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9 Tips to Creating Better Emails

Put these strategies into practice to write more professional emails.

1. Nail the Subject Line:
The subject line is your headline. It should encapsulate the essential content of the message and provide an enticement to get the receiver to click through. Emailing a client a virtual sample for an order of mugs? Write: “Virtual Sample Of Your Mugs - Approval Needed.”

2. Include a Greeting:
If you were meeting someone in person, you’d likely start with a “Hello” and the person’s name. Take the same approach in email. It sets a polite tone. At the message’s outset, it’s also helpful to include a quick line like “Hope you are well.” Once the dialog is underway, you don’t have to include greetings on each email in the interaction chain, but the initial message should feature the amiable opener.

3. Be Succinct & Stick to the Topic:
After the greeting, get quickly into the meat of the message. Write in short, straightforward sentences. Avoid ranging onto unrelated subjects, which can muddle the main message. Instead, streamline the focus to the essentials. Doing so increases the likelihood that important information will be understood.

4. Remember Your Manners:
While you want to be concise, there is always room for “please” and “thank you.” Without these words, your message can sound abrupt and curt. Consider: “Please let me know before the end of the day that the artwork is acceptable. Thank you,” sounds friendlier than “Artwork approval needed end-of-day.”

5. Shape the Message:
Blocks of text in an email can send recipients into sleep mode. So, break things up. If you’re writing enough to require paragraphs, limit each graph to a couple sentences. The occasional one-sentence paragraph works, too. Take this approach, and your emails are much more likely to be read in their entirety.

6. Proofread:
Spelling mistakes, missing words, nonsensical sentences, calling someone by the wrong name – such errors can send your creditability plummeting. Hold back on hitting send and calmly read through your email to ensure it’s accurate and worded well. Use spellcheck, and be certain you’re sending the message to the correct recipient.

7. Stay Away From Emoticons:
If you’re on good personal terms with the recipient, emoticons can have their place. But generally speaking, it’s wise to strip these expressives from your business email communications. They can make you look unprofessional and immature.

8. Make Your Signature Polite & Useful:
Include a sign off like “regards” or “sincerely” along with your website, phone number and, if applicable, links to a couple of your most relevant social media pages, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and/or blog.

9. Respond Quickly:
People expect a fast response. Even if you don’t immediately have the information high-priority senders are asking for, send them a message confirming that you received their email and you’re working on getting them what they need. Also, provide a specific time when you will follow up with them.