Sending the Right Message: Tips for Composing Polished and Professional Correspondences
Whether it is through the phone, face to face, or an email, communication is one of the most important skills in business. With that being said, emails tend to be utilized quite often due to conflicting schedules and distance. In this article, we will go over some tips and tricks for writing professional emails and correspondences.
1. The Subject Line
When writing an professional email, there is typically a subject line right below the section where you input email addresses of the recipients. In this subject line, you should make it exceptionally clear what the email is about and specify whether it is urgent or not. In some situations, depending on who you are emailing, it may be crucial to include your name or a due date in the subject line, as well.
2. General Structure
The structure of your email should not be one large paragraph. Be sure to break the piece up into multiple small paragraphs and change font sizes and colors (appropriately) to have important information stand out. Professional emails should not be difficult to read, and bullet points help a large amount of information quickly. It is also important to note that your font size should not go below size 12, as anything smaller than that can be too hard to read.
a. Tone & Wording
The introduction and conclusion should be just as formal - refrain from words such as “hi!”, “hello!”, and “bye!” and opt for phrases such as “good afternoon,” “sincerely,” and “regards.”
Be sure to always be friendly in emails. Your word choice should not come across as harsh or rude, but rather inviting and welcoming.
3. Follow Ups and Responding
If your recipient has not responded to you after at least four days, sending a follow up email would serve you well. You can simply forward the prior message you sent, but add a little paragraph along the lines of: “[greeting], my name is [insert name] and I sent you an email regarding [insert topic] a few days ago. I was wondering if you had had a chance to look over it. Looking forward to getting to know you and potentially working with you in the future!” While this is just a template for a scenario that would not always work, it is a good starting point..
When you receive replies or emails, it is general etiquette to respond within two to three days at the latest. This shows your interest and timeliness to those who you are in contact with.
Crafting, sending, and receiving emails can be difficult when you first start, but through practice and following these tips and tricks, it gets a lot easier! Below is a picture with general guidelines for reference!
By Ananya Kanuparthy