DO'S & DON'TS OF PROFESSIONAL EMAILS

By Victoria Morris, KC Projects Summer 2018 Intern

Do you ever write and rewrite, read and reread, and simply overthink the email you’re trying to send? It is so important for professionals to learn how to email appropriately. Emails are how the business world communicates. These messages can make or break you. It’s typically your first impression to a future boss or company, potential employer and more. Here’s the chance to increase your response and success rate! 

The Must Do’s:

  •  Identify your audience. 

  • Usually six to ten words is an appropriate length for your subject line. 

  • Paragraphs should be written in short sentences (one to three). 

  • Open with what you’re emailing about. Introduce yourself later. Get reader’s attention! 

  • Make it easy for your audience to read: numbered or bulleted list. 

  • ·Common business endings: Best or Best Regards

  •  If formal: use full name; if unformal: first name is acceptable. 

  •  Encourage creating email signature.  

The Please Don’ts: 

  • Do not assume gender or relationship statue. *

  • Do not type one big paragraph. It makes it hard for the average reader to read and they might just give up half way through or even before they start. *

  • Avoid immediately introduce yourself. *

  • Do not start by disclosing that they don’t know you. “You don’t know me but….” 

  • NO SLANG: Sup fam, that’s lit, Gucci, salty or throw shade. 

  • NO TEXTING ABBREVIATIONS: Ngl I’ll be smh & tbh u will get nc back. 

Make It or Break It!

The first thing your reader sees is the subject line. This determines whether your emails get read or avoided. Think BUSINESS: Be Unique & Specific In Not Eleven but Six or Seven. 

One of the ‘must do’s’ is to keep it between six and ten words for an appropriate subject line. First things first: identify your audience. This will help you establish whether your email should be formal or informal. In my opinion, it’s better to be formal in an informal setting, then informal in a formal setting.  

Meet & Greet!

Salutations can be one of the trickiest elements. If the relationship status or gender is unknown, a big ‘please don’t’ is using titles like Mrs. or Ms. Instead, resort to using their full name. For example, “Dear John Hancock”, followed by a comma and an inserted space between the greeting and introduction. However, if you have no information on the reader, add a simple greeting with no name. Good greeting options that don’t include a name would be: Good Morning/Afternoon, Greetings, Hello all/everyone.