October 27, 2011
How to Structure a Professional Email
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:
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
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!