Making common mistakes while sending an email can deeply affect your professional reputation. With estimations we receive an average of 150 emails per day, we often become desensitized to the way in which our communications can impact on the professional brand we’re trying to create. Polishing your resume and brand profiles like LinkedIn means nothing if you then fail to maintain simple standards when communicating with clients and colleagues.
There have been times when people have got the wrong impression of email, because they don’t get replies or their requests are not acted upon. If time is invested in sending quality emails without silly mistakes, then senders should be confident of the professional brand they display to recipients, and will find their emails are acted upon far quicker. Below are our tips on how to write an impressive email, and maintain your brand standards.
1. Your emails should be short and to the point.
The concentration time of the average adult human is around eight seconds. Writing a long, overly-detailed email and including a back story that is probably irrelevant and unnecessary can cause the reader to miss the point of the message, or perhaps not even read the entire thing. The content should be related to the subject of the email. Avoid overwhelming the recipient with a multitude of requests in one email; instead write one request and once it’s been followed up, proceed with the next one. Chances are, when writing multiple requests, the recipient will forget what else was on your laundry list while they’re dealing with the first query, in which case they’ll need you to reiterate what you need from them anyway.
Using humour can leave the recipient with the misconception that the sender is a joker and isn’t taking their work seriously. If you’re working for an impressive brand that endeavours to reflect professionalism but there’s no time to devote to composing quality emails, you can easily hire a team of freelancers to do it for you! Find email experts at freelancer.com. They will help you come up with emails of utmost quality and professionalism for your brand.
2. Only copy the intended recipients - the fewer the better.
It’s important for email marketers to first evaluate who is the primary intended recipient of the email. In a number of organizations, a long loop of CC addresses can seem political and many recipients don’t like to be included in such emails. A recipient might also click Reply to All, dropping a reply into the inbox of every recipient on the CC list. This can annoy recipients and make them more likely to mark an email as spam, to avoid too many messages bouncing around from the different audience members. Very few email users bother to check their spam folder, so your email could be in danger of not reaching its intended audience and your request not acted upon.
3. Avoid being asked to clarify the message.
This is a common mistake that email senders make. Losing the flow of thoughts within the context of the conversation raises questions, and can create a need for the reader to ask for clarification on the message. Make sure the flow is clear and complete before you move on to a new train of thought. Going off on a tangent can be a distraction and create a negative professional image, demonstrating that the email sender is not attentive to the flow of details. It is important to clearly explain your thoughts in one concise paragraph before starting a new one. It is not recommended to spread one thought over two different paragraphs; if the flow is broken in this way you run the risk of changing the perceived context of the message.
4. Make the email context easy to understand.
Sending an email that’s difficult to understand can make the reader reluctant to reply. If the sender expects a reply, their email should be precise in its context and clear enough to be understood. Make sure the recipient deems your email important enough to reply to you. Take time in composing your message; invest in quality over quantity and you’re bound to see an improvement in the response rate of your sent emails. In his writing, Mark Twain came up with a memorable and unique voice. Misappropriation of conversational features such as tone of voice, physical gestures and facial expressions that participants rely on to interpret a message can cause it to be received badly. This can be especially difficult during an email conversation, when the sender can’t immediately correct the intended meaning as in a face-to-face meeting. Skipping the niceties can cause the audience to interpret a message incorrectly, which will require the sender to correct the message and apologize.
5. Check out grammar and spelling mistakes.
Be vigilant and proofread your email a few times, checking for common grammatical mistakes or misspelt words. Careless mistakes cast a poor light on your business or brand. Check for even the smallest error, and correct it before sending the email. A well-written email without a single error gives the reader a great impression, and will help to ensure the recipient responds immediately and acts upon requests.
5. Distinguish the difference between formal and informal situations.
Sometimes, email senders have difficulty separating the formal and the informal when sending a message in a more professional situation. Using informal language when jotting a quick message to your colleagues in the next room is one thing, but forgetting your P’s and Q’s when you’re emailing a professional you don’t have a close working relationship with can end up causing real harm to your brand image. Use “Dear Sir/Madam”, or the name of the recipient if you know it, and avoid using informal salutations like “Hi - at least until you’ve built up a rapport with the recipient, and know that’s how they prefer to communicate.
Here’s some important guidelines on how to compose an impressive, professional email.
It is very important to have a clear subject line that indicates the purpose of the email. It is also advisable to include a header; this can help the recipient clearly understand your intent and give the correct response.
Clearly state the primary request of the email in the first line. This helps recipients to understand the root purpose of the message even if they fail to read it entirely. Too many requests in one email can confuse your recipient, so they don’t know which to respond to or act upon.
Write the names of the recipients who have been assigned a task or asked a question in bold; this increases the chances of grabbing your primary reader’s attention.
Being kind will encourage your audience to take the time to read and understand the intentions of your email, and any further messages you may send them in the future.
Human resource email marketers must be creative enough with the content to maintain their subscribers.
The majority of emails sent today, especially in business, are sent in anticipation of a response. Sending sloppy emails full of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors gives recipients a negative perception of your level of care and attention to your work. If you find that getting people to respond to your messages is like getting blood out of a stone, perhaps take a look at your previous sent messages. Run them through a spell-checker and see if there are any common mistakes you’re making. Once you identify these issues and address them, you may be surprised at how your response rate skyrockets.
If you have any comments or questions regarding this article, please do not hesitate to post them in the comments section below!