Author: Dina Barabash, Content Development & Web Specialist
As many of us find ourselves working from home, we are most dependent on email communications. Whether being notified about meeting changes or outreach content that needs editing, back-and-forth email is crucial to staying abreast of any changes taking place throughout the workday. Many would agree that a large part of the day is spent answering, composing or sifting through email. With such a heavy reliance on this form of communication, it is crucial to know the ins-and-outs. Although most professionals have been using email for years, some may be surprised at the common mistakes they have been making ever so often.
First and foremost, begin at the beginning – your subject line. When composing your subject line, make sure it is clear and direct. With so many emails to go through each day, people may decide which to respond to first be based on your subject line. So, make sure it clearly expresses your reason for writing. In short, be as concise as possible.
Now that you know how to begin your email, let’s discuss how to end the email. When concluding your email, be sure to include a call to action. By including your call to action, you will clearly communicate to the recipient what they need to do next. Not only should you include a next step, but you should also include a time or date by which you will need the action completed. For example, end your email with, “Please have your edits to me by EOD tomorrow.” This kind of request specifies what you need done and by when you need it done.
Lastly, be sure to think about the recipient at every stage of your email. When addressing your recipient, begin with Mr., Ms. or Mrs. If you know the recipient well, you may address the recipient by their first name. By using the formal address, you are showing a sign of respect for the reader. Additionally, consider their work schedule when sending your email. If you need a response quickly, be sure to send your email during their most accessible hours, such as at the start of the day or before lunch, rather than your own preferred time. Also, you may want to avoid sending your email toward the end of the day, as the recipient will be wrapping up their day, and may no longer be responding to emails. From the subject line to the call to action and everything in between, be sure to consider your recipient and you are sure to send a quality email that checks all the proper boxes.
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