In an era where almost everyone constantly has access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer, email has become the primary form of professional communication. With just a few clicks, you can instantaneously send word to your co-workers or employer. As a result, people, particularly in the business world, are constantly sending and receiving emails, and more than a few get lost in the depths of the flooded inbox. If you don’t want your message to go unnoticed, look no further. With three easy steps, you can make your email stand out and increase the odds of a speedy response.
The first, and arguably most important, step in getting your email noticed is to have a strong subject. Many people write a vague subject line, with the intent of revealing more information within the email itself. However, a vague subject often fails to convey the importance of your message. At the same time, a lengthy subject line can be overwhelming and deter the recipient from even opening the email. Try to limit your subject to under ten words, only including the essential details. For example, if you want to schedule a meeting, state the date and time, and try to phrase the subject as a question so the recipient knows an answer is expected of them.
Clear & Concise Content
Once you’ve piqued interest with your subject, the next step is organizing the content of the email. Like in step one, brevity is important here. Even if your subject is engaging, the recipient may forgo reading through the email if they see it is too long. Only include relevant information, and format the email in such a way that the important parts stand out. This can be done by putting significant details in bold text or using bullet points. You can also use line breaks to make the content of the email appear less dense. If you have a request or question for the recipient, make sure to state it plainly to avoid misunderstandings.
Lastly, you want to make sure your email looks as professional as possible. Avoid using informal language, like contractions and acronyms, and proofread your email for any grammatical errors. Sites like grammarly.com can help if you are unsure if something is incorrect. Also, make sure to include a formal greeting and closing. “Dear (recipient),” is fine for a greeting, but if you ever find yourself writing an email to an unknown person or entity, try using, “To Whom It May Concern.”
As for closings, “Sincerely” or “Regards” are good, all-purpose choices. If you are expecting a response, you can try writing “I hope to hear from you soon,” in an effort to prompt a quick reply. In other instances, it may be wise to show some gratitude to the recipient for reading your email. Then, you could write, “Thank you for your time,” or something along those lines. Finally, always make sure to sign your full name at the end of the email. Some programs allow you to customize an automatic signature, which could include other information such as your phone number and office address.
By following these three easy steps, you can give your email the best possible chance to stand out amongst the countless others.
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