This post is by the request of Mr Subramaniyan, who queried:
Lenin, would you please write a post on how to write a good official email?
Email has become almost the most important way of communication on the Net. And today, most of the Internet users start their daily life checking their latest emails and marking which to reply and which to store. That’s why there is this great competition going on in the email provider industry in terms of storage, speed, etc. How many of us, still, follow the correct guidelines in professional email communication? So few, an appalling secret. When you grow to a professional blogger or writer, you are expected to comply with the rules in your official communications. You can be informal on your personal communications, but not in professional!
The Language and Grammar
Do we actually write in correct grammar in our official emails? How many of us have quite a well-formatted language in our communication? I must confess even I have erred quite a number of times. Edit and spell-check your email once done composing.
You should write with correct English in your official communications.
Keep the Mail Short and To-the-point
You should be very careful of the valuable time of your recipient. Make the emails you sent as short and to-the-point as possible. Do not, however, skip any necessary information.
Subject and Reference
Nowadays, email communication is more like a conversation, with several emails exchanged between both parties. When you send a new mail, make sure to include at least the last communication within it. Also, make sure the subject correctly explains the cause of the email. If any of the prior communication is not available, then specify the detailed subject with your relationship with the recipient in the email.
Emoticons (smileys) and Short Forms
Do you use such sentences as: “Hey Jim, I would like to offer u guest posting on my blog. Check this out!” Cool huh? ;-)
You are using short forms like ‘u’ for ‘you’ and smileys (;-)) in your email. I recommend you not to use any sort of short forms on your emails. And reduce the number of smileys.
Shouting With Capitals
If you use anywhere in your email, all capital letters on any word, it is regarded to be shouting by many people. So, REFRAIN from shouting at your recipients.
Every email should have a signature in professional manner. The signature should include a closing line (Yours sincerely, With regards, etc.), your name, and your website (if you have any). You needn’t include telephone number or any other detailed information. Small email signature is professional.
Addressing the Recipient
Always address the recipient with his/her name. Make sure you don’t send an email to a general person. General emails are highly unprofessional. Even email newsletters you receive from professional publishers are directed to you.
Do Not Send Generic (Spam) Emails
Generic emails sent to a number of people is regarded as spam. Refrain from this. If you send the emails to people you are not allowed to send, then absolutely refrain from this. People can report your email address as spam with FTC (the Federal Trade Commission) of the US.
Attachments? No No!
Are you about to send a professional email with an attachment? Stop it here. Most of the professionals do not open attachments at all. The general belief is that sending attachments is a completely unprofessional way of emailing. If you have a file to send attached, first enquire the recipient if it is all right to do so (also enquire the desired file format). Scan your attachment with a professional antivirus program before sending it.
Are you replying your emails within at most two days? If not, then you should make big changes. It is unprofessional to reply an email after a week from the date of receiving it. It may well have gone irrelevant by that time.
Reread your email to see what is the general tone of it. Do not send any email with any unprofessional tone (of hatred or displeasure) unless absolutely necessary. Also, avoid any tone of self-promotion in excess in your email.
The Text Characteristics
Are you using too small or too large fonts, garish colors, different color for different blocks of text, etc? Refrain from this. The whole email has to be formatted in single font, and should follow a single color (with the signature formatted in a lighter shade). Black colored text formatted in fonts like Verdana, Arial, Times New Roman, etc., is regarded most professional. The font size should be set in a readable level. Fonts like Comic Sans, Windings, etc., are totally wrong for professional emails.
Examples of Good and Bad Emails
Here is an example of how a professional email should be:
From: Your address
To: Recipient address
Subject: Regarding the Guest Post Offer
Dear Ms Joanne,
As you may remember, last week I sent you an offer to guest post within my blog. This is a follow-up query to know if you are considering that. I didn’t receive any communication from you since then. If you consider guest posting on my blog, please get back to me.
With Love and Regards
Visit my site: yoursitename.com
Here is an example of a highly inept communication:
From: Your address
To: Recipient address
Subject: Guest posting
If u checked out my site, you will know it’s one of the best sites out there regarding creative writing. So, I wish that u check it out and consider a guest posting within it. It’s gonna be quite useful to u since u will get traffic explosion with a post on this blog. A post also will fetch u a highly useful SEO link from this blog.
I found ur blog charming. It’s quite useful to ur niche audience. It seems both our sites are very near our audience LOL! So, I STRONGLY believe that you should consider guesr posting. Waiting your reply ;-))
Please visit my site
See the underlined areas.
Make sure you don’t waste your recipient’s time with unprofessionally formatted emails. Make it easy for them to read and regard your mails with some level of professional respect.
Recommended Books on Email Formatting From Amazon: