Key elements for writing top-notch emails

This article was published in the May 2024 edition of NTEA News.

In today’s fast-paced environment, email is a key form of communication. Below are some pointers to keep in mind for crafting a well-written message.

  1. Brevity is best. Nowadays, it’s common for people to work not only from their computer, but also from their mobile devices. Keep your messages brief and to the point. Long emails that contain information not relevant to the topic make it more difficult for the recipient.
  2. Proofread, proofread, proofread! Despite how tempting it may be to reel off a quick email, take a beat to ensure the message is free of typos and grammatical errors before you hit that Send button. If including documents in an email, ensure they are attached and are the documents you intend to send.
  3. Be mindful of the tone. It’s very easy for intended tone to be misconstrued. Avoid adding humor and aggressive wording. For example, comments along the line of “As per my previous email” are often unnecessary and might put the recipient on the defensive. On the other hand, do close out with a thoughtful phrase such as “Thank you,” “Respectfully,” “Sincerely,” etc.
  4. Respond in a timely fashion. If someone asks a question or assigns a task, acknowledge receipt even if you can’t complete the task or answer the question right away. If you’re able to work on it right away, indicate that instead.
  5. STOP YELLING! Most of us work in a variety of systems throughout the day, and some systems require the caps lock to be on. Be mindful of this, and turn it off when not needed. Writing in all caps is the equivalent of yelling or emphasizing a point.

Email isn’t going away, and we all use it daily. Corresponding for work purposes should be different than sending text messages to your friends and family. Follow these tips, and you’ll be a pro at sending clear, crisp communication.

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