With every business email you have the opportunity to make a positive impact. To impress and to let your contacts know you are the one to trust with their hard earned dollars.
The onus is on you, as the author, to make sure that the intent and tone you wish to relay is what comes across to those you email. In a way that promotes that you are a professional in your field. These perceptions do not happen on their own.
Professional? Credible? Trustworthy?
With every email you run the risk of giving a less than positive impression by not paying attention to details. This happens when you are in a rush or not structuring your email properly or not choosing your words carefully.
Remember, in email you lose the benefit of eye-contact, body language, a firm handshake or a smile. By taking the time to craft emails that have these 5 Essential Email Elements firmly in place, you make sure your message is not detracted from.
All the while minimizing possible negative perceptions and misunderstandings. Above all, showing how it will be easy to rely on and communicate with you.
Every email you write should have these 5 Essential Elements covered:
1. The From Field:
Your name needs to be displayed properly. John F. Doe. Not john f doe, or john doe, j. doe or no name at all and only your email address.
Proper capitalization is very important. When your name is in all lower case you open the door to being perceived a spammer or worse yet – lacking education or tech savvy.
2. The Subject Line:
A short, sweet and well thought out Subject is crucial. In some cases can help to make sure your email gets opened.
Keeping your Subject to 5-7 words that accurately identify the topic and context of your email is imperative. Do not hesitate to modify the Subject field in ongoing conversations to show when the direction or topic of the conversation has changed.
3. The Greeting:
Without a greeting at the beginning of your email you risk being viewed as bossy or terse. Always include a Hello, or Hi and the recipient’s name.
How you greet your contact by name (John, Mr. Doe, etc.) is indicative of the level of formality your email will portray. Be careful to not take the liberty of being informal too quickly.
Let the other side dictate the level of formality and follow their lead. After all, formality is just another form of courtesy! You can usually get an indication of how those you communicate with prefer to be addressed by how they sign-off their emails.
4. The Body:
Taking the time to communicate with clarity is time well spent! Complete, correctly structured and capitalized sentences that show proper grammar and punctuation are crucial to your message.
Typing in all lower case or all caps does not lend to easy communications. Nor does shortening words “u” for you, or ru for “are you” or “i” in lieu of “I”.
Leave those shortcuts for your personal email communications. You don’t want to provide the impression you are either lazy or illiterate. Review and spell-check every message (twice) before clicking Send.
5. The Closing:
Whether it be “Thank you for your time!”, “Sincerely”, “Look forward to hearing from you!” or “Warm regards,” use what is consistent with the tone and goal of your message.
When you do not include a proper closing, you increase the possibility that your email will be seen as demanding or curt. Without exception close by including your name to put that last considerate touch to each email.
Efforts Made = Success
When you make the effort to integrate these 5 essential elements in every email you send, you will contribute to the impression that you are tech savvy, courteous and a pleasure to communicate with.
And, the best part of all is that your business’ bottom line will reflect these efforts too. When it comes to email it’s all about communicating in a manner that encourages folks to want to do business with you.