Email report has become a critical method of tracking both intra- and inter-organisational communications. It is a welcome development as because of it, companies do not have to ship physical paper reports back and forth any longer. Hence, considering the multitude of daily business communications, email reports are not only more environmentally friendly (huge win here, environmentalists!), but are also faster and more easily retrievable.
Thus, if you will be in the corporate world, you need to learn how to write effective email reports. You will not only be communicating with your workmates but also senior colleagues and executives both within your company and outside of it. Hence, a good grasp of email report writing can help create an impression of competence on those individuals who can correspondingly contribute to your career growth.
So, what is the way to go to write standard email reports that will create this effect? And what is the way not to go, the way that won’t? Here, you will find out. However, as a refresher, you should first check our related post here.
Email Report Writing: The Way to Go
The way to go when writing email reports? The simple and easy way. And the following is an outline of this:
First and most important, start with the subject line. As you know already, the subject line is arguably the most crucial part of email reports. A well-crafted subject line will make your email report stand out. As a result, it will determine whether it will be opened or not. Hence, spend enough time on it.
Begin your report proper with an appropriate salutation depending on the individual to which it is to be addressed or your company’s corporate culture. Also, while at it, do not forget to include the title and date. For comprehensive information on this, you should follow our guide here.
The body is where you are to discuss your report's message itself. You should make it as brief, intelligible and straightforward as possible. Focus on the key points. Understandably, you can be tempted to go on rambling as much as the space permits and your thought allows, but you need to bear in mind that the receiver of your email report will not be not interested in all the details as they are. Instead, they will be more likely interested in the most critical decisions and details. So, strictly keep yourself to them.
Hence, you should ensure that the body of your email report is centred around its core message. Is the email report intended to ask for a salary raise, for example? Do you want to congratulate someone? Or do you want to appreciate your teammates via email? Doing this is where sticking to the key points is important again. For this purpose, you might also want to use attachments. Attachments are especially useful for information categorisation and document and image sharing.
So, how do you write the conclusions of your email report and how not to? Perhaps, the trickiest part of an email report is the conclusion. Here, you want to round off everything you have discussed in your report. You can even do more: you can still add a touch of persuasion at this point. However, what is essential, as you have with every other segment of your report until now, is to have a clear objective.
On that note, there are four ways by which you can end your email report. You can predict the future. Considering your discussion or the decision made in it, what do you think will most likely happen? Predict. But note: the problem with predictions is that because they have to be speculative, you might find it impossible to be persuasive. That is, combining prediction and persuasion is challenging, if not impossible.
Next, you can use a quote. Doing this is easy. All you need do is to look for one that is pithy and related to the core message of your email report itself. Consequently, you should strive for a balance in your choice: ensure the quote is neither over-flowery nor bland. In your choice, instead, focus on power. Focus on effectiveness.
The third strategy for writing the conclusion of an email report is to reinforce your theme by repeating it. This method should, however, be exploited in such a way that you do not sound as banally pestering your reader(s). As a result, while you want to reinforce the email report's theme through this, you want to do it gently. The method of concluding email reports by repeating their core messages is particularly effective when you want your reader(s) to walk away with those messages so that they can act on them.
The final method is to summarise. While doing this, however, do not go overboard. The secret is to be brief. Thus, you do not need to mention each of the points earlier discussed. Instead, you just need to mention the main ones. Whenever, at the end of an email report, you find yourself at a loss about which way to go, first consider its exact objective. Then, consider your options: predict, quote, repeat, or summarise. A creative way to go is even to combine two or three of those.
Email Report Writing: The Way to Avoid
By now, you have known the way to go when writing email reports. However, there are ways you need to know that are also important: the ways to avoid.
- Not Using a Subject
A terrible mistake a lot of people commonly make is not including subjects in their email report. Sometimes, it is not intentional; instead, it is just because email reports' considerably longer length than regular emails can be pretty overwhelming for the memory. So, there is the tendency to forget the subject – arguably the most critical part of the email report itself.
So, the way never to go? Not including the subject line.
- Not Structuring
The next of the ways not to go? Not structuring your email report. As earlier discussed, your email report should be structured to include the three principal parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Reports without those three will be haphazard and poorly organised. Most importantly, structuring helps to improve readability and coherence. So, not structuring? That is undoubtedly a way not to go.
- Not Proofreading
Make it a personal rule of thumb that you would never send out your email report unless it has been proofread. Check your spelling, punctuation, and concord. Those are the three main critical areas where most grammatical and mechanical accuracy mistakes tend to be made. Before sending that email report out, do not forget to cross your t’s and dot your i’s.
Here is an email report outline in the way to go with the ways not to go carefully avoided: Introduction Re: Daily Market Update 04/11/2022 Dear Sir, In regard to our daily-generated market reports, kindly find attached here our such report for November 4, 2020. Body The key points of your report or any attachment? Conclusion Here, do you want to predict, quote, repeat, or summarise the report or any other report for that matter? Go ahead.
If you will be working in the business world or you already are, then you need to learn how to write email reports. From time to time, it is a responsibility you will be saddled with and which you will have to live up to. Even at that, just writing an email report isn’t enough: you have to know the way that works and which to go and the ways that do not and which to avoid. Whether it is professional email requests you want to write or emails for B2B email marketing, hopefully, here, you have learned the way that works and the ways that don't.