A small guide to writing better emails and when to send them.
Ever facepalm yourself right after you hit send-> because you know that email was incomplete, missing elements, forgot an attachment, or worse… to the wrong person? *Smack* We’ve all been there, and we all have deeply regretted sending off an email (or more) to the wrong directions, without key info, or at the wrong hour.
After countless emails sent in a lifetime, it’s never too late to learn some new guidelines before we compose our next email. Old dogs can learn new tricks, and so can you when writing better emails, texts, or even instant messages!
In 2021, the email is now 50 years old! So we came up with a small guide to help you out. If you feel that you can add or replace tools to fit your flow of writing or presentation better - by all means, go full speed ahead! But first thing is first, let’s get back to the basics of writing an objective email.
You’ve Got Mail!
Today, emails are key components to the in and out of any communication network of major and minor business ventures. Be it B2B, B2C, or C2C - emails are key to opening the doors to communication and maintaining a professional dialogue with important information.
Once when you start your text, have time to make sure everything is ready to go. Before you start any important email correspondence, have a small checklist of the main ideas and elements that will go into the body of the email, or, try using a series of organizational tools that may help you out - like new innovative tech of great assistance.
Calm, Cool, & Collected
We’ve become so accustomed to reading massive amounts of information from our screens during our day-to-day, that when we read anything at all we tend to skim, skip, look for highlights, or zone in on key takeaways that we completely forget to use our ability to sit still and actually read what is in front of us. Our attention to detail can slip through our mind’s eye and completely ignore the tone, context, and even message entirely due to our lack of comprehensive reading and interpretation. How do we avoid this?
Easy, take a meditative deep breath of 10 seconds, read once slowly as if you were learning to do so for the first time. Once you do that, read it again at “normal” speed. You’ll quickly find out 2 things:
- You understood everything that the email was trying to communicate.
- You are now fully capable of replying to all main ideas within the email.
You’ll actually find it quite refreshing that you “listened” to what the person is typing, and you’ll be able to empathetically write back in a manner that is reciprocal and appropriate (they will enjoy your feedback!).
Once you’ve organized yourself and have read the incoming email in its entirety, get ready to put those hands to work and write! Sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to write to a colleague “K, Thnx” or “Yea sure” depending on the context, but most of the time it doesn’t. Brevity can be a communication killer. By keeping messages too short can cause immense confusion, show a lack of empathy, or flat out demonstrate a disregard for the time you don’t have for replying to other people in an email thread.
It doesn’t matter if you want to keep it short, medium, or long when you write back - what does matter is what you reply with. Clear, concise, and accurate writing transmits a very strong capability of empathy while also accumulating leadership points of being able to reply to all talking points of a returning email. This will gain big kudos from all those who communicate any business regarding any subject that may drop in your inbox.
F.Y.I - your subject title can make or break you too, so check out some of these winners.
Tone & Style
Once you’ve mastered how to respond to basic email by concentrating and focusing on answering the main talking points of an email, time to add some flair. This is the part where you really show who you are and what you’re about in any written form imaginable. The manner you type out your text carries with it a certain tone and style that is transmittable to any reader - after all, words have power.
Get comfortable with your written word, in the same fashion we speak in different tones and styles to our friends, family, loved ones, and so on - we also carry with us a tone and style that we must use in a professional setting. The manner we present ourselves helps frame who we are, what we’re about, and how we conduct business. By aligning a solid form of writing in a professional environment, we shield ourselves from being badly interpreted or ignored when transmitting our feedback, arguments, ideas, contributions, and what-have-yous.
Point is, the way you write has an impact on the reader. They’ll be sure to remember (or forget) you when you write again next time because your emails will be identifiable by reflecting your personality and framing your posture.
Take the time to invest in assembling your writing style and tone, it will project a written image of who you are and how you handle your business. Own your words.
Reread & Proofread
Now, this is a golden rule to any and all that want to be taken seriously… trust me! By making sure that all your t’s have been crossed and i’s dotted you’re avoiding a colossal embarrassment. The embarrassment of sending out an email full of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, unclear or sloppy text, and even just flat-out horrible sentence structures can make you look like an incompetent fool. Remember, sometimes, our emails can be a 1st impression when on the hunt for our next career move, business partnership, or proposal on a project.
Even when we’re the ones to receive a horribly written email we tend to cringe and ignore it. A badly written email, or any text for that matter, can lose all credibility almost instantaneously upon arrival. Compare it to a finely made gourmet dish versus a menu item named “leftover surprise”. Taking the time to read and then proofread our work can be a quintessential step to upping our game and upgrading our presence online through any text form. Just do it!
Tools like Grammarly can greatly help you out by correcting any grammar, spelling, style, and tone issues you may want to resolve.
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started." - Mark Twain
Timing is everything
Let me reveal to you a little secret, you may have the best, brightest, and biggest ideas on the planet - but if you send it out at the wrong time, it may never make it to the right person. Time and luck play an important role in how your messages and emails are treated and received. So here are a few timestamps to remember when you send out your next grand idea:
Monday No No’s - Mondays are the day we drag ourselves back to the office or home office desk to start the work cycle all over again from Monday-Friday. It’s also when most people will casually glaze over ALL of the weekend emails and delete them in bulk - yours included if they’re not careful.
Day mail Vs. Night mail - Day time wins, hands down! Due to most people working office hours from the famous 9-5 pm (9-17h), anything before or after will float off into inbox space. So stick to the timeless classic working hours.
Mid Week around Mid Day - From Tuesday-Thursday are when people really get the most of their grinding done in a workweek while also tending to most emails and taking them with a bit more consideration. From the hours of 9-11 am or 2-4 pm (14-16h) is considered the optimal time due to those hours not interfering with lunch hours - never reach out during lunch hours!
Schedule Send - This is a life-saving feature that will always send your emails at the best times, days, and is fully capable of syncing with your contact’s calendar.
By adjusting your eye for time targets, you’ll naturally only send
out emails in crucial moments where you have a higher probability of being read and taken into consideration. According to MailChimp though, the golden hour is 2 pm (14h) - right after folks have settled from lunch and are happy to get back to work. Personally, 4 pm (16h) is when I understand that most people want a small distraction, the best hour to grab their attention.
Sometimes we can say all the right things to try and communicate at the wrong time, or perhaps we do deliver at the right time - we just fail to send out our best to that person’s inbox. It’s tough, but we learn from our mistakes.
As mentioned at the start of this helpful article - an email can go a long way, or it can go straight to the trash bin, so take your time to learn some new email skills to sharpen your communication abilities. With great power, comes great responsibility - of sending out great, clear, and impactful communication.
Try out your new skills by sending us an email on how this article may have helped you. We hope to respond the best we can and suggest an office spot to hone your business skills and focus your unicorn energy.