8 Steps to Improve Your Business Email Writing
Author: Jessica Fender
Email is the number one communication method in the world of business. Do you want your emails to make an impression? Do you want them to serve as a tool for achieving business goals? Then, you need to polish up those email writing skills.
Knowing how to write business emails effectively can change your life. It can improve your relationships with colleagues and superiors, help you seal new deals, and move up the career ladder.
Let your emails communicate professionalism, competency, and intelligence. Write emails that will get you noticed.
If you are determined to improve your business email writing, these are the steps that will lead you to it.
1. Write Strong Subject Lines
There are no words to express the relevance of a great subject line. If you master writing strong subject lines, nothing can stop you.
When emails start pouring in, business people assess their importance based on the subject line. That simple introduction will determine whether your email will be prioritized or overlooked.
Keep in mind that 47% of recipients open an email based on the subject line. Ensure that your emails don’t wind up in spam or trash can. Apply the following tips when writing subject lines:
- Be clear about the intent of your message
- Keep the length between 61 and 70 characters
- Place the keywords at the beginning
- Indicate urgency if the email is urgent
- Specify deadline if there is one
- If someone referred you, include their full name (e.g. “Referred by Hanna Miller for Project H”)
- Don’t use all caps
2. Get to the Point ASAP
Business emails demand speed and efficiency. You won’t be able to deliver that if you fill your emails with empty talk.
Here is a golden tip: always be straightforward. Your correspondents will be grateful for that. There is no time to lose when you are working at full speed. So, sharp and direct emails are much appreciated.
Before you start writing, outline the key ideas you want to express. If you are writing an introductory email, keep that intro minimal and get straight to the purpose of the email.
Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and understand that all they want to know is the purpose of that email. Clarifying your reasons for reaching out or answering the question they imposed is what you should stick to.
3. Keep It Concise
Long emails look overwhelming. If you open a business email and find a block of text, frustration will come rushing before you even make out what the email is about. Don’t let this happen. Keep your emails short.
Use as few words as possible to express yourself. Once you finish writing your email, read it and look for unnecessary segments that you can throw out.
Remember that lengthy conversations should be reserved for phone calls. If you can’t be concise, suggest a call. It’s better to transfer to a different form of communication than to make the recipient face an essay-like email.
4. Be Professional
Your writing style reflects your respect for the person on the other side of the screen. Make sure that you present yourself as a reliable individual by sticking to a professional style of writing.
How to draw the line between professional and non-professional writing? Simply ask yourself: “Would I write this in a text?” If the answer is yes, then you shouldn’t add that in your email.
Slang, exclamation points, multiple question marks, or emoticons should be reserved for texting. No matter how close you are to the person on the other end, you should be respectful and avoid overly casual writing.
5. Improve Readability with Structuring
Structuring can make a world of difference. Something simple as spaces and bullet points can turn your email from a drag to a goal-getter.
The reader should be able to skim the email and spot all the main points. You should also make it easy for them to find what they are looking for within seconds. How? Give your emails a clear structure.
Here are a few structuring tips that can improve the readability of your business emails:
- Segment ideas in different paragraphs
- Keep paragraphs short (up to 4 sentences)
- Add spaces between paragraphs
- Use bullet points or numbering for listing tasks/requirements/requests
- Highlight ONLY key thoughts that need to be emphasized
5. Be positive and Personable
A little politeness and positivity go a long way. An email with a positive note always makes a better impression and motivates a faster response.
How to express that positivity and politeness, you ask? With simple and suitable phrases.
Writing “I hope you’re doing well,” “I hope you had a lovely weekend,” or “I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this” can give you a plus in the recipient’s books. Express some kindness and consideration, and you’ll be everyone’s favorite email correspondent.
7. Include a Call-to-Action
Every business email is sent with a purpose. You are sending the email with certain expectations from the recipient. Make those expectations known.
Never leave the recipient guessing what they should do next. Be explicit about what you need. Include a clear call-to-action.
Let’s say that you are sending an informative email about a new referral program software to a colleague. However, you’ve also mentioned that they should give you a call by the end of the day. Remind them about the call at the end of the email.
Always make an exit with a direct indication of what they should do, especially if you state several facts.
8. Proofread Before You Click Send
This can seem like an obvious step but surprisingly, it often gets overlooked. As a new kid on the block, you will proofread those emails religiously. However, the longer you are in a company, you can lose that drive for perfection.
Considering that your mind is overflowing with thoughts and obligations, you can easily make a mistake. That’s why proofreading is a must.
Whether you are writing to a colleague, your boss, or a client, you should always proofread the email. A simple spelling, grammar, or vocabulary mistake can make notable damage.
Give your email one final look before you send it to the other side. Don’t just review the text for mistakes but revise the clarity as well. Also, explore some proofreading services where you can order a professional help.
Don’t let the seeming simplicity of writing emails fool you. There are always ways of making it better.
When you do something as often as you write emails, you want to make sure that you are doing it right. A few simple steps such as these can ensure that you make a great impression on every business correspondent.
About the Author:
Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger at GetGoodGrade with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.
Jon is a pioneer in the customer management category. He was the creator and co-founder of the award-winning customer management product GoldMine, acquired by FrontRange in 1999. After many years observing the CRM market, he created Nimble, an award-winning social sales and marketing CRM for individuals and teams that is Ranked #1 in Overall Satisfaction by G2 Crowd.
As the world is changing at a fast pace, the use of business-related software has increased. SaaS tools provide an excellent opportunity for small-size businesses to promote their efforts and improve the workflows.
Ajit is the author of Price To Scale and is a SaaS Product Marketing veteran who has helped firms such as Narvar, Medallia, Helpshift, and Feedzai differentiate their products, grow revenue, and win.