Now I’m no certified email professional, and I still have lots to learn. But it’s pretty easy to recognize a good email from a badly-written one. And the unfortunate reality is that sometimes, the difference between the two can determine whether you’ll be accepted, promoted, or even replied to.
Fortunately, because the people around me send much better emails than I do, I learned from them and recognized my mistakes and where I could have strengthened my draft. So, I am on my path towards email enlightenment and am welcoming you all aboard.
Disclaimer: The following advice is subjective. After all, the beauty of emails is that they allow you to express your voice uninterrupted in writing. So please keep in mind this is my advice only and that you should read these tips with a grain of salt.
Disclaimer 2: This article pertains to sending professional emails.
Alright, let’s get started. I promise if you implement these tips (and haven’t done so in the past), you will see a tremendous change for the better in your professional career.
1. Break it up.
Unless the recipient enjoys reading blocks of text, click Enter and break up the enormous paragraph into smaller, digestible bites to be read. It’ll be easier on the eyes, more likely that your message gets read, and make the recipient that much more likely to respond.
For example, let’s say the left is the email you think is ready to send. On the right is what I’m suggesting you do.
Thank you so much for being a customer of [your company name]. It’s because of people like you we have been able to be in business for such a long time. To thank you, we have created a discount coupon especially for you. Use the code [unique code number] to get a discount of [add a discount percentage or amount] from any product in our store [insert a link to your online shop]. But hurry! The offer is only available for the first [add number or time limit] people who purchase.
Thank you so much for being a customer of [your company name].
It’s because of people like you we have been able to be in business for such a long time. So, to thank you, we have created a discount coupon especially for you.
Use the code [unique code number] to get a discount of [add a discount percentage or amount] from any product in our store [insert a link to your online shop].
But hurry! The offer is only available for the first [add number or time limit] people who purchase.
Thank you,[Your signature]
2. Don’t forget your manners.
What’s the magic word, people? Let us time travel back to when we learned about “please” and “thank you.” Another extension of this rule is hello and goodbye. Especially if you are making a request, be sure to include these words in your message. It can be easy to forget, and therefore easy to come off as an entitled emailer. But as long as you got this checklist to refer to, you’ll be fine.
Here are some famous examples of greetings and salutations.
Greetings (at the beginning of the email)
- Hi [Name],
- Hello [Name],
- Dear [Name],
- Dear Mr./Ms./Dr./Professor [Last name],
- Hi there,
- Hi everyone,
Salutations (at the end of your email)
- Best regards,
- Yours truly,
- Kind regards,
- Thanks again,
Did you know? The average person checks their email about 15 times a day.
3. Use the subject line to your advantage.
The subject line is the crucial part of your email, which defines if a person opens it. A good subject line informs a recipient what the email is about and why they should read it. Try to make your subject line clear, specific, and to the point.
Pro-tip: don’t capitalize the entire subject line (example: “MEETING AT 5 pm MOVED”). It comes across as harsh and too professional. Try capitalizing the first letter of every word, or just the first letter of the phrase (“Meeting at 5 pm Moved,” or “Meeting at 5 pm moved”)
4. Keep it concise.
Doing so will convey that you value your reader’s time. Next, briefly explain what you’re writing about clearly so a person can understand why you’re emailing them and how they can help, and, if you’re emailing a stranger, briefly introduce yourself. Then, go straight to the point. Don’t overload it with extra details. Remember that email isn’t the best place for a lengthy discussion.
5. Add a signature.
Usually, adding your name, job title, and contact information (phone number) will suffice. You don’t want a 15-line long signature that looks like you’re trying to show dominance in the workplace (LOL), yet you don’t want such a small signature with just your first name, since that does not provide the reader with any means to contact you besides email in case they need to.
Can you spot the difference?
I hope this article helped level up your emails. Please feel free to leave a comment below with any questions, thoughts, or concerns. Best of luck!