8 Golden Rules for Good Business Emails
Good business emails are crisp, concise, and organized so that readers can follow and understand the content with little effort. Here are a few suggestions on how to achieve success in business correspondence:
1. Pick the subject line of the email carefully
Make it informative and brief so the recipient can easily find and act on it. Never open an old email, hit “Reply”, and send a message that has nothing to do with the previous one. Do not hesitate to change the subject as soon as the thread or content of the email chain changes.
2. Write the main body of the email using correct grammar, punctuation, and capitalization
Write with lots of white space so as to not overwhelm the recipient. Make sure when you look at what you are sending it does not look like a burden to read – feel free to use bullet points.
3. State the purpose of the email within the first two sentences
The person reading your email should not have to dig through several paragraphs in order to figure out what you are asking. If you need more than three paragraphs, phone instead or send the materials as an attachment.
4. Stick to one language of communication
Do not send the initial email in a language that is not comprehensible by all possible recipients (you never know who might eventually be involved in a conversation). Do not jump between languages as well – the language of all responses should be the same as in the initial email.
5. Be careful with criticism
Be sure to provide enough context and background to avoid a misunderstanding.
6. Soften the blow by saying that you are sorry it happened or that you regret the outcome
If you have to deliver bad news by email, use phrases such as, “I am sorry to say that…” or “I regret to say that we will be unable to [do something] because…”. If it is bad news and your reader thinks you do not care, you may spark an unwanted reaction.
7. Use a signature to conclude your email, but keep it simple
Do not be tempted to add humorous or “inspiring” quotes.
8. Before you send the email, check your attachments
Send only those that your recipient needs or wants to see.
Your email is a reflection of you. Every email you send adds to or detracts from your reputation. If your email is scattered, disorganized, and filled with mistakes, the recipient will be inclined to think of you as a scattered, careless, and disorganized businessperson.
Interested in reducing your emailing time? Read our blog on it here.