Email is an essential tool for communication in today's world, and crafting a professional email is a skill that can make a big difference in how you're perceived.
Whether you're writing to a colleague, a hiring manager, or a client, it's important to strike the right tone and use appropriate language and greetings that fit your audience.
Keep these tips in mind before you hit send to avoid awkward email misunderstandings:
Clear subject lines
Your subject line should be straightforward and descriptive. Don't be vague or cryptic. You want your email to stand out from the sea of others in the recipient's inbox.
Avoid spam filters
Watch your language! If you’re sending marketing emails, don't use spammy words like "free" or "opportunity." Avoid all caps and excessive exclamation points, too. All of these things can land your email in the recipient's spam folder.
Mind your tone
Getting tone right can be tricky when communicating by email. Be mindful of your audience and choose appropriate language and greetings. And don't forget that humor, specifically sarcasm doesn’t always translate well in writing.
Be careful when using the "Reply All" function. Ask yourself if everyone needs to see your response. Sometimes it's better to respond only to the sender or a specific group of recipients.
Know when to pick up the phone or turn to internal chat tools
For complex or technical issues, a phone or video call may be more appropriate. This helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures everyone is on the same page. For quick updates, no need to clog up everyone’s inboxes. Instead, use an internal chat tool like Teamwork or Slack.
Don’t be the bearer of bad news
Avoid delivering bad news via email. It's better to have a conversation in person or over the phone. But if email is your only option, be empathetic and use appropriate language.
Know your audience
Depending on who the recipient is, you might want to change up your language and greetings a bit. If you're emailing someone you've never met before, you might want to play it safe and use more formal language. And if you're not sure how to address someone, it's always better to be a little too polite than not polite enough!
Always use a signature
Include your contact information in your signature, and maybe even links to your social media profiles or website. This makes it easy for people to get in touch with you (and if you need help setting up a beautiful and functional email signature? Contact our creative team!).
And there you have it! These 8 tips will help you write polished, effective emails every time.