• How to write a good quality email
• Getting the point across effectively
• Using language to encourage action
• How to address the question you need answering
• Handling cultural differences appropriately
• Email or pick up the phone – what is appropriate in the situation?
Writing professional emails
“Before you start writing an email, consider the purpose of the email and set a clear goal about what you would like the outcome to be,” Kellie advised.
“Is the email about imparting some information? Is it a discussion? Is it something that needs be lengthy? If you’re writing a long email, it might be worth picking up the phone instead,” Suzie added.
The panel then outlined some specific tips for email best practice.
Good email habits
• Slow down. Sending a series of emails at great speed can lead to mistakes and confusing sentences.
• Stop and take the time to read what you’ve written and check it makes sense
• Proofread out loud rather than in your head to avoid ‘seeing what you want to see’
• Always make sure you attach the attachment before drafting the email
• Use specific email subject lines for easy identification
• Add the receiver’s email address last to avoid sending the email prematurely
• Send important emails to a colleague to check the language and tone before sending to a client
• Know your audience – be careful not to slip into a ‘comfortable and casual’ communication style if not appropriate
• It’s okay to use a ‘smiley face’ to soften the tone of an abrupt statement or email, but as a general rule do not use other emojis frequently.
Effective email communication
The experts explained why effective email communication means more than simply typing out information and hitting ‘send’.
Suzie said: “Sometimes you have to stop and think about who you’re writing to. You wouldn’t speak to a 75-year-old the same way you would speak to a 20-year-old, and the same applies to your email conversations.”
“There are a lot of strategies available for writing clear emails that people will actually read, but a very simple way to start is to use more sub-headings, tables and checklists,” Kellie said.
“We send an email to get a desired outcome, whether that’s to provide information so that we comply or to encourage an action, so you need to send the email in a way that makes it easy for the client to give you what you want,” Alexandra added.
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