You’ve spent five precious minutes writing an important business email and your mouse is poised over that send or reply button. But wait! Want some business email tips? Before you send your email out into the great unknown, go down this handy checklist.
Business Email Tips - A Checklist
Is your tone friendly?
Emails tend to strip the emotion out of any conversation. If you’re sending a stern email, that’s fine. But if you’re just sending a normal, friendly email, sometimes you may come across as cold or demanding. Even if it feels like padding, don’t be afraid to use some polite framing phrases. Some examples include:
* "I'd love it if you could..." * "Would you be able to..." * "I'd be much obliged if..."
And smileys are your friends. Don’t over smiley your message. That’s just creepy. But a :) every now and then makes your email seem like it’s coming from a real person.
Is your deadline clear?
Have you set a clear deadline for when you need something? Even if it just seems like picking an arbitrary date, you’re more likely to get an answer with a deadline, then if you just write “soon.” “Don’t rush” may sound nice. But who knows what you mean by “don’t rush?”
Is important information bolded?
Here’s a great business email tip! Bold important sentences. That will let your reader skim for the stuff you really need them to know like dates, times, and things that really need done.
Will people have to dig back through a thousand emails to remember what you’re talking about?
Sending another email in a long email discussion chain? Especially on that hasn’t been addressed in several days. Make sure you sum up what you’ve discussed so that the other person doesn’t have to waste time digging through old emails.
Is your subject line clear and precise?
Another business email tip. Don’t make your subject line vague. “Hi!” is not a great subject line. Make sure you sum up the main point of your email so that the reader knows exactly what they’re getting into. For instance, if you email your co-worker about the recent rash of coffee filter thefts, make your subject line something like: “Recent Coffee Filter Thefts - What Should We Do?”
Have you proofread your email at least twice?
Now that you’ve made sure that you’ve written your email well, you need to make sure it’s not full of errors. Read that sucker through two more times. I’d also suggest downloading an extra grammar-checking plugin like Grammarly to help you find more subtle errors.
Are people CC’d who shouldn’t be CC’d?
If you’re replying to an email, check the CC and BCC fields to make you’re not including the probable coffee thief in your coffee thief email.
Are you about to click the reply all button?
Don’t. Don’t do it.
Finished with that checklist? Great! Send off your email with pride.
Have other business email tips? Leave them in the comments below.