How to Compose the Perfect Business Email
Emails are at the heart of business communication
Emails are at the heart of business communication. In fact, there are 124.5 billion business emails sent and received each day. That's a whole lot of emails. While most people are comfortable and familiar with sending informal emails to friends and family members, writing one to a boss, prospective client, or colleague is an entirely different story. Here are some tips for composing the perfect business email.
Determine your goal
The first step to composing the perfect business email is to determine your goal. Before you start writing the actual contents of the message, you should have a clear idea of what you're hoping to gain from the correspondence. Maybe you want to reach out to previous clients for testimonials or contact a partner for renegotiations. Regardless, clearly defining the purpose of your email will help to guide every other step in the process.
Find the best subject line
There are too many professionals out there sending messages with improper or ineffective subject lines. As the first piece of text that a recipient reads of an email, a subject line can make or break the effectiveness of your message. Email subject line testing is a great way to compare the results of various headlines in order to determine the most productive one.
Settle on an appropriate greeting
Once you've written the subject line and narrowed down your recipients, it's time to settle on a greeting. All emails start with some sort of greeting whether you're writing to a good friend or a complete stranger. Many people get stuck on this seemingly easy portion of email composition. When writing a business email, you want to remain relatively formal. Greetings such as "Hi" or "Hello" work fine as long as they are followed by the name of the recipient.
Clearly describe the purpose of the email
At the very beginning of the email, you should let the recipient know the purpose of the correspondence. All you need is a quick explanation that's one or two sentences in length. This ensures your main points come across clearly and concisely, making it more likely that the response will be satisfactory. If you skip this part and go right into the body of your email, you run the risk of not getting what you need. Professionals are busy and always appreciate a clear explanation.
Sprinkle your email with understanding
When writing business emails, understanding and empathy goes a long way. Whether you're dealing with bosses, employees, fellow colleagues, or clients, it's always a good idea to put yourself in their shoes. Consider how they'll receive your message and let that understanding shine through. This is especially important when writing emails that deal with contentious subjects.
Check for punctuation and grammar errors
Emails are often seen as an informal form of communication. While emails aren't quite as formal as written letters, they're still not quite as laid back as texting. For this reason, it's important to go through your email once or twice to make sure there aren't any punctuation or grammar errors. Double-check to make sure there's a comma after the greeting and another one after the sign-off. You could always download an automatic grammar checker to help save you time and defend against minor errors.
Include your contact information at the end
If you've effectively explained the purpose of your email, engaged the reader, and double-checked for spelling errors, the final step is to include your contact information at the end. Many professionals opt to have this information included automatically below their name through the use of certain email programs. This way, the recipients know exactly where and how to get in touch with you.
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful business, and emails are at the heart of efficient correspondence. Knowing how to compose the perfect business email can make your days more productive and hassle-free