July 21 2010

Four ways to write a professional e-mail

by Barbie in Uncategorized

E-mail correspondence is a way of life for us for both personal and business use. However, e-mail etiquette sometimes falls by the wayside, and writers compose e-mails like they write a quick text message to a friend. Use basic writing rules when composing e-mails to give off a professional, appropriate tone.

Here are four ways to keep your e-mails professional:

1) Write a direct subject.

An empty subject line will leave your recipient wondering what you want. Conversely, a lengthy, rambling subject line is equally confusing. Choose a short two- to six-word phrase for your e-mail that adequately describes the message contents. For example, your subject can read “July 27 Sales Meeting Minutes.”

2) Write in complete sentences.

Complete sentences with proper capitalization and punctuation instantly give off a professional tone. In addition, they clarify your content, allowing your recipient to properly interpret and respond to your e-mail.

3) Avoid emoticons.

If you are afraid that your message will come off harsh and want to lighten the mood with a smiley, don’t. Instead, rewrite the message so that it sends an appropriate tone. Do not use emoticons in workplace correspondence.

4) Include a proper greeting and signature.

It takes only a minute to add “Hi Steve,” and “Thanks, Jen,” but it makes a big difference in engaging your recipient and sounding both kind and professional.