How to Structure a Professional Email

27 October, 2011

Here at Reload Media, email is arguably our #1 source of communication. As we converse so frequently about the effectiveness and importance of digital marketing and communication – there couldn’t be a better way! So here is a list of Reload-friendly tips to professional email writing:

Internal Emails

When sending internal emails, keep the following in mind:

Be Obvious: Ensure the subject line clearly defines the task and is closely related to the content – this will make finding subject specific emails easier in the future.

Be Succinct: Keep emails short, sharp and to the point.

Be Correct: Always be polite and use proper spelling and grammar.

Be Professional: Emails can be friendly, but keep them professional and on topic.

Be Realistic: Sparingly use the high-priority option

External Emails

When sending external emails, keep the following in mind:

Subject Line: Always use an appropriate subject line, related to the content of the email.

Attention to detail: Aim to use proper spelling and grammar, and avoid abbreviations.

Tone: Keep a positive tone throughout the entire email and don’t make negative or accusatory statements.

Personalisation: Take note of key events in past dealings with clients, using these in future correspondence can create a strong bond for future communication.

Formatting: Ensure you use the correct font (size and colour) throughout the entire email, this creates consistency and improves readability.

Ice breakers: Address your contact directly and include an appropriate greeting. For example:

‘Hi Alex, hope you’re well.’ or ‘Hi Alex, thanks so much for your email.’

Purpose: Clearly outline the purpose of the email in the opening sentence. For example:

‘Just touching base in regards to the SEO Team’s content recommendations’

Provide a Solution: This is hugely important over email and allows the conversation to have purpose. Providing more complex solutions to problems may require a phone conversation or meeting, and this should be highlighted within the email.

Questions: When asking a question or requesting information, provide all of the relevant information and then request or ask directly. For example:

‘Is this something you would be interested in?’ or ‘When convenient, can you please send this through?’

Addressing Questions: Address and answer all questions directly. It’s also good to use this opportunity to try and pre-empt future questions. For example:

‘In regards to on-page SEO, the SEO Team have noted the following……’

Sign-Off: Sign-off your emails by inviting open and further communication. For example:

‘If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.’

Email chains: When replying to an email, make sure you reply to the email chain. This allows the client to easily reference your reply. However, always create a new email chain for a new subject matter, to avoid confusion.

Carbon Copies: If a client CCs someone into an email, CC them on your reply.

High Priority: Sparingly use the high-priority option, and try to avoid using urgent and important in subject lines unless necessary. You cannot decide how urgent a task is for an external stakeholder!

Proofreading: Always re-read your email prior to sending.

HOT TIP: Try and avoid placing the email address in the ‘To’ box until you have proofed your email. Sometimes it can be too easy to accidently press send!

Happy emailing!

About Alexandra Gannon

Position: Campaign Manager

Currently, Alex forms part of Reload Media’s team as a Campaign Manager. Within her role at Reload Media Alex is responsible for liaising with staff to coordinate projects and ensure each adheres to project milestones and exceeds internal and external account benchmarks. Additionally, Alex looks to expand current accounts to incorporate a wider array of digital marketing services. Previously, Alex has completed a Bachelor of Mass Communication, with Advertising and Media & Communications major at Queensland University of Technology. Using her understanding of business management, marketing and advertising she ensures clients are provided with products and services of the highest quality.

Find out more about Alexandra Gannon on Google +.