Published on January 31, 2014
Writing a Business Email 1
From a business perspective, many of us have little or no experience as authors or writers. As a result, emails are often sent that exhibit poor use of grammar or punctuation; incorrect spelling; and incomplete, outdated or conflicting information. 2
Emails are legal documents. Email is admissible in court. Never write anything in an email that you do not want to be released to the public. Always assume that your entire professional and personal network could read your email. 3
When is email appropriate? ◦ You need to get in touch with someone who is hard to reach. ◦ You need to send someone a file. ◦ The information is not time sensitive. ◦ You need a written record of the communication. 4
When is email NOT appropriate? ◦ The information is highly confidential. ◦ Your message is emotionally charged. ◦ Your message is long and complicated, or requires additional in – depth discussion. 5
Be S.M.A.R.T. Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time – bound ◦ Just like goals, business emails should state the purpose, the required action and the timeline for the action. 6
Attraction ◦ Gain the attraction of the reader with an interesting introductory sentence. Interest ◦ Empathize with the problem, or state the benefit to the reader. Desire ◦ Make an offer to make your prospect desire your product. Action ◦ Give a call to action to get your prospect to make the decision you want. 7
Subject Line ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Email subject lines are like newspaper headlines. Should convey the main point or idea of the email. Specific Informative Short 8
Think before you type! ◦ Who is the audience? ◦ What is the purpose? ◦ Organize your thoughts in a logical sequence. Be brief and to the point. ◦ Deliver the news up front and include the action you require. 9
Write in a positive tone. ◦ Communication via email is not supported by gestures, voice inflection or other cues and can easily be misread. ◦ Emoticons are sometimes used to convey the nuances of verbal communication. Emoticons are not acceptable in business and should not be used. 10
Greetings, Closings and Signatures: ◦ Always use a professional greeting. ◦ “Hello Mr. Carman” ◦ Regards, Sincerely, Respectfully, Thank you. Below is an example of an acceptable business signature. 11
Proofread all email. ◦ Spell check and grammar check all messages. ◦ Re-read messages before sending, out loud if needed. ◦ Never write emails in capital letters, use sentence case when emailing. ◦ Double check all names that may be used in the body of the email, to ensure they are spelled correctly. 12
Who should be copied? Cc: vs. Bcc: ◦ Only copy those who are directly involved. ◦ Any recipients in the To: or Cc: fields will be able to see the addresses of everyone else who received it. ◦ Bcc is useful for sending to a large distribution list, so recipients will not see a huge list of names. 13
Files, fonts and formats. ◦ Use an appropriate font and point size. ◦ Use space to separate paragraphs into separate blocks of text. ◦ Bullet important details. ◦ Use bold type or capital letters to highlight critical information, such as due dates. ◦ Do not send large attachments, instead, send a link to a shared network resource. 14
Writing a Business Email 15
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