In today’s world, most business communication happens through email. You could be building or destroying your career based on how you write and send your professional emails.
For instance, using slang, informal salutations and emoticons on your business emails can make you seem unprofessional.
On top of this, your intent can be misunderstood over email because recipients can’t observe your body language. This is why it is an important skill to know how to write an email to an employer, client, colleague, or other professionals.
Writing unprofessional emails can cost you a lucrative job position or sales deal. Read on for our tips on how to write a professional email that will help you stand out and advance in your career.
Your Subject Line Should Be a Call to Action
The first tip for how to write an email to an employer, colleague, or professional contact is to write an informative subject line. The subject gives your recipient an idea of what your email is about, what you need from them, and how urgent it is.
The most effective subject lines are calls to action that tell recipients exactly what you need from them. Examples of good subject lines could be, “Input required for Marketing Proposal” or “Minutes from Monday’s Meeting.” Emails without subject lines can be confused as spam and end up getting deleted or ignored before your message is read.
Use a Proper Greeting
After the subject, the next thing your recipient will see is your greeting. You can offend your recipient with the email greeting that you use. For example, getting their name wrong, misspelling their name, or using a wrong title could raise their guard against you.
Also, use the right level of formality based on your familiarity with the recipient. You can get away with using “hi” when writing to a colleague. But for potential clients or other professional contacts, it is safer to start with “Dear”.
Most people are okay with using their first names but use surnames for conservative recipients. Always include a greeting in your emails because leaving it out will make you come across as rude.
Stick to the Point
Work emails should be brief and straight to the point. Society is fast-paced and business people only skim the many emails they receive daily. Going round in circles without conveying your message may cause recipients to click out of your email before they get your message.
To keep your emails concise, it is important to identify your goal for sending it and your expected response from the recipient. This way, after your greeting you can directly state your purpose and ask for what you need from the recipient without beating around the bush.
Use short simple sentences and take out filler words and unnecessary explanations. It’s recommended to keep emails less than two paragraphs long.
Keep a Formal Email Structure
Another consideration for how to write an email to an employer is to pay attention to your content structure. Use simple but grammatically correct language. Stay away from unnecessary complex vocabulary as this will can sometimes make your email hard to read. You should also steer clear of slang and emoticons as this makes you look unprofessional.
With regards to font, it is safer to use classic fonts such as Arial and Times New Roman. The text color should also be black or blue. Avoid using hard to read or playful fonts and colors like pink and green.
Don’t overuse bold lettering and exclamation marks. Also, stick to one font size and type to avoid making your email look cluttered. Emails with all caps will make you come across as angry and overexcited so use normal lettering.
Proofread your email before sending it out. Emails that have spelling errors will spoil your professional image. If your email is going out to important stakeholders, get a trusted colleague to read through it as well to reduce errors.
Finally, make sure your email has a signature that shows your full name, position, contact details, and company logo. This makes it easier for your recipient to call you if they need to.
Tailor Your Style to Your Audience
To communicate effectively through email, you must know your audience and their writing style. For example, emails within a startup could be informal and straight to the point. Colleagues may also be okay responding with short one-word emails.
But a large corporate organization may have a more formal style of communication. You may need to address clients by their title and last names as well as use formal salutations. Using the wrong communication style for your audience may turn off your recipient and make them less receptive to your message.
Keep A Record Of Important Emails
Always keep sent copies of your emails as you never know when the information may be required. Sometimes you may need to provide legal proof that you sent out an email.
For example, emails about employee performance or when making customer service complaints. In case you need to present proof of sent email you can print them out using an HTML to pdf printer such as PDF ASP.NET.
How To Address Your Boss In An Email
When drafting an email to your boss always keep a respectful tone no matter how friendly your relationship may be. Always use their title and last name unless they prefer to be addressed with their first name. Use your boss’s communication style but, as with other formal emails, it is best to stay away from slang and emoticons.
Master How to Write an Email to an Employer
Knowing how to write an email to an employer is an essential skill for quality communication. There is a certain level of professionalism and a variety of protocols that you should follow to keep up a good reputation. Follow our guidelines for writing proper business emails to ensure you don’t destroy your professional image.