Online communication dominates in the business world. If written poorly, we could lose our reputation. Before you start applying for a job vacancy, internship or just writing a regular email to your boss, colleague or a business partner, firstly check your own email. It’s very important to avoid any random numbers, pets’ names, nicknames, favorite sport clubs, etc. in your email’s title (such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). Don’t send emails from such an email address, because it gives an extremely bad impression of us. It should include just our First and Last name in it (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, etc.)
Bear in mind that the person you’re sending an email to is a human as well, whose language, culture and humor may differ from yours. Pay a lot of attention to these things if you’re writing to a foreigner, because in other countries certain expressions might have a completely different meaning. Check the meaning of the words in order to avoid any ambiguity or misunderstanding.
Every business email should be short, clear and polite. Email communication can’t, nor it should replace a business meeting. Be brief and clear. Business people have a lot of emails to send and reply to. That’s why we should always put a Subject in an email to reflect its content, because Subjects help them set priorities.
We should start a business email with a usual formal greeting (Dear xxx, To whom it may concern or Dear Mr/Mrs, etc.) and finish it with our e-signature (it should include our First and Last name, position and contact). Before we end our email, we could politely add: “If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to ask”, or “I look forward to hearing from you”, etc. and then formally finish it.
Don’t use abbreviated verb forms such as: I’m, He’s, They’re, etc. Use short sentences in order to get to the point immediately. Also, write in paragraphs, because it’ll be much easier for the reader to follow the content of the email. Avoid using all CAPS. It’s considered as you were yelling at the person you’re writing to. Everybody says how they already know about this rule, but trust me, they tend to break it, especially if they write in a hurry (one tip: never write in a hurry. Sit and think before you start writing a business letter/email). However, if there’s something important what you’d like to put the stress on, just bold or underline it. Moreover, reduce using smilies to a minimum. It should be a formal email without unnecessary decoration, coloring, styling and “special effects”.
If the email you received is very important, and you aren’t able to respond immediately to it, just confirm to the sender that you received it and send a brief response explaining the delay. It’s a nice and polite gesture.
Last, but certainly not least, emails are full of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Spelling is of a huge importance. Therefore, make sure to read the content once or twice before sending it. However, not only should we check the content, but also, WHO we’re sending it to. We don’t want some important information to be sent to the wrong people.