From memos and letters to answering machines, voice mail and now email, the last one is here to stay. Studies show that nearly two million emails are sent aroud the world every second. Of these, a large percentage are business related.
But because life is so fast-paced today and we have things to do and people to see nearly every five minutes, most emails are dashed off in a great hurry, poorly written. This, equally naturally, leaves the receiver of the email with the bad impression of the sender.
So how does one write that perfect email without actually spending hours composing?
1. The Right Purpose
First of all, you should know what exactly you are talking about. What is the purpose of the email? Be clear and to the point without being rude.
State your purpose right in the subject line. Don’t send an email either with no subject or with one that has nothing to do with the content of your message. People decide whether to delete or open an email based on the subject line.
2. The Right Length
Bear in mind that rambling emails make the recipient impatient. Also, remember that if you don’t have the time to write long pages to the recipient, the reader does not have the time to peruse you email completely.
Its the core of the email - the reason why you sent it in the first place - that matters. Therefore, the most effective emails place priority information towards the beginning, ideally in the first paragraph. A quick introduction should lead directly into everything the reader needs to know.
3. The Right Tone
Remember who you are writing to. If it’s some one you know, then base the email on the tone that the other person prefers. For instance, some people prefer to be formal while other like to be casual. if you don’t know the person, try to be as neutral as possible, without being either rude or sycophantic. If the relationship is to based on the email, then a good writing tone will build the foundation.
4. The Right Words
Don’t write sentences that are indirect and obtuse. Make sure your sentences are assertive and strong without being impolite. Nothing will confuse and irritate a reader more than a long, rambling sentence that needs s/he needs to read multiple time to decipher.
Keep you vocabulary skills out of cyberspace. Difficult words only end up making you sound pompous and unnatural.
Be brief and to the point. Try to fit your text onto one screen that would not require scrolling. Keep the email as individual as possible, by sending it to one person at a time, if you can. But if you are copying the eamil to anyone, make sure you only copy those people who are directly concerned with the topic of your email.
5. The Right Sign-Off
Always ask for a response. Thank the receiver in advance and say that you look forward to hearing from him or her. Let the receiver know that if s/he doesn’t respond you will follow up via the telephone.
Sign-off at the end of the email. The email has the advantage of helping you sign informatively with your name as well as a logo or a quick spotlight on the products/services you offer.