A poorly written email can completely ruin your professional image and put a negative impact on a professional relationship.
How good do you think you are at composing emails? In this age of Facebook, #Hashtags Instagram, WhatsApp etc. which are considered the primary sources of personal interaction, it’s important to realize that business communication is almost completely done through email. Not only do emails serve as the primary way to converse with other professionals, but they’re also an important tool for business transactions.
Since poorly written emails can seriously ruin your professional reputation, it is imperative to take the time to craft professional, coherent emails that will reflect well on you and your company.
Here are some of the most common and cringe-worthy mistakes to avoid when writing a professional email, from start to finish:
Forgetting to use a greeting or closing
It is necessary to open your email with a greeting, or your email would come off as terse and demanding. The same goes for including a closing line. A simple “Hello Ahmad, I hope you’re well” would suffice to start your email. You may as well begin your email with “dear somebody”. When it comes to closing an email, you wouldn’t simply write your name at the end. Adding something like “Best”, “Wishing you a great day”, “Looking forward to your positive response” or “Best Regards” before your name, would make it sound more friendly and respectful.
Not focusing on the email subject
While writing a professional email, it is as important to craft an email subject as writing the email itself. This is because people get too many emails delivered into their inbox that they hardly get time to read all of them. If your subject line doesn’t clearly tell the recipient about the email’s purpose, it is likely to get overlooked.
The “reply all” dilemma
Though people have learned many of the email etiquette over years, this one grisly bad habit won’t go away: the “reply all” dilemma! You know what I’m talking about. Your head of department or maybe the company’s boss sends an email, or a colleague bids farewell when moving on to next career challenge, to multiple people or the entire staff about something and even if that e-mail was meant to be simply explanatory, or to garner responses only to the sender, inevitably a few of the people on the receiving end simply hit “reply all” and suddenly your in-box starts to fill up with a chattering storm of crap. Please stop using “reply all” as it can be a fatal mistake in business unless your reply is really related to and is intended for all the recipients.
Not monitoring your tone
People can’t hear our tone of voice so we have to remember that all they have is the written word. While writing the email, you need to understand that you are writing for the recipient to understand. This makes phrasing and formatting extremely important to clearly getting your point across. Put a lot of effort in composing an email that says exactly what you want. Besides, your tone doesn’t have to be too formal or too casual. The best way is to put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and read the email before clicking the send button.
Unnecessarily long email
When it comes to email writing we have a tendency to ramble on before making our point or request. Consider how your message will come across to a recipient and try to cut the excess. When you have the opportunity to keep it concise and snappy, do it.
The last thing that is expect of a professional is the grammatical errors in a business email. If your English writing skills are not that good, make sure to get your email proofread by one of your capable colleagues before sending it to your manager or to a client. We all receive so many emails so replete with grammatical errors that it’s easy to assume no one cares. But some people care a lot, and they could include your boss, your board members, or your prospective customers.