E-mail is the most used form of business communication these days. This is because you don’t have to be available at the same time as your conversation partner to communicate.As a professional, you will receive plenty of e-mails on a daily basis and if not drafted well, there is a possibility of the message being misinterpreted by the receiver. It is therefore very important to write e-mails which are clear and impactful. Here are few tips to write an effective e-mail:
1. Use a simple and clear subject line – If your subject line is vague or if you leave it blank, you have missed your first opportunity to inform or persuade your reader. Before you hit the ‘send’ button, take a moment to write a subject line that accurately describes the content, giving your reader a concrete reason to open your message.
2. Greetings and Sign-offs – Always use a greeting and some kind of sign-off. Don’t just start with your text, and don’t stop at the end without a polite signature. The standard way to begin an e-mail is with ‘Dear’, the person’s name (with or without a title) and is considered a part of routine workplace communication.
3. Watch your spelling and grammar – If you send an e-mail with spelling and other grammatical errors; it tells the reader that it’s not that important. Always run your e-mail through a spell check, and proof read the e-mail before sending it out. Avoid too many abbreviations.
4. Font and formatting matters
Fonts that are too small, too large, or otherwise hard to read makes it difficult to read the e-mail. Beware of your fonts and use easy to read fonts (ex. Arial), and use a standard size. Do not use extravagant colors. Use bullet points and numbered lists when listing down points.
5. Check on the tone of your message – When you are communicating via e-mail, your words are not supported by gestures or other cues, so it may be easy for someone to misread your tone. Hence be very careful with the choice of your words and if you’re not sure then ask a colleague to run through it once.
Remember — your words speak on your behalf in an e-mail. Make sure you leave a good impression by writing like you speak !
(Article originally appeared on rediff.com)