Effective email writing skills

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Effective email writing skills

  1. 1. Writing Effective E- Mails - Some Tips
  2. 2. 2 Tip 1: Make the Subject Line clearand concise When someone scans through a new email, the only thing he/she initially reads is the subject line. Thishelpstherecipient to decidewhether to open, forward, file, or trash amessage. So makesure:-  TheSubject clearly summarizesyour e-mail’sintentions.  Keep it short - you never know how widethetext display on theperson's email reader is- long subject lineswill get truncated.  Don't ever send an email with an empty subject line.  Don't havethesubject as"Hi" or "Hello there" unlessthepurposeof your email isto simply say hello. If your reply is no t relevant at all to the subject line, start a new thread with aIf your reply is no t relevant at all to the subject line, start a new thread with a fresh subject line whichmo re accurately reflects the e-mail’ s actual co ntents.fresh subject line whichmo re accurately reflects the e-mail’ s actual co ntents.
  3. 3. 3 Example of a Bad Subject Line : Subject: Meeting Hi Jim, I just wanted to remind you about the meeting we have scheduled next week. Do let me know if you have any questions! Best wishes, Mark
  4. 4. 4 Example of a Good Subject Line : Subject: Reminder of 10am Meeting Sched. 10/05 on PASS Process. Hi Jim, I just wanted to remind you about the meeting we have scheduled for Monday, October 5, at 10:00am. It's being held in conference room A, and we'll be discussing the new PASS Process. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch (x3024). Best Wishes, Mark
  5. 5. 5 Tip 2: Use an appropriate greeting The first line of youremail should be a greeting, followed by an empty line and then yourmessage body.  If it isthefirst timeyou areemailing somebody, "Hi (name),“ or Dear (name) should bepreferred. Salutations are tricky, especially if you are crossing cultures. Frequently, titlesaredifferent for men and women, and you may not beableto tell which you areaddressing. Thefamily nameisfirst in someculturesand last in others. Honorificsmay vary based on status, ageor region. Makesureyou havegot all thisright beforeyou proceed with theemail. E.g.: It issafer to use"Ms." instead of "Miss" or "Mrs." unlessyou know the preferenceof thewoman in question.
  6. 6. 6 Tip 3: The Page Layout Usually people find it hard to read words on a computerscreen than on paper.  To makeyour email easy to read :-  1. Use ShorterParagraphs - Consider breaking up paragraphsto only afew sentencesapiece. That way thereaderscan easily seenew paragraphsas they end and begin. They don't haveto scroll. 2. Use Less Words - Long sentencesarenot appropriatefor most e-mail, especially businesse-mail. Keep your sentencesto amaximum of 12-15 words. 3. Keep it Short - A good ruleof thumb isto keep everything on one"page" or one"screen." In most casesthismeansabout 20-30 lines. 4. Provide blank lines between each paragraph.
  7. 7. 7 Tip 4: Formatting  Put all important details at the top of the email body (oreven better, in the Subject line). Don't bury akey pieceof information in alarge paragraph and expect abusy person to extract it upon first reading. Thelarger theparagraph (and themoreparagraphsthereare), themorelikely arethe chancesof thereader missing aparticular point you aretrying to make.  Keep the rest of the email short (8 sentences max.). After you've madeyour main point, therest of thesentencesin your email should provide additional supporting information. Yourgoalis tohavethepersonreadyouremailandhopefullyrespondtoit withinashorttimeperiod, sokeepyoure-mailas shortas possibletomakeit easierforyourreadertocomprehend.
  8. 8. 8 Tip 5: Keep the message focused and readable.  Often recipientsonly read partway through along message, hit "reply" assoon asthey havesomething to contribute, and forget to keep reading. Thisispart of human nature. If youre-mail contains multiple messages that areonly loosely related, in order to avoid therisk that your reader will reply only to thefirst item that grabs hisor her fancy, you could numberyourpoints to ensurethey areall read. The final sentence - Eitherprovide something concrete to reply to or make it clearthat a reply is not necessary. E.g.: "Pleaselet meknow what appointment timeswork best for you." or "I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at 1pm in my office."
  9. 9. 9 Example depicting Multiple Messages – Not Preferred Subject: Revisions For Sales Report Hi Jackie, Thanks for sending in that report last week. I read through it yesterday and feel that you need more specific information regarding our sales figures in Chapter 2. I also felt that the tone could be a bit more formal. The report is going to be read by our Executive Team, and needs to reflect our professionalism. Also, I wanted to let you know that I've scheduled a meeting with the PR department for this Friday, regarding the new ad campaign. It's at 11:00, and will be in the small conference room. Please let me know if you can make that time. Thanks! Monica
  10. 10. 10 Multiple reasons to be sent as 2 emails Subject: Revisions For Sales Report Hi Jackie, Thanks for sending in that report last week. I read through it yesterday and feel that you need more specific information regarding our sales figures in Chapter 2. I also felt that the tone could be a bit more formal. The report is going to be read by our Executive Team, and needs to reflect our professionalism. Thanks for your hard work on this! Monica AND
  11. 11. 11 Email 2 Subject: Friday 10/9, 11am Meeting w/PR Dept Hi Jackie, I wanted to let you know that I've scheduled a meeting with the PR department for this Friday, 10/9, regarding the new ad campaign. It's at 11:00am, and will be in the small conference room. Please let me know if you can make that time. Thanks! Monica
  12. 12. 12 Specify the Response You Want Bad Example From: reliablelandscapes@domain.com Subject: Proposal Lynn, Did you get my proposal last week? I haven't heard back and wanted to make sure. Can you please call me so we can discuss? Thanks! Peter
  13. 13. 13 Good Example Subject: Checking On Reliable Landscapes Proposal Dear Lynn, I just wanted to check that you have received the landscaping proposal I emailed to you last week. I haven't heard back and wanted to make sure it went through. Can you please call me by Thursday so we can discuss? This is when our discount offer expires, and I want to make sure you don't miss it! The quickest way to contact me is by cell phone. Thanks! Peter Schuell, Owner Reliable Landscaping, Inc. 555.135.4598 (office) 555.135.2929 (cell)
  14. 14. 14 Tip 6: Use Appropriate Language 1. Do not use:- (a) Smilies. E.g.: :-), :-( etc. (b) Abbreviations. E.g.: IIRC for "if I recall correctly", BTW for “by the way”, LOL for "laughing out loud," etc. (c) Non-standard spellings (likethat found in instant messaging or chat rooms). E.g.: gimme(giveme), tht (that), dificlt (difficult), vil (will), etc. These linguistic sho rtcuts are generally signs o f friendly intimacy so are no t co nsidered appro priate fo r business e-mails. 2. All-caps means shouting. Regardlessof your intentions, peoplewill interpret thisasyour being aggressive. 3. Use active instead of passive. Try to usetheactivevoiceof averb wherever possible. For instance, 'Wewill takecareof your request today', soundsbetter than 'Your request will betaken careof today'.
  15. 15. 15 Tip 7: Proof-read If you are sending a message that will be read by a client, orsomeone higherup on the chain of command (a superiorora manager, for instance), orif you're about to mass-mail dozens orthousands of people, take an extra minute ortwo before you hit "send".  Poor spelling and grammar show alack of attention to detail and sendsthe wrong messageabout yourself and how you do business.  By reading your e-mail over beforeyou send it you can catch and correct all sortsof mistakesbeforethey get to therecipient and possibly createabad impression or put you and/or your company in hot water.  Spell checker won't catch every mistake, at thevery least it will catch afew typos. If youareaskingsomeoneelsetodoworkforyou, takethetimetomake yourmessagelookprofessional.
  16. 16. 16 Tip 8: Use the "To:" and "Cc:" fields appropriately Usually it isimplied that if you haveincluded someonein the "To:" field, then he/sheisan intended recipient and should reply if required.  If someoneisin the"Cc:" field, then theemail ismerely an FYI ('for your information') for him/her, and he/sheisnot expected to reply.  If you want aparticular person to reply to aspecific part of your email, make that clear (e.g., "Sarah, could you forward melast week'sbudget?"), or if you want everyoneto reply, you can say something like"I would appreciate everyone'sfeedback about my ideas." When an email hasmorethan onerecipient, thereisthedanger of nobody replying becauseeveryonethinksthat someoneelsehasalready replied. That is why "Reply to All"might beagood ideato show that you havealready replied so that somebody elsedoesnot later duplicatetheinformation you havejust provided.
  17. 17. 17 Lets summarize:- DO’s :-  Write an informative subject line.  Be courteous.  Put the key point of yourmessage up front.  Be brief.  Make it easy forthe readerto reply yes orno orgive a short answer.  End well with an appropriate next step.  Wait and check before pressing 'send' – Proof-read.  Make yourself look good online because youremail can be forwarded to anyone oreveryone else in the company oranywhere.  Respond promptly.
  18. 18. 18 Lets summarize:- DON’Ts :-  Don't leave the Subject Line blank.  Don't use all capital letters.  Don't use emoticons orabbreviations.  Don't send without checking formistakes.  Don’t assume that people have time to read yourentire message.  Don’t think that an e-mail is good foreverything.  Don’t write an e-mail when you are rushed.
  19. 19. 19 Exercise : Situation : Your monthly mobile bill was of Rs.1870 for the billing cycle 14th Jan-14th Feb and while performing the online transaction Rs.2000 was deducted from your account number. Task : Write an email to the concerned service provider and ask for a refund or adjustment of the extra amount paid in the next billing cycle. The email must stage the following : To : CC: BCC: Subject :
  20. 20. 20 Exercise 2 : Situation : You had appeared for an interview for the post of Business Development Executive at Genpact, Hyderabad. Task : Send a Thank you note via an email to the Company Official who had interviewed you on the same day for the post of Business Development Executive. The email must stage the following : To : CC: BCC: Subject :
  21. 21. 21 Exercise 3: Situation : It was already informed to the participants that the meeting would be conducted on 15th Mar’2013 at 4.30pm in the Firangi Pani Conference Hall, Hotel Park. Because of some reasons the Venue has been changed to Aryabhatta Hall, Hotel Marriot. Task: Write a mail to the participants stating the change in venue. To : CC: BCC: Subject :
  22. 22. THANK YOU 

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