E-mailing is a widely used communication outlet for professionals and non-professionals. You cannot just type an email and press send. Thought and effort need to be utilized when creating a concise business email. Follow these simple rules in regard to your business email.
- Do not use unnecessary words. ( Read my blog YOU are in control for more on word choice)
- Be sure to include short sentences and short paragraphs. Leave space in-between paragraphs or if you have several points number them or separate them.
- Make sure your subject line is meaningful. Use an active voice and do not use slang
- Avoid overuse of: capitals, “high priority”, and “read receipts”. Avoid words like “urgent” and “important”
- Reply as soon as possible and answer all questions
- Do not use “Reply to All”
- Include disclaimers
- Use the “Bcc” field
- Do not send large files without asking the recipient first
- Do not hit reply and type away ( top posting )
- Use common courtesy
“Concise” in a business email means it is short and includes all the relevant information that it needs. Being concise makes it easier for the reader to understand and keeps the message flowing smoothly. It also makes you less likely to follow up on the original email. Here are a few other things to keep in mind.
- Being concise starts in the subject line
- The first sentence should say specifically what you want from the reader. The first paragraph should include all the pertinent information.
- The second paragraph should explain reasons and give detail
- Never leave key points for the end.
- Before your signature make sure you end with a positive or motivating sentence
Here is an example of a formal email. This would qualify as a concise business email.
I read on your web site that you offer Music CD copying for large quantities of CDs. I’d like to inquire about the procedures involved in these services. Are the files transferred online, or are the titles sent by CD to you by standard mail? How long does it usually take to produce approximately 500 copies? Are there any discounts on such a large quantity?
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I look forward to your response.
Sales Manager, Young Talent Inc.
Here is an example of an informal email.
At 16.22 01/07/2002 +0000, you wrote:
> I hear you’re working on the Smith account. If you need any information don’t hesitate to get in > contact with me.
Listen, we’ve been working on the Smith account and I was wondering if you could give me a hand? I need some inside information on recent developments over there. Do you think you could pass on any information you might have?
If you succeed in writing your business email and feel it is ready to be sent do not send it just yet. Revise revise revise! Spell-check might not catch all of your errors. Make sure you stop and reread your message aloud.
Ashley Day is a Criminology major attending the University of South Florida. She will be graduating in the Fall of 2013 and has plans to work for the FBI.