Allow me to dedicate an article to what I’ve learned from my many mistakes, taking the form of a very simple yet informative walkthrough that can apply to any email you send out (including *that* one).
1. Don’t email without saving a draft and rereading it 5 minutes later.
No matter what the day is, the time is, or the mood you’re in, this rule is the most important and it always applies. Think of all the junk you’ve sent out in the past that you instantly regretted sending? That is the sign of an email you should not send. Poor grammar, spelling mistakes, going off on one to someone you haven’t really spoke to in a while, calling someone by the wrong name… The list is endless. Better to save to drafts and check it 5 minutes later. If you just hit ‘send’ you might regret it 10 minutes later.
2. Write something you’d want to reply to.
People tend to read emails as replies. If you can’t find anything to reply to you will probably never get a reply yourself. Make it interesting and show some personality in it. Doesn’t matter if it’s work or personal.
3. Keep it short, or keep it sweet.
Remember, first impressions are always made more on the tone rather than the content. Make your emails easy to read, even if you are going on about a few things put it across in a way that it is easy to read and goes straight to the point.
3. Go through it once more.
I find it’s good to look over everything twice. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll pick up on a second time round. I will not sugar-coat it; if you are sending annoying grammatical and spelling related mistakes out to people, they will automatically write off anything else you say.
4. Consider how you’re feeling.
The most crucial part of writing an email is what are you feeling when you’re writing the email? Are you angry? Frustrated? Biting your fingers? Angry at someone else? Are you depressed? Happy? Crabby? The mood you’re in will define the way your email reads.
5. Tell them what you want done, and why you think they’ll benefit from you doing it.