Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Writing emails 101

Sending a clear, concise and grammatically correct email seems like a no-brainer yet consistently, mistakes are made. Most of the time, these mistakes are minor and quickly forgotten, but sometimes they can be disastrous.

A well-written email is about presentation and professionalism. You don’t have to be Shakespeare, but a sound grasp of basic spelling and grammar is essential.

1. Incorrect names or titles. While spell checkers and auto-correct are important tools in eliminating spelling and grammatical errors, they can trip you up when it comes to writing names accurately. Ensuring you spell people’s names correctly, use their preferred title, and address them as the correct gender is about basic research.

2. Everyone knows that work isn’t always rainbows and lollipops, but never let the frustration bleed into an email. Take a deep breath, consider the recipient and the content of the email, and write to that point. Remember that long after your anger is gone, the email will live on in someone else’s inbox as a relic of your bad mood.

3. The subject line needs to grab the attention of prospective readers quickly, and convey what your email is about succinctly. Make sure it doesn’t sound like spam.

4. ALWAYS check the addressee and never hit “Reply All” or “Forward” without checking. The internet is full of horror stories about emails sent to the wrong person.

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

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