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PROFESSIONAL EMAILING

Learn writing highly effective and catchy emails 

When an e-mail is appropriate (…and when not)?

E-mailing is instrumental If we are willing to obtain any sort of business thus we’d better avoid any sort of errors whatsoever – in doing so, we are to follow specific recommendations reported below in order to write a valid text:   

1

Instantaneous

 Sending e-mails is instantaneous: it does take a while before our recipient may reply, as opposed to a prompt one when we get an e-mail ourselves

2

Crucial for Sharing Information

E-mail storage is crucial for sharing information about any sort of event or a meeting so that everything can be of use in a given moment

3

Size Matters

Paying attention to the size of our file is strongly advised so that a significant feedback can be obtained

4

Effectiveness

Mails’ ineffectiveness may occur unless:
• We keep in mind that mails are never exclusive since others may potentially share them
• An improper approach throughout our text is avoided hence unlikely to be misunderstood 

Professional Email Style

The recipient of our mails – not to mention their goals and experiences – is paramount to the style we adopt as well as its efficacy. Since we’re not speaking in person, it is important to establish how we want to write out email so that clashes and possible offences are avoided – formality is always the most proper option.  

1

THE SUBJECT LINE

We are required to write about one and well-defined subject and not more as we may welcome unwanted misunderstandings. It is by no means indispensable that an overly long thread might occur since too much interaction may burden the communication itself. We must remember that emails are not a means to communicate all sorts of news – speaking in the flesh is advised if bad news are to be given.
It is important to shortly report the details of a meeting in case we email a person for the first time so that a he/she may easily remember about us.
“It was great to meet you at last night’s networking event.”

Email Overview

Emails’ subjects basically sum up the content of our message and in order to let our reader properly understand it, we must be careful about overusing words e.g. no less than 3, no more than 8. It’s very recommended to include a meaningful heading in the subject line along with a brief outline of what the email body will contain. e.g. [RE] Reply [FW] forwarded message [FYI] For your information.

On top of that, let’s include significant elements of what the email is actually about.

Good Examples  

SLIDE Communication Plan: Please Review by 4 PM 
Expansion Report Extension Requested until Friday 
Your BookShop Order Delivery Dec 2  

Bad Examples

Important!
For Your Review
Questions About the Meeting of Last Wednesday in Brussels

2

GREETINGS

Proper and crisp greetings must be included – regardless of the mail’s length – along with names whenever possible. Let’s not forget we must not start with the body of the mail and always include a signature at the very end – a formal choice is always the best option, such as:

Dear Professor Brown, Hello Ms. White  

3

CORDIALITY

Being cordial always pays off in case you might not know the person who you are e-mailing, so use:

To whom it may concern, Dear members of the steering committee, Hello everyone,

The way we end a mail – by always putting our own name or our organisation’s – is crucial as we let our recipient aware of who’s written it.

Mary Smiths
Senior Partner
IDS Company 

4

Cc: and Bcc: (‘carbon copy’ and ‘blind carbon copy’)

Cc is very practical and necessary in working situations as our message is sent to multiple people, including the original recipient as well as others in the carbon copy section whom are able to see all the addresses involved.

In case we don’t want others’ mail addresses to be visible, Bcc comes in handy, even though it is not always assured that our contact is hidden to others – indeed, the “reply all” option can actually possible to answer to anybody from the original message.   

5

CALL TO ACTION

Always remember that a mail has a purpose, even though we can’t expect our recipient to understand our intent, especially there are some inconsistencies or missing elements. In case more than 1 person is involved, a clear display of names – and their responsibilities attached – is to be fully listed so that a proper answer is given from them.

Good Examples

“Monica: can you forward the survey to all staff by Wednesday at noon, please?”

“I’d appreciate your feedback on the draft agenda. If you have any edits, please send them by tomorrow, Tuesday, at 10 AM.” 


Bad Examples

“Can you take care of this?”
“Let me know what you think.”

6

FONT STYLE

Colored fonts or too many bold words and italics is not advised and capital letters aren’t either – it might be mistaken for screaming the words rather and this isn’t the case. Also avoid emoticon as we’re not texting our friends.

Let’s not forget to put a space between words and paragraphs: they need to be used in bold if something is very important to understand e.g. deadlines. However, we must not write all of our text in capital or in bold, again for the reason mentioned above.   

7

ATTACHMENTS AND LINKS

Annexes are to be named the right way and included since we do not want to waste anybody’s time and work.

Let’s insert the links within the text in order to avoid futile distractions.

Good Example
 
You may find all the information about IHF projects in the dedicated section

Bad Example

“You may find all the information in preparing the report”: http://www.ihfeurope.eu/   

8

REVIEW

Check all of the mail, contacts, grammar and everything that may prevent its meaning from being misunderstood – we’d better read it aloud so we can realise the existence of possible mishaps. 

Additional Tips

for writing more effective e-mails

01.

Focus

Rushing things means leading us nowhere so we must be focused throughout its inception till we send it

02.

Clarity

Clarity of thought brings us clarity of actions, so we have to map, list and underline in a logical order what we are going to write

03.

Checking Regularly

We must not forget about what we send, otherwise it would mean it didn’t have any importance at all in the first place, so let’s check possible answers and reply as soon as possible. All of this is made easier by the use of smartphones so we can check everything in real time

Mobirise
Mobirise

Funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

 This is an OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE created by SLIDE team within SLIDE Project. You are free to use, adapt, reproduce and share the work as long as you do not use it commercially and indicate the creator (SLIDE Project Team 2018-1-RO01-KA201-049382). More info HERE.