5 Fool Proof Ways To Write Better Emails


We sent more than 205 billion emails to each other in
2015.  Researchers believe this will
increase to 246 billion by 2019.

To make our lives easier, we need to improve the way we
write and respond to emails. We need to save time by asking the correct
questions and by giving the right answers. 

This includes writing a great subject line (if you are
unsure of how to write a great subject line, read The 12 Worst Mistakes People Make In Email Subject
Lines
) and signing off professionally (read Why ‘Best’ Is The Worst Way To End Your Email). 

In this post, I want to show you five ways to improve your general email writing
skills: 
  1. Keep it simple. Use short sentences and easily
    understood words. Research shows people respond to shorter emails written with
    a Grade 3 level on your readability statistics.
    Do not use texting language. Use proper spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  2. Keep it short. We all avoid long emails and respond
    to the shorter ones first. Reading a long email is time-consuming and annoying.
    Get to the point.
  3. Be positively neutral. Tone is important. (Read 155 Words To Describe An Author’s Tone.) As I said,
    get to the point, but you do not have to be abrupt. Be polite, but not overly
    friendly. Avoid emojis and emoticons. They make you look unprofessional.
  4. Ask/Answer a question. This is the main reason people
    send business emails. Use the five w’s and the one h (who, what, where, when, why, and how) if you struggle to compose
    an email. You will usually want to ask or answer one of these questions. Do not
    ask more than three questions in your email.
  5. Be specific. Start with the most important information. There is no
    time to build up to it in emails. People skim when they read electronically.
    Avoid vague timelines and deadlines so that you do not have to write another
    email.
Your emails will also improve if you:
  1. Remove qualifiers. Words like ‘very’ and ‘almost’ confuse
    people.
  2. Remove redundant words and phrases. Follow this
    link for 50 redundant phrases we should avoid.
  3. Remove apologetic words like ‘just’ and ‘sorry’. These will
    put business clients off and they sound unprofessional. Examples: I am just
    sending you this to ask… Sorry to bother you, but…
  4. Leave out ridiculous words and phrases, such as:
  • ‘Honestly.’ – Does this mean you were being anything other
    than honest before?
  • ‘In my opinion.’ – Unless you are channelling somebody else’s
    opinion?
  • ‘Please find attached.’ – This is not a treasure hunt.
    Rather say, ‘I have attached…’
  • ‘Have a good day further.’ – Further than what? I am not
    sure if this is a uniquely South African phrase, but it does not make sense and
    it wastes time.
  • ‘Please do not hesitate to contact me’ – Unless we are
    talking about a matter of life and death. ‘Please contact me’ works.

If you are interested in learning how to improve your writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme. Send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for details.

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

If you enjoyed this article, read these posts:

  1. But How Did The Email Make You Feel?
  2. 5 Tips To Help You Avoid The Most Annoying Email Pet Peeves
  3. The Top Seven Tips for Writing Emails
© Amanda Patterson

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write – Write to communicate

This article has 0 comments

  1. stefano

    Great tips for south Africans by south Africans

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