Introduction to Business Writing: Effective Business Emails. Wendy M. Gough St. Mary College/Nunoike Gaigo Senmon Gakko Nagoya, Japan. Before writing the email. Make a plan!. Think about the purpose of the email.
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Wendy M. Gough
St. Mary College/Nunoike Gaigo Senmon Gakko Nagoya, Japan
Make a plan!
Think about the purpose of the email
Think about the person who will read the email and how you want him or her to react
Make an outline or list of the main points and details you want to include in the email
Double check any facts, dates, times, or other specific details that will be included in the email
If the person you are writing to is in a higher position than you, your email should use more formal language than if the person is someone in the same level position than you.
If you have never met the person receiving your email before, you should use formal language in the first email to him or her.
Once you have sent the first email and received a reply, you can choose to continue using formal language or choose to use less formal language in future emails.
Think about the reason you are sending the email and decide if formal or informal language is better.
If you are requesting a service or asking a favor, you should use formal language.
If you are making a complaint, you should use strong words to express your dissatisfaction or problem but you must be polite.
If you are introducing yourself, you should use formal language but you can use words or phrases that let your personality show through as well.
If you are writing a customer relation letter, you should use formal language.
Think about the reason for writing the email and what you want the person who receives the email to do with it.
If you want the receiver to do something for you, make it clear. Tell the receiver exactly what action you want done.
Tell the receiver if no action needs to be taken.
If you want the receiver to respond by a certain date, write the response date.
If you are negotiating or rearranging a meeting, write your demands or available times clearly.
Don’t use unnecessary words and phrases that distract from the main idea of the email or may confuse the reader
The person reading your email does not have a lot of time to read your email so you must make it as direct as possible.
Make the reason for writing the email clear at the beginning and only add details that are directly related to the topic of the email.
Avoiding difficult or complex sentence structures will help you avoid grammar mistakes.
Simple sentences will make the email easier for your reader to understand, especially if the person reading the email is not a native English speaker.
Remember that writing, is a form of indirect communication. Unlike having a conversation with someone, you do not have a chance to clarify yourself by restating your ideas or use nonverbal cues to make your meaning clear. You have to make sure your reader understands what you want to say and gets the right “message” the first time.
Think about how the email might be perceived by the reader. Are there any words or phrases that may make the tone seem angry, flippant, or disrespectful?
Avoid trying to make a joke or say something funny in an email. Sometimes what you think is funny might be misunderstood by the reader and create a bad relationship.
Use words that are specifically related to the topic but define any words or phrases that you think the reader might not be familiar with, especially words that are specific to a certain type of job, field of study, or product.
Always write the subject of the email on the subject line
Remember that business people often receive hundreds of emails every day. If you don’t write the subject in the subject line the person receiving the email might think it is SPAM or junk email and delete the message. If the subject isn’t clear they might delete the email as well, so make sure the subject is direct-don’t use too many words.
Tells the reader why you are writing
Tells the details about the topic
Tells what you want to happen and gives a time frame
Thank the reader and mention future communication
Templates from Learnthenet
The receiver’s email address Are there any words or phrases that may make the tone seem angry, flippant, or disrespectful?
Blind carbon copy
Type your email message in the text box, then click Are there any words or phrases that may make the tone seem angry, flippant, or disrespectful? send and it will be sent to the receivers you have indicated in the to, Cc, and Bcc areas.