5 Simple Tips for Better Email Writing

Posted on August 17, 2017 by John H

Whether you are writing a personal or business email, it should be efficient and effective.

Of course, not every email you send will be opened. Some recipients are too busy. Some are not interested. Or, perhaps they just dislike your incoherent ramblings (no offense).

So, what are some ways to improve the quality of your emails?

1. Start by identifying the purpose of your email

This is the foundation for creating an effective message. It is important that you determine the type of email you are sending, its purpose, and your desired outcome. Having a clear intention will enable better communication AND increase the likeliness that your email will warrant the outcome you desire.

2. Write a clear and succinct subject line

The subject line of an email is crucial. It can lead to your email’s success or its downfall. Take a moment to create a meaningful and straightforward subject line that identifies or stresses the reason for the email. If possible, make it so catchy that the recipient can’t resist opening it.

3. Cut to the chase

People want to know what your email is all about in the least possible amount of time. After a short greeting, get to the point and don’t beat around the bush.

4. Make the email body concise

There is a reason why people prefer text messages to email. Keep your email as short as possible with simple sentences and minimal paragraphs.

5. Ensure your email is readable

Proofread for any careless spelling and grammar mistakes. The style of your email will change depending on your recipient, but it’s usually a good idea to put spaces between paragraphs and stick to a clean layout.

Try these simple tips and gauge your emails responsiveness going forward!

About the author

John M specializes in science reporting and medical reporting at three daily newspapers, and medical public affairs work at a major tertiary medical center and a medical school. He later branched into teaching writing. First, Reader taught medical reporting at the master’s level at Boston University, directing their program on science journalism. He later began teaching freshmen to write, and in response to that challenge, developed and tested a new method of writing instruction that rapidly improves the writing habits of most students. He now freelances as a science and technology editor. Major clients include: Harvard School of Public Health; Dartmouth College Microbiology Program; University of Michigan School of Public Health; Seyfarth Seyfarth Shaw LLC, Boston; Nobis Engineering, Lowell, Massachusetts. He is represented by the Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency.


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