonts, and emoticons out of business-related emails. They will only distract from your message. Also, avoid writing in all capital letters or using excessive punctuation. YOU WILL LOOK LIKE YOU ARE YELLING!!!!!!
Even if you have done everything right, a single typo, grammatical error or misspelling makes your work look sloppy. Examine your message forwards and backward to catch any errors. And, since it’s easy to overlook your own mistakes, ask another person to proofread for you as well.
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