On October 28, 2021, Cynthia Saver, MS, RN, editorial director for American Nurse Journal wrote an article titled “Writing effective business emails”. The article discusses some all-too-common questions, such as why haven’t they responded to my email? Or the embarrassing situation of hitting “reply all” instead of “reply”. The article reminds us of the difficulties of conveying a message or response via email without body language and facial expressions to help us interpret someone’s meaning (Saver, 2021).
Here are some tips from the article on ways to up your emailing game:
- Think about who needs to receive this email, keep those in the loop that need to be, but avoid filling up people’s emails if it’s not needed. Understand how to use the CC (carbon copy) and BCC (blank carbon copy) lines in the header of the email
- Choose the right priority, and communicate if it is truly a priority
- Start strong – spell names correctly and use their correct titles. Pay attention to people’s preferred names. For example, if they use “Jen” rather than “Jennifer; keep the subject line simple but useful and avoid subject lines that could provoke anxiety such as “Call me ASAP”
- Be brief and clear
- Consider tone – try to match your tone to that of the recipient. Is the person informal using “Hey” to start their emails? If so, use “Hey” too, also think about using exclamation points sparingly
- End positively with something like “Thanks!” or “Have a great weekend!”
- Proofread before sending
- Follow-up as needed
- Respond thoughtfully – if you need more time to respond, try sending an acknowledge email such as “Thanks for your email, I’ll get back to you by the end of the day” or “I have a few deadlines and I’ll get back to you by the end of the week” for example
To read about the tips in more detail check out the article here. The article also references a book written by Dhawan E. titled Digital Body Language: How to Build, Trust & Connection, No Matter the Distance.
Saver, C. (2021). Writing effective business emails. American Nurse Journal. Retrieved from https://www.myamericannurse.com/writing-effective-business-emails/