Even Elon Musk writes emails! He says “I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” This statement coming from an uber-busy businessman speaks volumes about the importance of email. As important as emails are, email etiquettes do not enjoy this popularity. We all have been in situations where we get one-word emails, emails in all caps, poorly formatted emails or just stupid, misspelt emails. However, if you are one of those who tend to write such emails, it is time to STOP. Good email copy is a skill that is easy to master and will save you a lot of professional heartaches.
In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can master the art of writing good email copy by making really simple changes to the way you write. A good email can be a deal-breaker, especially when you are writing to your colleagues or shooting a cold sales pitch. But this is where we tend to make the biggest mistakes. We often ignore the fact that a well-written email is like a firm handshake instantly making the reader psychologically in your favor.
We often ignore the fact that a well-written email is like a firm handshakeDev
Before we begin with the tips and tricks of improving and writing good email copy, let us first understand what a bad email looks like. I bet you must have seen them in your inbox and will continue to see it. But do not be the one who sends such unprofessional emails. Here we go with three such examples and then I am going to tell you how to avoid these mistakes and write emails that people would long to read.
Email mistake #1 – One Word Replies
Honestly, how can someone write a one-word email? It is unfathomable, the level of lethargy that invokes such response. Such emails are purely damaging, it ruins your image and personality and reflects poorly on your professional etiquettes.
Email mistake #2 – Poorly Formatted with Typographic Errors
If there is one thing that CANNOT be incorrect about emails, it is formatting. Unfortunately, 80% of the emails I receive fall in this category. There is simply no formatting at all. Emails are usually in all caps (I am assuming it is to attract my attention, sadly it doesn’t) and use SMS language. Here is one such example.
Email mistake #3 – Font Selection and Casual Copy
One of the other mistakes that is often seen as a deterrent to good email copy is the use of the really casual language or chat language. An email is a professional document, it reflects on your personality and more often than not the reader is going to judge you based on the email you write. In the publishing industry, the agents receive thousands of emails every month and they usually do not look at one email more than a minute. If you are writing such emails, the dream of writing your own book is really dull. Look at the font selection and language in the email below. Comic Sans – never use it for professional emails.
How to Write Good Email Copy – 8 Tips You Must Apply Today
Now that you know how a bad email looks like, let me take you through the eight golden tips to good email copy that will instantly help you sound more professional. Remember, writing a good email is half the battle won. If you have a winning product or service and you have invested years in making the perfect sales pitch, don’t ruin its chances by writing a 2-minute email. Give it the time it deserves, also think about every word that you are going to put in and how it will impact the reader.
- Email Subject Line: Often the most ignored section in an email, the subject line is the first thing that the receiver is going to see. Although writing an email subject line is a blog topic in itself, for now, you must take note that the subject should reflect the message of your email. Do not ever write ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Hello’ as your subject line. If you do so, rest assured that the email is going to end up in the trash bin sooner than later.
- Font Selection: Stick to the basics. MS-Office or Google or whatever platform you use will always have the default font setting. Stick to professional fonts like Calibri or Arial but using a font like Comic Sans or something that is too cursive is a sign of unprofessional conduct.
- Colors: The email is not your painting canvas. Stay away from using any kind of colors as much as possible until of course you are in an email thread and it is imperative to give feedback or reply to comments. In such a case, stick to standard colors like Blue or Red. Your email otherwise should not have any colored or image background and avoid highlighting as much as possible.
- No Context: Email without context is like a shirt without buttons, useless. Always provide a context of why you are writing that email and how does it concern the receiver. Without context, the chances of getting a reply are dim.
- Spelling Mistakes: This is a blunder. Before you hit that send button, read, re-read and when you are sure that the email is sans any spelling errors, only then send it. No one wants to read an email that addresses them as ‘MADMAN’ or ‘SAR’. Think about it. Would you like to receive such emails? Stick to the basics of good email copy and see the impact.
- Too Long Emails: Emails are not discussion forums. An email is only mean to intimate the person about an event or an update. Leave the details and the intricacies for the meetings. Too often, long emails are left half-read. If you’ve placed important information in the middle of the email, the reader will close the mail before they get there. Keep it short and succinct.
- Letter Format: Emails have different formats. They must always include the name and address of the sender in the sign-off. Start with a salutation or greeting and keep a check of paragraphs. If you are unsure, simply use the default Email template in MS Office. Remember, a properly formatted email will land you a meeting and much more.
- Tone: Keep the tone neutral, do not make it overtly professional and start using literary terms. Neither make it too informal or casual. Do not mention personal experiences and stories in the email. Do not forget, this document is only meant to convey a piece of information, not to tell stories.
That’s about it folks. These 8 simple tips on how to write good email copy will help you look and sound more professional. Email writing is not rocket science and I beleive that with a little practice and restraint, you’ll be able to write emails that people love to read.
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