According to some estimates, 75 percent of business writing is in the form of email. It is the most commonly-used form of communication in the business world today.
Like most business people, I use email several times a day. I use it formally with business people I have never met or dealt with before. I use email semi-formally with colleagues or people I already know and informally with people I am familiar, such as business associates.
As I show in Understand Your Focus, and Use Appropriate Writing Style, you have to be aware of the goals of your writing and the right tone and style to use.
In both formal and semi-formal situations, I make it a habit to:
- think carefully about to whom I am writing and what they may be thinking. I want to make a good impression and get people to agree to and act upon what I am writing.
- reflect on my purpose or objectives for writing before I start and organize my ideas just as if I was writing a business letter.
- adapt my style to the reader. I want to be brief, simple and concise. I also want to use the appropriate tone.
- be friendly, polite and professional. I avoid joking around or being funny.
- pay attention to quality control by checking punctuation, spelling and grammar.
- consider who else besides my intended reader may see the message. I don’t want to write any silly remarks or comments that may insult others.
- pay attention to layout by using, for example, a good subject heading.
- make the email easy to read.
- follow up the email with a fax or letter because some people do not always read their emails or it may be sent to the spam folder.
There are tons of ways to increase your writing skills. In fact, we have put together a very compelling e-mail writing course. All you have to do to get immediate and free access is to fill out the form on the right side of this post or in the box directly below this post.
If you have questions about writing a compelling email, don't hesitate to ask.