Strong communication and professional email writing skills are in high demand.
In today’s digital world, email communication is a critical component of any business. No matter your role in the company, from executive or intern, you will be spending a significant amount of time writing and responding to emails daily.
In fact, the Harvard Business Review reported the average working professional spends 28% of their workday (2.6 hours) reading and responding to email.
Other studies have confirmed we spend an average of 3 hours and 29 minutes every day.
To help ensure that your business emails are successful and well-received by those who receive them, here are our top 10 tips for professional email writing…
Why Professional Email Writing is Important
In today’s remote working world, your writing makes up the majority of your professional reputation. When you don’t have in-person meetings and conversations with coworkers and clients ––– your writing is all you have.
Your level of professional email writing can impact:
- Your reputation at work.
- Your relationship with your coworkers, bosses, and leaders.
- How quickly or slowly you’ll excel in the workplace.
The professional email writing skills you hone today will impact your professional success tomorrow. How you communicate through professional email writing can make or break your career.
Our time at work is limited. The attention span of our coworkers (and ourselves) is shrinking. Business email writing and professional email writing is critical because long-winded, unclear emails aren’t going to cut it.
Professional Email Writing: Top Tips for the Workplace
1) Be Specific
Unclear and vague communication can lead to a lot of back and forth questions. Be specific in your professional email writing while avoiding unnecessary details.
2) Keep it short and get to the point
We are all busy. The reality is, you and your coworkers don’t have the time to read long-winded emails.
Think about when you get an excessively long email. Do you read the whole thing?
Probably not. Most of us have become professional email skimmers. This can lead to a lot of back and forth, confusion, frustration, and redundancies on the sending and receiving end.
Train yourself in your professional email writing to keep things short and to the point. Condense where you can and cut out what’s unnecessary. You will save your time, your coworkers’ time, and everyone will thank you for it.
3) Use proper grammar
Poorly written emails can lead people to think they’re not worth reading. Make sure every sentence has the appropriate punctuation marks and that you use the correct form and tense of verbs and nouns.
Unsure of your grammar skills? Be sure to enroll in our in-person or online Business Writing and Grammar Class.
4) Be Professional
Professional email writing shouldn’t be casual.
Keep your writing style professional. Get rid of any vulgarity, gossiping, inside-jokes, bragging, talking behind other peoples’ backs, excessive small talk, and anything else that is irrelevant, unkind, or unrelated to the task at hand. Leave emojis in your text messages.
5) Be Sensitive
Gender, age, and cultural sensitivity are critical in professional email writing. Be kind, considerate, and respectful of others. Don’t put your career in jeopardy or create an HR nightmare by being unkind or disrespectful.
6) Be Kind
Just because you’re focusing on keeping your professional email writing brief and to the point doesn’t mean you have to be cold or abrasive. All it takes to add kindness to a professional email is:
- A nice greeting.
- A pleasant sign-off.
You can add “Hope you’ve had a great day so far” to the beginning of your email or “thanks for your help and hard work” to the end of it.
7) Always Check Your Recipients Before Sending.
We’ve all had the embarrassing experience of sending an email or message to the wrong person. Double-checking your recipients is a quick and easy way to ensure the right message gets to the right people.
7) Use Spelling & Grammar Check
Professional email writing is all about attention to detail.
Use your Spelling & Grammar check before sending every email. The majority of businesses and organizations use Microsoft Outlook as their email software. It has a built-in spelling and grammar check, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t use it before you send any internal or external email.
If you aren’t that comfortable using Outlook or you just started using it, be sure to check out our in-person and online Microsoft Outlook Courses. Our Outlook class will help you become a professional email wizard and an Outlook power user!
8) Use Grammarly and Grammarly Premium
Grammarly is one of the most powerful plug-ins and pieces of software for instantly leveling up your professional email writing.
Grammarly is a digital writing assistant that reviews your grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as well as the clarity, engagement, and delivery mistakes in your writing.
Not only that, it uses artificial intelligence to identify and search for appropriate replacements and alternatives for the mistakes in your writing.
Grammarly is like having a professional editor and proofreader sitting over your shoulder, which will make all corrections and edits for you.
Ask your employer, manager, or leader if they consider investing in this for you, your team, or your organization. Even if you have to foot the bill yourself, it’s well worth it for about $12 per month.
9) Use the Sandwich Method When Providing Constructive Criticism
This professional email writing tip is fantastic for quickly and politely addressing people when providing constructive feedback.
The Sandwich Method works by sandwiching the negative feedback between two positive comments at the beginning and end of your message or email.
Here’s an example of using the sandwich method in professional email writing. You can even save this as a template for your professional email writing in the future.
“Hey [Coworkers Name],
You’ve done such an incredible job on this project so far. Thanks so much for your help with [Specific Task]. It looks great!
I have one quick note on [Task, Project, Related work, etc.]. [Insert Constructive Feedback or Criticism].
Thank you so much for all of your great [help, insight, expertise, etc.] on [specific task or part of the project]. Keep up the great work!”
Remember to be kind, objective, positive, and offer helpful suggestions for the task at hand and what they can do next time. As always, be specific and clear and make your feedback actionable.
Remember: This isn’t a criticism of the person. It’s a helpful critique of their work.
If you want to learn more, here’s a useful guide on “How to Give a Feedback Sandwich” that you can use in your professional email writing.
10) Ask For Feedback on Your Professional Email Writing
Feedback is most effective when it works both ways. Let your team, employees, coworkers, and leadership know that you are taking professional email writing classes and that you are actively working on becoming a better writer.
Let them know you are open to feedback and suggestions on your writing and how you can improve.
If you want to level up your and your organization’s professional email writing skills, be sure to check out our award-winning professional writing classes at Alliance Career Training Solutions.
- Business Writing and Grammar Skills Class: View our Class Schedule and Curriculum Outline.
- Advanced Business Writing for Professionals Class: View our Class Schedule and Curriculum Outline.
If you have questions, contact our instructors today at [email protected] or call our office at 831-755-8200.