Business runs on email. Without effective email communication, you can cause workflow disruptions and confusion, which can quickly hold up progress. To keep your business moving, it’s important to learn how to write better emails to keep everyone on the same page. Here are five email tips to help you write better emails at work.
Use a good email design
Your emails are a reflection of you. While many quick emails are perfectly fine as text-only, you want important emails to look as important as they are. And since you’re busy running a business, you might not have time to design eye-catching email designs from scratch. It helps to use corporate email templates to save time.
There are hundreds of free corporate email templates available online from websites like PosterMyWall. Simply choose the design that best fits your messaging, customize the information in the drag-and-drop editor, and you’re ready to send your email.
Start with the subject line
Now that you have the design figured out, it’s time to write perhaps the most important part of your email: the subject line. You always hope the recipient reads your email because it’s work related, but the subject line lets the recipient know what your email is about and how important it is.
The key to a great work email subject line is to showcase what the email is about and what you want it to achieve as quickly as possible. Address at least three important pieces of information:
- What action is required
- Level of importance
- How long it will take
This will let the recipient know what they need to do and whether it’s a big project or just something quick and simple. They should also know if it’s something important they need to read and address immediately.
Here’s a quick example of what a good work email subject line might look like: “Ten minutes – provide feedback on project X.” The recipient should know the priority level for “Project X” (if they’ve been involved previously,” you tell them how long it’ll take out of their schedule, and the “feedback” let’s them know the action required. A perfect email subject line!
Limit one subject per thread
It takes a lot of projects to keep a business moving. And it can become confusing if you mix various projects in a single email. One of the top work email writing best practices is to limit every email to one subject.
Each email you write should include one action item and discuss one project. If you need to talk about a different project, start a new email thread with a new design layout. It’s as simple as that!
Keep writing short and concise
People at work are busy. They don’t have time to write thousand- (or even hundred-) word novels. As you write your email, try to keep it as short and concise as possible. Every work email should include three pieces of information, and that’s it:
- Background on the project – Provide only the details the recipient needs. If they’re already familiar with the project, you won’t have to go into as much depth.
- Action item – What do you want the recipient to do? Be clear and specific with your request.
- Next steps – Once they complete the action item, what is the next step of the process?
When it comes to work emails, the shorter the better! Hit each item and move on to simplify workplace communication.
Watch the recipients
Just like with your messaging, it’s important to keep the recipient list short and concise, too. Not everyone in the company needs to know about your various projects. Not only does it gum up everyone’s inboxes, but you could also encourage too much collaboration. (Yes, that’s a thing.)
If you include tons of people in your email, you might get too much feedback, and the project will never get finished!
In the To recipient list, add anyone who actually has action items in the email. The cc line is for anyone who needs to be aware of the project progress but might not necessarily need to provide input.
With every additional email in the thread, update the recipient list. If an action item no longer includes a team member, take them out of the To line. You can either add them to the cc line if they still need to be aware of the progress, or you can take them off the email completely. Limit recipients to only those impacted by the topic of the email.
Maximize your work emails
When it comes to getting things done at work, email can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. To make sure your emails are as efficient as possible, it’s a good idea to use corporate email templates for a clean layout, write a great subject line, limit one topic per thread, keep writing short and concise, and actively manage the recipients. When you hone your email writing skills, you can become even more productive at work.