How to write a professional work email

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For those who have been in a professional workplace for years writing an work email comes naturally, but it takes time to learn how to do it right. Here are 10 tips on how to write a professional work email:

1. Make Your Point:

Put your main point in the opening sentence. Just like you, the person your writing has a million emails to tick through before the day is done. Let them know you value their time by sticking to the point. There is no need to include chit chat and what you did over the weekend. Save that for the water cooler. This is a work email; Treat it as such.

2. Stay on the Subject Line:

Do you always have trouble trying to come up with an appropriate subject line? You’re not alone.

If you’re not sure what to write in the subject line, write the email first. Then go back and pick a subject line that explains the subject matter of your email the best. It is best to be precise here.

“Parking Fee Due April 11th” rather than “Parking Fee”

Flexible Scheduling - Work Email

3. DON’T USE ALL CAPITALS

Using all capitals in a work email to make something stand out can come across as rude, pushy or that you’re yelling at the reader. It’s best to leave them out completely. Figure out a way to explain what you’re trying to say in a more appropriate way. For example, if you need to point something out, you might just make that information bold rather than writing it in all caps. 

Parking fee due April 11th” rather than “PARKING FEE DUE APRIL 11TH”

4. Text Mail:

Texting language such as LOL, AFK or emoji’s are not meant for professional work emails. If you are using these tactics to make sure your email is friendly and polite, you have the right idea, but the execution is what needs work. Try to practice writing work emails that are kind and polite without the use of these fillers. Which brings us to…

5. Say “Please” and “Thank You”:

Have you ever sent a message to a friend and they thought it came across rude when you weren’t trying to be rude at all? We all have our moods and you never know how your reader will interpret your email. To keep interpretations easy, always add “Please” and “Thank You” to make it clear that you are being polite and respectful.

Work Email

6. Add a Signature:

Make sure you have your professional email signature added to the bottom of your email. Normally, this would include your name, position title, email address, phone number (either direct or company), possibly a fax number and the web address to your company website.

Listing this at the bottom of every email correspondence makes it easier for your reader to communicate back with you in all the ways they may need.

Also, if you reply to emails on your desktop and mobile device you’ll need to make sure that your signatures match up. Otherwise, it’s a dead giveaway that you are replying from your phone!

7. Edit, Edit, Edit.

And then edit some more.

Make sure you proofread your emails every time. Typos and grammatical errors in emails can make you seem lazy, uneducated and unprofessional… none of which you should want associated with your name.

Furthermore, you might realize after a read-through that you forgot a valuable piece of information. There’s nothing worse than writing an email and then realizing you need to send a follow up moments later to correct your mistakes.

work email

8. Think ahead:

Are you making any assumptions with your writing? What information might help your reader to make informed decisions about the questions you’re asking? How do you expect the reader to respond? What might they ask for next?

Try to be one step ahead of your reader and be efficient. If you think you might be able to provide extra details or resources that can help speed up your work, add it in. If they don’t end up needing it, no harm done, but leaving it out could drag on the conversation longer than needed.

Think ahead.

9. CC or BCC:

Have a manager? Most of us do. If you’re working on a project with other colleagues or managers, make sure to CC or BCC them in on conversations you’re having. 

Need to include someone to the email string without the others knowing? That’s what BCC is for. Make sure you use the correct inclusion before sending the email. You wouldn’t want to send out email addresses to the wrong recipients.

Human Approach - work email

10. Be on Time.

You should always reply to work emails within 24 hours. If you need more time, reply to the email letting the person know when you will be able to have an answer for them. This lets the person know that you have received the email and are in the process of sorting things out. It also allows them to tell their team when answers will be back to them. This will keep everyone organized!

We hope these 10 tips on how to write a professional work email have helped you. Have some tips that aren’t listed in this article? Leave them in a comment below!

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