With every email, you create you have the opportunity to communicate with clarity. The onus is on you, as the author, to ensure that the intent and tone you wish to relay is what comes across to those you email.
With every email, you write there is a risk of being misunderstood. Or giving a less than positive impression by not paying attention to detail.
Think about it…
With email, you lose the benefit of eye contact, body language, a firm handshake, or a smile. So we need to compensate for that by being clear and concise with every aspect of our emails.
Take the time to create emails that have these 5 Essential Elements firmly in place. You then can make sure that your meaning is not detracted from and minimize any possible negative perceptions and misunderstandings.
5 Email Essentials to Integrate
Every email you write should have these 5 Essential Elements covered:
- The From Field: Display your name properly. John F. Doe. Not john f doe, or john doe, j. doe. Proper capitalization is very important. When your name is in all lower case you can be perceived as a spammer or worse yet – lacking education or tech savvy.
- The Subject Line: A short, sweet and well thought out Subject is crucial. Your Subject field will determine if your email even gets opened. Keep your Subject to 5-7 words that accurately identify the topic and context of your email. Modify the Subject field in ongoing conversations to reflect when the direction or topic of the conversation has changed.
- The Greeting: Without a greeting at the beginning of your email you risk being viewed as bossy or terse. Take the time to include a Hello, or Hi and the recipient’s name. How you type your contact’s 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 overly 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 get an indication of how those you communicate with prefer to be addressed by how they sign-off their emails.
- The Body: Taking the time to communicate with clarity is time well spent. Complete, correctly structured and capitalized sentences that reflect proper grammar and punctuation are crucial to your message. Typing in all lower case or all caps does not lend to easy communications and gives the impression you are either lazy or illiterate. Review and spell-check every message before clicking Send. Read your email out loud to ensure you are relaying the intended tone.
- 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 objective of your message. By not having a proper closing you increase the possibility that your email will be perceived as demanding or curt. Without exception close by including your name to put that final considerate touch to your emails.
Make an effort to integrate these 5 essential elements in every email you send, and you will contribute to the perception that you are tech-savvy, courteous, and a pleasure to communicate with. When it comes to email, it’s all about communicating with knowledge, understanding, and courtesy.