The Anatomy Of An Email – How To Optimise Your Email Content Beyond The Subject Line
Yes, you are judged on the content of your email. With email being a form of communication that is not face-to-face, you're setting an impression to someone who has never met you. The way you address them, the way in which you write, even your email address itself; all these factors are a presentation of yourself to the recipient.
Don't forget, it's not just yourself you're representing when writing an email; it's your business too. Any future interactions from clients are dependant on how effective your email is. With email being a common widely used tool for business communications, it is vital that you are getting people to read and act on your messages. So, how can you write emails to get the results that you want? Here's how.
The Form Field: Whilst the from field might seem a minor area to put too much thought into, think of it as losing the benefit of eye contact.
Display your name properly. Don't look like a spammer with your name in lower case.
Your readers want to know who you are. If you work for a company, include your business name as they will most likely recognise that.
If you work in marketing, you can combine both your own name and your business name together. This is great as it makes it easily readable.
The Subject: Unless you want your email deleted before it even comes to the stage of opening it, make sure that your subject line is 100% one that will grab attention.
Don't leave your subject line blank. A non existent subject line puts your email at risk of being rejected as spam, or even worse, overlooked. Don't. Do. It.
Make use of keywords. Include a few chosen key words in the subject line that give a quick insight into the content of the email.
Make it urgent. Include a date e.g., ''Please reply by April 3rd''. This will signify the email needs a response leading to them needing to open it.
The Greeting: How you greet your recipient indicates to them the level of formality within your email. Look at this as a handshake, make it firm!
You risk looking unprofessional if you don't include a greeting. Take the time to at least include a hello, or hi and recipients name.
How formal do you want to be? This will be determined with the way you use their name. For example whether you refer to them by their first name only or if you use Mr/Mrs.
If you are replying back to an email, go back and look at how they signed off. This will indicate to you their level of formality and you can take their lead.
The Body: You've convinced your reader to open your email, now you need to make it worth their while. Show off your pearly whites!
Take your time when writing and communicate with clarity. Remember, you're not talking face to face to so you need make sure you are sending the right message.
You'll look lazy and illiterate if you don't pay attention to the way you are structuring your sentencing. You don't want this! Make sure you're paying attention to the punctuation and capitalisation. Review and spell-check before you press send.
Once you've finished, read it out aloud. This is the only way you will be able to give yourself the real feel of the tone.
The Closing: It's all about communicating with courtesy. Closing an email shows manners, giving the recipient a reason to contact you again. This is your last chance to set a positive impression.
Keep the closing in line with the tone of your message. ''Yours sincerely'' or ''Kind regards'', which suits the objective better?
Include your name. This is an important touch and gives the reader a chance to build a relationship with you.
Don't forget your signature file. The software you use for your emails usually allows you to create a signature file to help the email look polished and professional.
Most of us spend a significant portion of our day reading and composing emails. But the messages we send can be confusing to others. 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."
Article by Yasirah Fatimah