Learn How to Write a Professional E-Mail
Many of us write emails informally and we rarely think deeply about what we are writing.
We type messages with a sandwich in our hand, confirm a meeting while ordering products and send emails while performing a variety of other tasks.
That’s fine when you’re emailing your family and friends, but it’s not a good idea when you’re doing business.
Whether you’re a C-level executive or own a small business, you need to create your email correspondence with care and ingenuity.
Keep your words professional, use proper business etiquette and don’t forget email signatures.
Remember, email communication helps you build rapport with your prospects and customers by communicating with them sometimes daily. Why not create a professional reputation that makes you stand out from your competitors?
Check out seven tips that will get the job done!
1. Keep Your Emails Short
The typical professional receives over 100 emails per day. And it’s likely that your prospect is one of those professionals.
Writing long-winded emails, especially regularly can annoy your clients, be a turnoff and go right to the trash.
On the other hand, brief emails show you respect the receiver’s time and are more likely to be read.
Make sure your emails have a purpose, a clear goal, and a focus. This will help you keep your emails short.
2. Know Your Client’s Communication Preferences
Does your client prefer to converse by email or by the old fashioned way–the telephone?
It’s easy to think in our world of digital that everyone likes email contact, but that’s not the case.
Some business professionals prefer speaking on the telephone, in person or by video conferences like Skype or Google Hangouts.
Prior to building a relationship via email, ask your client their communication preferences. Don’t send them an email because it’s quicker and more convenient for you. Show your prospect you listen and want to make their day simpler.
3. Respond To Email Inquiries Within 24 Hours
It’s a good practice to answer your client’s questions within a day. Your customer shouldn’t have to guess if you’re going to return their email. Making a client wait too long will make them question your professionalism.
If you’ll be out of the office, make sure to create an autoresponder. Even better if you can refer your client to someone who will answer their question while you’re away.
Customers want to know they’re the top priority and that their business needs matter.
4. A Professional Email Should Have A Conversational Tone
Always be friendly when writing emails. The last thing a client wants to read is a stiff email. In contrast, you don’t want to be too informal and ramble on about your personal life.
Make the tone of your email personable and relaxed. Places you can practice this is in a friendly salutation and closing.
Closing an email with something like “have a great weekend” lets your client know you’re personable.
5. Value Client Confidentiality
Customers working with you trust you will keep their private business information confidential. That’s why it’s important to avoid sharing your client’s email messages, email attachments, contact details and files without their consent.
This shows your clients you respect their confidentiality. Failing to respect this confidentiality is a sure way to lose your client’s trust.
6. Keep Your Correspondence Organized.
No client wants to scroll through lines of text and email threads wondering how and where they need to respond.
Keep your emails free of clutter, keep information clear and format text that communicates important points and actions that must be taken.
Here are some tips to keep your emails focused and clutter free.
Write a focused subject line
Your subject line should summarize your email. This way your client knows what to expect when reading your email. Things off topic should be sent in a separate email with a distinctive subject line.
Make sure to create a new subject line so your client can identify the email. Otherwise, they can get lost and lose your message.
A catchy subject line increases an open rate. Here’s how to write one.
Put the Important Information Up Front
Any essential information should be at the beginning of your email. Include the details organized for each section so the customer can take the appropriate action.
Also, address any questions related to the topic of each section. Never add the questions at the bottom of an email you have discussed earlier. Organizing your email in an orderly manner lets your clients know you respect their time.
You can format essential ideas by using formatting techniques such as bold and italic fonts and underlining text.
If your brain feels foggy and muddled from the stress of the day, step away, clear your mind and write your email with a clear head. If you’re confused, it’s likely your client will also be confused.
7. Review Your Email Before You Hit Send
Have you ever hit send and realized you forgot something in your email (like an attachment) or reread it and felt like you could have said it better?
I know I have.
That’s why it’s a good idea to proofread your professional email carefully before you hit send.
Along with the content of your email, check for spelling, grammar. Then make sure you include the right attachments to the message. Check the filename. Especially when working on multiple versions.
Send an email to yourself first. Then read it. Review it and you’ll know it’s good to go.
Final Thoughts on Writing A Professional Email
Incorporating these tips and strategies about business emails and etiquette can make a big difference in building client relationships and creating the trust that leads to sales and happy returning customers.
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