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Email is the bread and butter of business communication. With email rates at new heights, knowing how to write emails that are professional and efficient is essential. We work with clients all the time that (justifiably) worry about productivity and community loss from poor email writing across their offices. The good news is you can fix that with a few essential habits. Below are five critical tips for mastering email writing:

1. SUBJECT LINES: Be Specific and Clear

First impressions matter, and email subject lines are often the first thing someone sees in their inbox. Make sure the subject line you choose is specific and provides clarity on the content of your email. For example, instead of writing “Meeting,” write “Team Meeting at 2 PM.” This will help your email stand out in your recipient’s inbox and communicate the purpose of the email.

Answer the “now what” question. If the reader can’t easily answer “What am I supposed to do with this email?” then you haven’t done your job as the email writer.

2. BREVITY: Keep Messages Short and Clear

When sending an email, it’s essential to keep your message brief and clear. Get straight to the point and avoid rambling. Make sure your email’s purpose is clear and easy to understand. Don’t be afraid to use bullet points to break up your message and ensure it’s easy to follow.

Answer the “now what” question. If the reader can’t easily answer “What am I supposed to do with this email?” then you haven’t done your job as the email writer.

3. TYPOS: Check for Errors

Poor grammar and spelling mistakes in an email can be unprofessional and undermine the credibility of your message. Always double-check your email for grammar and spelling errors.

Check the CC and BCC fields to make sure you aren’t “Replying All” with details you aren’t intending to share. Because most businesses own the rights to your email account, and because of the risk of hacking, always make sure to email with the understanding that unintended audiences might read it.

4. PERSONALIZATION: Keep Some Humanity in Your Writing

Personalizing your email can make a big difference in how it’s received by the recipient. Address the recipient by name and mention something specific about them or their business. Doing so can help build a personal connection and build a stronger relationship.

If you are mass-emailing, test out a mail merge that will let you incorporate names. If it’s to a single coworker, talk politely to them like you would face-to-face. It’s easy to get overly aggressive in text.

5. FOLLOW-UP: Circle Back When Needed

Sometimes, emails can get lost in the shuffle, so it’s essential to know when to follow up. If you don’t hear back from someone within a reasonable amount of time, send a friendly, professional follow-up email. Be sure to acknowledge their time and provide a clear request for action.

TLDR Conclusion:

In today’s busy world, email remains crucial. Knowing how to write effective and professional emails can help you stand out from the crowd and build stronger relationships with your customers and colleagues. Focus on clear, concise messaging, personalized communication, and attention to detail with the awareness that others may read your emails even if you didn’t intend it for them. Keep these tips in mind as you craft your next email, and you will empower yourself for success.