Ten Tips for Writing Effective E-mail Messages
- Plan the message before you write it. Before writing, ask yourself, “Why am I writing this – what do I want my reader to know and/or do?” When you have the answer, state it at the beginning of your message – this is your main point.
- Organize the information in your message to support the main point. Delete any unnecessary information. Use short paragraphs and bullet points for lists – these make the message easier to read on a screen.
- Identify the right recipients. Don’t send the message to people who don’t need the information.
- Check the content of the message. Make sure there is nothing confidential, personal, inappropriate, or offensive.
- Check the tone of the message. Make sure it doesn’t sound angry, rude, or abrupt.
- Choose the appropriate salutation and closing. Depending on the audience, salutations and closings can be formal, informal, or casual.
- Proofread the message. Fix any grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
- Craft a compelling subject line that will tell the reader exactly what the message is about and allow the reader to file and find the message easily later on.
- Make sure attachments are attached. It’s usually best to include attachments as PDFs.
- Include a signature with your contact information. Be sure to include your name, company name, and phone number.
© Copyright 2008 Write It Well
President of Write It Well (www.writeitwell.com), works with a team of skilled instructional designers and trainers to develop and deliver customized on-site and online training solutions about written communications.