Electronic mails have transcended from being a mere medium of communication to an official platform where vital decisions are made in a short span of time. It has become an unavoidable conduit in the internet era and became especially relevant in the current times when most of the official businesses are done online.
The importance of drafting an excellent email is now more than ever. Let’s look at a few mistakes that we generally make while writing an Email and see the probable solution.
Inappropriate / Absent subject line
The subject is one of the most important and yet the most overlooked element of an e-mail. People tend to write long, vague subject lines. An absent subject line is a big no and is considered off-limits as per the email writing etiquette.
A proper, indicative subject line should convey the content of your e-mail in three or four words. This will not only increase the chances of your mail being read but also helps the reader to have a better understanding of the content. Unchanged subject line
While writing an email, it is important to change the subject line every time you start a new discussion. As mentioned earlier, this will make the reader more aware, and on top of that, it will be easier to locate the mail in future. Many people make this mistake of tailing over the same thread every time they send an e-mail. It should be avoided by paying attention to the details before sending them.
Long gone are days when you have to address each other with a “Respected Sir/Madam”. Working space has become more congenial and friendly; all forms of communications should reflect that. While it is acceptable to begin with, “Dear Sir/Madam”, you can use their name or simply “Sir/Madam”.
It is highly recommended to be gender-neutral when you are not sure who will read your mail. In such cases, beginning by addressing the designation will be safer and acceptable. You can begin by saying “Dear Editor/CEO”. While you try to retract from being formal, do not be too informal.
Not Explaining attachments
Most of the e-mails will contain at least one attachment, and we tend to limit ourselves by making a statement that a document has been attached. This is a mistake that will leave the reader confused and waste their time. Instead, make it a point to mention what is it in the attachments. Again, this should be kept crisp and should not be long.
Improper/absent closing lines and signing off
Our overconfidence in the typing speed of our names or getting carried away with the content of the e-mail can be detrimental. An incorrect, inappropriate or absent closing statement can give a very bad impression to the reader.
It can make the whole point that you were trying to go vain. Before you sign off, it is important to reiterate the request or content you have put forth. And never forget to write your name while signing off.
Language is a very powerful tool, and we should never underestimate it. E-mails are generally meant for and not limited to formal communications like requests and confirmations. However, people tend to be more informal to look more friendly and cool.
One should completely avoid using any informal language. This includes short forms, emojis, and abbreviations like can’t, shouldn’t etc. Make sure to be formal when it comes to addressing the person as well as the content. Today, being formal is more about striking a perfect balance between being formal and informal.
The tone of the mail means the way in which the receiver reads the mail. Getting the wrong tone is one mistake that people tend to make while concentrating on being formal. The right choice of words can control this.
It should be ensured that while being formal, the tone does not get authoritative or aggressive. Be careful to include words that make your content sound confident and polite.
Many people write long emails that narrate their whole background, context and whatnot. Writing long emails are both ineffective and unattractive. Mails should be used as a way to put across your requirements in a crisp and concise manner.
The reader should be able to understand the core of your mail in the first read itself. Ideally, the structure should flow as self-introduction, content and conclusion. Make it a point to conclude the mail in less than 200 words. Spelling and grammatical mistake
There can be nothing as bad as making a silly yet evident mistake in your grammar or spelling in any mail. This happens when your thought processes and typing speed does not align.
It is advisable to use software like Grammarly or any other inbuilt or external aids while you type the mail. Make it a point to not blindly follow them. Giving it to someone for proofreading is also helpful when the mail is not an emergency.
Summing up the whole mail, we tend to ignore an important step - overview. Before you hit the send button, ensure that all details are presented correctly, and the mail is being sent to the right person.
All the steps mentioned above have to be cross-checked at least once before confirming on sending it. An Email is too important to be messed up at the last moment. And never reply to all recipients in the group if the message is meant for only one.
There is no doubt in the fact that the significance of mails are increasing day by day. It is a very effective way to put yourself as a person. When you can portray yourselves in the best way possible through an email, make sure you put your best foot forward.
What are common email blunders you don't want to make?
Choosing a vague subject line, Adding the wrong people in cc and Forgetting to proofread are some of the common email blunders you should avoid.
What are some email etiquette rules?
Watch your grammar, spelling and punctuation, Choose your subject wisely and Reply to emails promptly these are some email etiquettes you should consider while writing an email.
What are the most common errors while writing an email?
Not Writing Proper Subject Lines, Using the Wrong Tone of Voice and Using Abbreviations and Emojis are some of the most common mistakes people make while writing an email.
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