It seems like we send and receive innumerable work emails every day. It becomes such a regular part of our day that we forget how important email is in making an impression on colleagues. In some cases, email is the primary or only interaction we have with certain people. Here are some tips to enhance your professional emails.
Start at the Beginning
The very first people see when they receive your email is in the subject line. The wrong subject line can make it easy for someone to pass up your email. Do not leave the subject line blank. Make the subject brief and to the point while still attention-grabbing. You should also include any important dates. Try email subject line testing to perfect your email subject lines.
Use Formal Language
You would be surprised how many people use informal language in professional communications. You should not use text language such as “lol” or “brb” for any reason. Avoid smiley faces in your emails, too. You also shouldn’t use slang or colloquiums. Keep things professional at all times. Generally speaking, you should address people by their last name unless you have a familiar relationship. Just because you are formal doesn’t mean you need to be rude. Be sure to say please and thank you when appropriate.
Keep It Concise
People get a lot of emails throughout the day. They don’t want to spend too much time reading one email if it’s not entirely necessary. Be thorough yet concise in your email. Be mindful about what information is absolutely necessary and what is not. When you are done with your email, reread it to edit out any superfluous information. Not only will our colleague appreciate you getting to the point, but you will sound more professional.
Create a Signature
Almost all official corporate emails have an appropriate signature. The signature should include your name, position, work contact information, and the logo of the company. The signature should be easy to read, and the logo should not be overly large. If you need help with your signature, ask someone in IT for help.
One of the biggest mistakes employees make is not proofing their emails. You should run spell check, double-check the spelling of every person’s name, and read the email to yourself out loud to discover awkward phrasing. Only after those proofreading steps should you hit the “send” button. It may take a little bit more time, but it can save you some embarrassing moments. Plus, grammatical errors make you look unprofessional. You could end up losing opportunities because of some easily avoidable mistakes.
Don’t Take Too Long
You need to respond to an email within a certain amount of time. Generally speaking, you want to respond to emails in a 24-hour period. If you wait for days or weeks, your response might not be needed anymore. You also may have lost out on an opportunity. Make a point to answer emails as soon as you get them.
In the same light, you don’t want to send too many emails when waiting for a response from someone. Do not send multiple emails looking for an update on the same day unless it is extremely time-sensitive.
Sending an unprofessional email can give the wrong impression of you to other people in your office. Make a point to look professional through the computer by following these rules. You show people that you would be a good representation of the company by being a good representation of yourself.