Although every professional email situation is unique, there are general best practices to remember when writing an email. Here are some helpful tips for writing a clear, concise, engaging professional email.
Avoid generic greetings such as “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.” Use the recipient’s name if possible.
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Start with a Clear Subject Line
Your email recipient should be able to tell at a glance what your message is about. This makes it easier for them to respond quickly and effectively. If they don’t know what you want them to do, your email may sit in their “drafts” folder for days or weeks without a response.
In your subject line, clearly state what you need from the reader. Don’t get creative or clickbaity. Instead, keep it brief and informative.
Use the recipient’s name to personalize your email and spark their curiosity. By including their name, you’re buying them a few extra seconds to consider how they might answer your question.
Avoid using emoticons in your subject lines. There are more professional ways to start an email, and emojis often have the wrong tone or meaning. Use them sparingly, and always check their meaning before sending them to a business audience. Use a polite closing, such as “Yours sincerely” or “Sincerely yours.” This is an excellent place to include your contact information, too.
Keep It Short and Concise
The length of an email may depend on the nature of your message, but it’s generally best to keep it under five sentences if possible. This lets your recipients quickly skim the contents and decide whether to continue reading. Watch out for redundancies and filler words, which can make your email look wordy or unprofessional.
It’s also a good idea to divide your email into paragraphs so that it’s easier for readers to scan and understand the message.
Include Your Name and Signature
Whether trying to sell a product or follow up on an email, a well-composed professional email can make all the difference. A professional email has five main components: the subject line, salutation, body text, closing, and signature.
The subject line is the first thing your reader will see. This is your chance to convince them that the email is relevant and worth their time. It is essential to use a clear subject line and ensure it is only about one topic.
You should also include your full name in the email signature to help readers identify who the email is coming from. You should include your job title, office address, or even a link to your company website.
It’s also good to avoid using abbreviations in your email signature (like ‘Thx,’ ‘XO,’ or ‘L8r’). These can confuse your recipients and could be a better look for a professional.
Proofread Your Email
Regarding professional emails, a little time spent on editing and proofreading can go a long way. Ensuring your email is grammatically sound and contains all necessary information is essential. Double-check that any attachments are included and that all links work correctly.
It’s also a good idea to read your email out loud to ensure it sounds clear and concise. Also, asking someone else to read it and give feedback is a good idea. A fresh set of eyes can help catch errors you may have overlooked. You can even use a computer program that will read your email back to you to catch any problems with tone or clarity. This can be particularly helpful if you have written an especially important or urgent email.
Include a Call to Action
When writing a professional email, it’s essential to have a clear call to action that motivates your reader to take the desired action. For example, if you want them to sign up for your newsletter, include a bold and eye-catching “Subscribe” button at the top of the email. This call to action will catch their attention and encourage them to click, leading to higher conversion rates.
A clear call to action can also help your readers understand the purpose of your email and decide if it’s worth their time. For example, if your email asks them to review a proposal, they might need more information than a brief subject line. You can provide more detail in the body of your email.
Writing a professional email takes practice, but avoiding miscommunication and building stronger business relationships is worth it. By following these simple tips, you can write concise and effective emails. And remember to always proofread your work before hitting send.