Composing clear, to-the-point emails in a timely manner is critical to business communication. Here are some factors to consider as you write.
1) Avoid Knee-Jerk Responses
Email is quick. That’s why we use it. However, the greatest benefit can also be the greatest drawback. We open. We read. We reply. Then we take time to think.
However, in that expedited process, we can develop a knee-jerk reaction to others’ questions, requests, opinions or recommendations. Be mindful not to decline an invitation because this week’s schedule is full, or to reject another’s suggestion because it could increase your workload. The quickness of email can tempt us to close doors that really deserve more discussion.
2) Understand the Difference
Yes, email is the daily, informal mode of communication. However, be mindful to know the difference between informal and seemingly careless or ignorant. Just as the speed of email is a great asset that can be turned into a liability, so is the informal nature of the writing.
The conversational tone, easy-going style, and colloquial words or phrases all equate to informal writing. Just be mindful not to let your style slip into incorrect grammar or incomplete thoughts that could lead to misunderstanding.
When writing emails, be mindful of the difference between informal and incorrect.
3) Don’t Be Cryptic
Because professional email can be informal as well as quick, be careful not to lose the intended meaning to fragments or half-thoughts. Here’s an example:
Susanna Fischer of Century Enterprises is trying to help us get into her company to do business. Called sales manager to discuss setting a meeting for next Friday. Meeting will be at 3pm if everyone is available.
Who actually called the sales manager, Susanna or the writer of the email? Who is the “everyone” in the email; is the reader expected to attend the potential Friday meeting?
When writing emails, be aware that the reader doesn’t always make the same assumptions that the writer intends. Therefore, reread from your reader’s perspective before sending.
Honing your email communication skills will not only increase your effectiveness and credibility, but it will save time and increase communication!
Interested in more ideas to improve your email communication? Check out Booher Academy’s Email Matters Workshop!
E-Writing by Dianna Booher