You can usually do this in one sentence. One way of keeping introductions brief is to write them like you're meeting face-to-face. You wouldn't go off into a five-minute monologue when meeting someone in person. So don't do it in email. Not sure whether an introduction is needed? Maybe you've contacted the recipient before, but you're not sure if she'll remember you. You can leave your credentials in your email signature. This is ideal because:. Talking of signatures, make sure you've set one up.
It's a shorthand way of sharing information that you should include in every email. But putting this information in your signature, you keep the body of your emails short. Optionally, you can include links to your social media accounts, and a one-sentence elevator pitch on how you help people.
In every email you write, you should use enough sentences to say what you need and no more. A helpful practice here is limiting yourself to five sentences. There will be times when it's impossible to keep an email to five sentences.
But in most cases, five sentences are sufficient. Embrace the five sentences discipline, and you'll find yourself writing emails more quickly. You'll also get more replies. What's the key to keeping your emails short? Using a standard structure. This is a template that you follow for every email you write. As well as keeping your emails short, following a standard structure also helps you to write fast.
Over time, you'll develop a structure that works for you. Here's a simple structure to get you started:. This is the first line of the email. When you're emailing someone for the first time, then a compliment makes an excellent opener. A well-written compliment can also serve as an introduction. If you're writing to someone you know, then use a pleasantry instead.
A pleasantry is typically a variation on "I hope you're well. As Vinay Patankar of the Abstract Living blog explains:. Ingrain this into your fingers so that you naturally spit it out with each email you write.
You will never have anything to lose by adding in a pleasantry, you will make people more inclined to read the rest of your email, you will soften criticism, and will hit the positive emotions of a few. Most will simply ignore it, but for two seconds of your time, it's definitely worth it.
The reason for your email. In this section you say, "I'm emailing to ask about A call to action. After you've explained your reason for emailing, don't assume the recipient will know what to do. Structuring your request as a question encourages the recipient to reply. Alternatively, you can use the line "let me know when you've done that" or "let me know if that's okay with you. Before you sign off your email, be sure to include a closing line.
This has the dual purpose of re-iterating your call to action, and of making the recipient feel good. Back in , George Orwell advised writers to:. Short words show respect for your reader. By using short words, you've done the hard work of making your message easy to understand. The same is true of short sentences and paragraphs. Avoid writing big blocks of text if you want your email to be clear and easily understood.
This leads to another of George Orwell's rules for writing, which can help you keep your sentences as short as possible:. Once you've followed your standard email structure, trim every sentence down to be as short as it can be.
The active voice is easier to read. It also encourages action and responsibility. That's because in the active voice, sentences focus on the person taking action. In the passive voice, sentences focus on the object that's being acted upon.
In the passive voice, it can appear that things happen by themselves. In the active voice, things only happen when people take action. Part of the hard work of writing short emails is careful proofreading. Read your email aloud to yourself, checking for spelling and grammar mistakes.
If you want to show your personality in your email, let this shine subtly through your writing style. Don't use emoticons, chat abbreviations such as LOL , or colorful fonts and backgrounds.
While these might have been integral to your emails during your teenage years, they are rarely appropriate in a professional context. The only time it is appropriate to use emoticons or chat abbreviations is when you're mirroring the email language of the person you're writing to. Email is a less formal way of communicating than writing a letter or even making a phone call. Writing as you speak makes you come across as personable and friendly. It also helps you to keep your emails short. After all, few of us speak in extended paragraphs.
Additionally, make sure your emails reflect who you are in the real world. If you wouldn't say something to a person's face, don't say it in an email. And remember to mind your manners.
Keep in mind that learning how to write professional emails is important, but so to is organizing your email inbox. Don't let your inbox become a disorganized mess. Learn how to manage your emails right. Spend less time in your inbox, while processing your messages more professionally.
We have a special offer for you. Discover how to apply the best email management techniques now. What are your top tips for writing clear and professional emails? Let us know in the comments below. One of these professional templates may be just what your next project needs.
How to Write Clear and Professional Emails. Writing Communication Email How-To. This post is part of a series called Writing Effective Business Emails. How to Properly Write a Professional Email With Clear Points Writing emails that are short and to-the-point will reduce the time you spend on email and make you more productive. So what does it take to write clear, concise, and professional emails? Know Your Purpose Clear emails always have a clear purpose. Use the "One Thing" Rule Emails are not the same as business meetings.
With emails, the opposite is true. The less you include in your emails, the better. Practice Empathy Empathy is the ability to see the world through the eyes of other people. Your choice of words, sentence length, punctuation, and capitalization can easily be misinterpreted without visual and auditory cues.
In the first example below, Emma might think that Harry is frustrated or angry, but, in reality, he feels fine. Thanks for all your hard work on that report. Could you please get your version over to me by 5 p. Think about how your email "feels" emotionally.
If your intentions or emotions could be misunderstood, find a less ambiguous way to phrase your words. Finally, before you hit "send," take a moment to review your email for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes.
Your email messages are as much a part of your professional image as the clothes you wear, so it looks bad to send out a message that contains typos. As you proofread, pay careful attention to the length of your email.
People are more likely to read short, concise emails than long, rambling ones, so make sure that your emails are as short as possible, without excluding necessary information. Most of us spend a significant portion of our day reading and composing emails.
But the messages we send can be confusing to others. To write effective emails, first ask yourself if you should be using email at all. Sometimes, it might be better to pick up the phone. Make your emails concise and to the point. Only send them to the people who really need to see them, and be clear about what you would like the recipient to do next. Remember that your emails are a reflection of your professionalism, values, and attention to detail. Try to imagine how others might interpret the tone of your message.
Be polite, and always proofread what you have written before you click "send. This site teaches you the skills you need for a happy and successful career; and this is just one of many tools and resources that you'll find here at Mind Tools. Subscribe to our free newsletter , or join the Mind Tools Club and really supercharge your career! Mind Tools for Your Organization.
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Get your emails noticed for the right reasons by following these six simple steps. Key Points Most of us spend a significant portion of our day reading and composing emails. Add this article to My Learning Plan. Mark article as Complete. Show Ratings Hide Ratings. Comments 99 Over a month ago Midgie wrote. Hi there, Thanks for that feedback.
Glad to hear you found it helpful and hope it makes a difference to your writing. Midgie Mind Tools Team. Over a month ago wrote. Over a month ago BillT wrote. Hi Amir, We hope that you found something in the quiz outcomes that you will be able to use every day. Thank you for your positive comment.
BillT Mind Tools Team. Please let me know if you can make that time. Could you amend it with these comments in mind?
The standards of writing change. What was once correct in business messages now comes across as old-fashioned--or does it? Take this true-false test to check your knowledge of basic formatting standards for business letters and emails.
How many business emails do you write in a day? A lot? If so, you’re not alone. Email is incredibly important in the business world. 92% of people in a study thought email was a valuable tool for working with others. But 64% of people also found that email can cause accidental confusion or.