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Improving the Business Emails you're Sending

One of the most important aspects of improving your productivity as a business professional includes organizing the emails you're receiving in your inbox.

But the emails you send are just as important, if not more so.

Business Emails

Have a Clear Image of Why you are Writing a Particular Business Email - When sending an email to a fellow business person, you want to get the response you're looking for. To do so, there a few important things you need to remember when writing an email, while keeping your recipient in mind. Before you put anything down in a new business email message, be sure you have clear answers to two important questions:

Why am I writing this particular email? What do I expect as a result of this email message?

If you are unable to concisely give an answer to either of these questions, it might be a good idea to wait on composing your new business message until you have a clear idea of your reasoning and expected response.

Many people receive dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of emails daily, so it's natural and expected for them to tend to open and read the emails that look as if they are well thought-out as well as clearly give the impression that the sender respects their time and attention. Business emails that seem to be written carelessly will tend not to encourage a careful response.

If you put yourself in the email recipients place when you are outlining the contents of your email, it will make it easier to decide on the important aspects you wish to include, and the tone you set your email in.

If the email you wish to send is an important and valuable message, then be sure that you treat it that way, putting time into the email making each word count.

Prepare your Business Email Carefully

The possible context and topics of any business are endless. However, there are really only a few fundamentals of basic business emails:

  • 1. Providing specific information: (ex: "Joe Smith will be out of the office until Monday at 1")
  • 2. Requesting specific information: (ex: "Where did you put the "Joe Smith" files?")
  • 3. Requesting a specific action: (ex: "Will you call Joe Smith"s office to confirm our meeting on Monday?")

The type of business email you have sent should be very clear to the intended recipient. Put the details and context of your email clearly in the first or second sentence of your email whenever you can.

Don't be afraid to put the paragraph writing skills you learned in high school to good use. It's okay to use an actual "topic sentence" that makes it clear as to a) what this email is about, and b) what particular response or action you expect to receive from the recipient.

Keep it clean and to the point; for example:

"We have moved the Joe Smith meeting on Monday from the Conference Room, so could you please make sure the Presidential Room has been reserved and that the other attendees have been notified of this change? Please let me know by today at 5pm if this has been verified."

Keep it concise and to the point, assuming that no one will read any of your emails beyond the first paragraph, or even the first sentence or two. If you write the first sentence stating your intent clearly, it will be the easiest way to make your recipient interested in what you have to say, and possibly continue reading.

Make your Business Email Carry a Precise Subject Line

The subject line, when used correctly, can make it even easier for someone reading your email to know immediately why you've sent the email, and if immediate action is required. Including a clear Subject line that highlights the main point or overall message will ensure someone to read and respond to your email.

Try to save the Subject lines that say "Hi", "FYI", and other brief subjects of that sort to emails to your friends. A summary of your email will work better in any and all of your business emails.

Examples include:
  • "Lunch moved to Monday @ 1pm"
  • "Reminder: Monday no classes"
  • "REQ: Resend Joe Smith file"
  • "HELP: Can you modify attached doc?"
  • "Thanks for the file!"

If you need to simply say thank you to someone in an email, putting that alone in the subject line is, in some cases, all you need for the entire email.

This allows your recipient to see your entire message right there in the subject line, without even needing to open the email, saving both of you time. This is highly appreciated by those who have to sort through a seemingly million emails each day, since they don't have to examine an entire email to receive their "thank you".

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