How To Write an Email

How to Write an Email (Or at least a few tips to improve one)

Mark Walker Small Business Advice Leave a Comment

Email is one of the most popular forms of communication in the world today. There are over 2.2 billion email users worldwide and nearly 144 billion emails sent each day according to Royal Pingdom. Although most of us are using email each day, many of the emails we send aren’t structured in the best way possible. Maybe the email doesn’t represent the tone you wished to portray or maybe it doesn’t encourage a timely response. Either way, you can’t blame it on the reader. It’s up to you when you compose the message to make sure you get the results you’re aiming for.

Consider these tips on how to write an email before you click “send” the next time:

Subject Line

  • Make the subject line clear and descriptive. For example, instead of saying ‘Punch Bug Marketing Website,’ say something like ‘Punch Bug Marketing Website: Access to Google Analytics.” This is more descriptive and lets the recipient know exactly what the email is about.

  • Avoid being wordy and vague in the subject line. The goal is to encourage action, so you need to be precise and clear with your wording.

  • If the email will cover several topics, consider breaking it up into multiple messages.

Email Salutations

  • Always start with an appropriate salutation. If you choose to not include an opening salutation the email could seem a little abrupt.

  • If possible, address the email to a specific person even if you are submitting through a contact form.

  • If you know the recipient well, you may say something like “Hey Todd,” but for a more formal email stick to “Hello Todd” or “Dear Todd.” It’s your email…do what feels right!

  • Always close your email with an appropriate salutation. Be sure to choose a sign-off that represents the overall tone of the email. For example, if the email is about confirming a coffee meeting for the next day you may sign-off with “See you tomorrow.” You get the idea.

Email Body Paragraphs

  • The first line in the body of your email needs to be perfect. This is where you should include the main topic of the email. If you are asking for or requesting something, do it here. You can use the rest of the email to set the context.

  • Now that you have set the tone for the email, you can use multiple paragraphs to cover separate ideas or questions. Short and concise paragraphs are the way to go. They read better and keep the attention of the recipient.

  • Don’t ramble on about things that are unimportant to the goal of the email. Your recipient is probably busy and you want to make sure they stay focused until the end!

Email Signature

  • If you are sending the initial email you should always include a signature. A good email signature should include who you are, what you do, where you do it, and how to get in touch with you. Here’s what my email signature looks like (notice I include my Twitter info because I love to tweet!):

Email Signature

Other tips for writing an email:

  • Keep emails short and to the point. We’re all busy and have other things to get to!

  • Don’t use ALL CAPS TO PROVE A POINT. It looks tacky!

  • If you have to spend more than 5 or 10 minutes writing an email, it may be smart to make it a phone call instead.

  • As a rule of thumb, avoid using text talk in an email. PLZ don’t do it.

  • Proofread your email twice. Once is good, but twice is better!

Emailing seems like an easy task, but chances are we can all improve our skills. These tips on how to write an email are just a few I have compiled over the years. What’s your best tip for writing an email?

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