One of the most important formats of email that you’re going to have to use on a regular basis is the business email. More often than not it’s about the same as communicating to friends and sometimes communicating with other businesses that you’ve ordered from.
However when it comes to writing to fellow employees as well as communicating with other people within your own workplace, there are a few guidelines that are helpful when creating that type of email.
More often than not, if you don’t know the person that you’re communicating with, it’s best to fully introduce yourself with your name, title, and what it is that you’re reaching out to this person for. Otherwise most emails can do with a simple introduction of “Hello X, how are you doing”, and several other greetings that we use on a regular basis.
While the formal introduction can seem pretty easy to some, to others it’s hard not to overthink how formal to be. Generally speaking, the best way to approach this is by using this basic template:
Good Afternoon Mr./Mrs./Mx. (insert last name),
I’m (Insert name here) from X department. I’m reaching out to you regarding (insert your reach out reason).
From there, you can add what you need to in order to have a clear and concise message.
I’ll be honest here, this is one of the hardest features of writing a business email for me. Having a clear and concise message means that you have to remove any fluff from the conversation as well as ensure that you are getting your message across as quickly and easily as possible.
Sometimes this can mean a long email, and sometimes this can be a short email. One of the ways to help clarify your message and ensure that you’re getting your points across is to use bullet points in order to cover all of the important aspects of your email.
Keep in mind that this kind of email generally isn’t something that has to be written in less than 10 minutes. Keep in mind that you have plenty of time to edit down your email after writing out what it is that you need to communicate.
Customer Service Tones
Maintaining a customer service tone in an email isn’t one of the harder tips to follow. Generally, you want to follow the ideas of most customer service related businesses. Their focus is to ensure that the customer is taken care of and the individuals running phones and emails are well trained in customer service.
To be honest, you should have the same focus no matter who you’re communicating with in an email. Make sure that your tone is friendly and inviting, as well as confident and sure of what it is that you are doing.
Use the Right Amount of Jargon
This is where things can get a little dicey. Most of the time when working in a business of any kind, there’s going to be jargon of some sort.
For those who aren’t aware of what jargon is, it’s a form of language that is common amongst people in a given setting. For example someone may use the abbreviation LC which can mean multiple things. But in the set context it means Learning Center.
If you are speaking with someone who isn’t aware of the jargon that you work with on a daily basis, it’s best to spell out what the words mean and use the jargon later in the email. This will help you communicate more effectively as well as help the email receiver understand more of what you’re talking about
Write to Your Audience
This is something that’s always a little bit hard to judge no matter what field you’re in. More often than not the rule of thumb is to write at a 5th grade level. The reason that is the guideline is because it is one of the easiest and most direct forms of communication with other people.
You’re not going to be using larger words and you’re definitely focused on getting the message across. If you are writing to people who have more experience in your field then it’s probably okay to amp up the writing style a little bit.
Otherwise be sure that you write to your audience, not in a condescending way, but in a way that they will understand your message.
Business writing is definitely a skill that you have to develop over time. It’s not something that you’re going to grasp right away and it’s not something that’s going to come to you easily unless you’re used to that type of communication.
Rely on those that have spent more time writing business emails and they will be able to help you figure out your own personal style and how to best communicate with others in your field.