BY AMA STAFF
In today’s business world, writing effective business emails is imperative for successful communication. Strong business writing skills not only allow you to communicate quickly and clearly with teammates, colleagues, clients, and others, but also provide an opportunity to define your brand in the workplace.
Throughout the workday, people receive more emails than they know what to do with. They don’t have time to read every message in detail and react to it. To get your point across, you must write professional emails effectively and capture the reader’s attention long enough for him to read the message. After working hard to compose a business email, you don't want it to go unread and end up in the trash bin.
How business emails are different from other business communications
Writing professional emails differs from other types of business communication because of the conversational, informal tone used in email messages. Despite this informality, you need to follow certain guidelines for effective business writing when composing your emails.
A few tips to guide you when writing business emails
Use the following tips from AMA’s 2-Day Business Writing Workshop to compose your messages:
- Define your purpose for writing the email.
- Consider your audience’s needs and expectations and what they may know about a topic.
- Provide a precise subject line.
- Limit each message to one subject.
- Use an opening sentence that orients the reader to your reason for writing.
- Include all essential supporting details.
- Organize your ideas into short, three- to five-sentence ideas or topics.
- Don’t use all uppercase or lowercase letters in your sentences. USING ALL CAPS IS SOMETIMES CONFUSED WITH SHOUTING!
- Do not send messages composed in anger or in direct response to insulting messages. Always maintain a professional tone.
- Do not use humor that can be misinterpreted as inappropriate.
- Always proofread and edit for correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and usage.
- Be sure to attach the attachments mentioned in your message (it happens to everyone!).
Professional email writing and your brand
It's important to remember how much people will connect you and your communication style to your email writing. You want your business emails to reflect your brand, so understanding when to use a formal or informal tone is important. Keep professional emails short and to the point to help ensure clarity. And don’t forget, always read over your message before hitting Send.