Writing a business email can easily become an arduous task—not to mention time consuming.
You worry about “the right way” to phrase the business email and what the recipient might think about you. You wrack your brain trying to come up with the right word. Or you spend the same amount of time writing in circles because you can’t think of an easy way to say what’s in your head.
I’ve been there!
If you think you spend way too much time writing business emails, you’re not alone. The average professional spends 28% of their day reading and responding to business email, according to McKinsey & Company.
That’s a lot of time—time you could be spending on more important tasks.
So today, I’m giving you 5 keys to writing the perfect business email every time. And once you get the hang of these steps, you’ll find they save you a ton of time.
1. KEEP YOUR BUSINESS EMAIL SIMPLE.
One huge mistake a lot of people make is overcomplicating their business emails.
Mark Twain once said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
That quote might sound funny to you, but there’s a lot of truth in it. It takes more energy to write concisely. It requires you to stop and think of the best and most efficient way to communicate what you’re trying to say.
My advice to you is to be as concise as you can (without appearing rude or losing the meaning).
And this advice isn’t just for your sake. It’s for your recipient’s sake, too! It might take a little extra energy for you to write concisely. But if you don’t, it takes even more energy for your recipient to read and decipher your long email. Make it as easy as possible for the reader to understand your email’s purpose and message.
You might find it difficult to be concise at first, but if you keep at it, it will quickly become second nature.
2. WRITE WITH ACTIVE LANGUAGE AND AVOID JARGON.
This is another big mistake businesspeople make. For some reason, we think that passive language in our emails will make us appear smarter and more professional.
But that’s far from the truth.
Passive language only muddles the message you’re trying to communicate. Active language, on the other hand, clearly communicates your meaning—and it’s just as professional.
So what do I mean by passive and active language? Passive language depends heavily on “to be” verbs, such as “The letter was written by me.” Active language flips that sentence around so that it says, “I wrote the letter.”
Not only is the active sentence more concise, but it’s also easier to understand.
In the same vein, avoid complicated words and jargon when writing a business email, especially when you’re writing to someone outside your field.
3. USE TEMPLATES WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
Why write the same thing over and over when you can create a template? Tweaking a template takes far less time than writing the same email from scratch.
Think about the kinds of emails you send regularly that tend to follow the same formula. Take those and turn them into templates.
Here are some ideas for email templates:
- Sales emails
- Thank you emails to clients
- Prospecting emails
- Emails reminding clients that a payment is due
- Follow-up emails
- Appointment confirmation emails
- Reminder emails to employees or co-workers
There are more templates you could create for email, but these are just a few.
Speaking of templates, you don’t have to keep this idea confined to a business email. You can use templates with your business letters, too. And you can save even more time when you use a custom rubber stamp to sign the letter with your signature.
4. END WITH A CLEAR TAKEAWAY/NEXT STEP.
This step is huge. Make sure that you reiterate your primary intention at the end of the business email.
The more complicated your email is, the more important it is that you end with a concrete request, action step, or reminder.
Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the main point when reading an email. So make it easier on your recipient by ending the email with a clear takeaway.
5. READ IT OVER ONCE BEFORE YOU SEND IT.
You can save yourself from a lot of embarrassing grammar errors if you take just 2 minutes to look over your email before you send it.
And grammar isn’t the only reason you should re-read and edit your business email. Sometimes when we’re writing quickly, our brains think faster than our hands can type. The result? We accidentally leave out a crucial word or we skip a step in the logic of our message. Those kinds of content mistakes will definitely leave your reader confused.
So save yourself the time it takes to clarify your last email and edit your first one!
SAVE MORE TIME WITH CUSTOM RUBBER STAMPS
Business email isn’t the only time-consuming project on your plate. If you deal with loads of paperwork each week, custom rubber stamps can help you simplify and streamline your paper processing.
We sell custom stamps that you can use on:
- Files and folders
You can create your own custom rubber stamp today featuring your return address, your signature, your logo, or stock phrases such as “Due,” “Past Due,” “Paid,” and more.