EMAIL WRITING. Ready, Set, Guess the problem!. BEFORE WRITING THE EMAIL. 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.
Ready, Set, Guess the problem!
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 grammatical 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
Blind carbon copy
July 5 meeting time change
Type your email message in the text box, then click send and it will be sent to the receivers you have indicated in the to, Cc, and Bcc areas.
Try to keep the email brief (one screen length).
Return emails within the same time you would a phone call.
Check for punctuation, spelling, and grammatical errors
Use caps only when appropriate.
Format your email for plain text rather than HTML.
Use a font that has a professional or neutral look.GENERAL FORMAT: THE BASICS
Place the paper in drawer A.
Click the green “start” button.
Improve customer satisfaction.
Empower employees.GENERAL FORMAT: LISTS AND BULLETS
“When you complete the report.” instead of “If you complete the report.”
Avoid negative words that begin with “un, non, “ex” or that end with “less” (useless, non-existent, ex-employee, undecided).
Use contractions to add a friendly tone.
(don’t, won’t, can’t).GENERAL FORMAT: TONE
“Our profit margin for the last quarter went down 5%. As a result I am proposing budget adjustment for the following areas…”
Table of contents
“This email contains
A. Budget projections for the last quarter
B. Actual performance for the last quarter
C. Adjustment proposal
D. Projected profitability”ELEVATOR SUMMARY AND TABLE OF CONTENTS
“We are unable to order new computers this quarter due to budget cuts.”
“I think it will be hard to recover from this, but what can I do to help?”
Avoid using “weasel words” or hedging:
“Our pricing structure is outdated.”
More examples of hedging are:
Intents and purposes
Possibly, most likely
Perhaps, maybeDELIVERING BAD NEWS
Explain the attempts you made previously to resolve the problem.
Show why it is critical for the problem to be resolved by your reader.
Offer suggestions on ways you think it can be resolved or how you are willing to help in the matter.WRITING A COMPLAINT
“The current way we choose officers for our organisation is not democratic. As a result, we have a popularity contest that does not always get us the best candidates.”
Show attempts made by you thus far to resolve the issue:
“I have offered two alternatives for officer selection that still involves the votes of the members but both have been rejected by the executive board.”WRITING A COMPLAINT
Show why it is important for your reader to get involved:
“This is a problem for two reasons. First, I am concerned that the executive board no longer protects the interests of the organisation and that their actions are not in keeping with the constitution of the organisation.
Second, there have been a number of complaints from the members who feel that their concerns and preferences are not being addressed by the executive board, which decreases morale and productivity.”
Ask for help and offer a resolution:
“Please let me know what other options I may have overlooked. I am willing to meet with the department head and the executive board to seek out a solution that is fair to the members and is good for the business of the organisation. ”
Avoid flaming because it tends to create a great deal of conflict that spirals out of control.
Flame fights are the equivalent of food fights and tend to affect observers in a very negative way.
What you say cannot be taken back; it is in black and white.FLAMING IN EMAILS
Calm down before responding to a message that offends you. Once you send the message it is gone.
Read your message twice before you send it and assume that you may be misinterpreted when proofreading.KEEP FLAMING UNDER CONTROL
If you feel you are right, thank them for bringing the matter to your attention
Explain what led to the problem in question
Avoid getting bogged down by details and minor arguments
If you are aware that the situation is in the process of being resolved let the reader know at the top of the response
Apologise if necessaryRESPONDING TO A FLAME
Only use common abbreviations or abbreviations you are sure the reader will understand!
Do not treat email as text messaging!
Cul8r = ?
Qty = ?
Rec’d = ?
Pls = ?
Wd = ?
Hv = ?
Otoh = ?
Bw = ?