Email reports are a great way for organizations to track events and measure progress. The larger an organization the more reports are necessary to track operations of the various units and functions. Progressive organizations have moved away from writing paper reports and physical metrics to using virtual systems. This may be writing email reports or using tracking software to collect reports of daily, weekly and monthly operations.
As a member of a team or functional unit within an organization, you may be called upon to prepare a report for a number of reasons. Whether you are required to prepare a meeting report, progress report, daily, weekly or monthly operations reports – arm yourself with these tips for writing excellent email reports.
Guidelines for Writing Email Reports
Here are a couple of things you should consider when writing email reports.
Use the Subject line to Introduce Your Email Report
Make your email report submission convenient for your supervisor or management to assess. The email subject line should be used to provide a preview of the content of the email. This preview allows the recipient of your email to prioritize which emails to handle at various times.
Good subject lines will ensure your emails stand out among the numerous emails busy organizations exchange on a daily basis. A good subject line for an email report should include the name of the report and date of the report. Email reports with good subject lines are easy to remember and find for reference purposes. No matter how many emails your supervisor receives on a daily basis, a report specific subject line will ensure he is not looking for your email when it’s needed.
Develop a Format for Writing Your Email Report
Is there already a setout format for the report you have been asked to prepare? Is this a one-off report or a reoccurring report? These are important considerations when tasked to develop a report to be submitted by email. If a format already exists, use that format to ensure consistency and easy understanding of your report.
When there is no prescribed format, the frequency of the report will help you determine the most appropriate reporting format. While a simple email capturing all important details will work well for a one-off email report; reoccurring reports require more structure.
Determine the objective of your report by thinking of the information your supervisor or management wants to learn from your report. Then develop a format for your report by creating a document that runs through all relevant information needed by your supervisor/management to make informed operational decisions.
Keep email reports simple and pleasing to the recipient by using attachments to provide lengthy information or categorized information. Word documents and Excel sheets are excellent for providing large amounts of data in reports sent by email.
Focus on Relevant Details in Your Email Report
While the conversations had during a meeting may be interesting, the reader of your meeting report doesn’t want a verbatim recount. Remember to approach all reports with the objective of the report in mind. The receiver of a meeting report would be more interested in details such as the time and venue of the meeting, designation of the attendants, the aim of the meeting and key decisions made at the meeting.
Keep reports concise by summarizing opinions, discussions, and outcomes. Reports help organizational leaders and manager understand occurrences within the organization and make decisions without being physically present, therefore, ensure your report is focused on providing useful insight to the reader.
Proofread Email Reports before Sending Them Out
Always proofread email reports before sending them out. Ensure all spellings are correct and the sentences are easy to comprehend. Also, ensure that the language and tone of your email are professional and courteous. Avoid using text messaging abbreviations, such as IMO – In my opinion, when sending professional emails and reports.
If using attachments to provide additional information or present complex data, ensure you proof the attachment for mechanical and grammatical errors. Also, proof your subject line and recipient email address for errors before sending out your email.
Tips for Writing the Email Report
Once you understand the keys to writing excellent email reports, structure your email report into the following sections for improved readability and coherence
Begin your email with the appropriate salutation for the recipient based on your organizational culture. The introduction of your email should clearly introduce the report you are submitting. Below is a sample introduction for the daily report sent by the sales clerk of a cooking oil distributor.
Re: Daily Sales Report – Cooking Oil 10/11/2017
Good day Sir
Please see below the sales report of Friday, November 10, 2017.
The body of your email report must sufficiently address the purpose of your report by providing relevant information in a format that is easy to read and understand. Maintaining the example of the oil distributor, here is a sample body to report national sales volumes.
Re: October 2017 Oil Sales
I trust you are well. Here is the report of sales for the month of October 2017.
The following sales were generated in the month:
Canola Oil – 200
Olive Oil – 60
There were no returns in the month of October.
Writing Email Reports’ Conclusion
The conclusion to your email report reinforces what you have stated in your email. Provide any other relevant information or next steps in your report conclusion.
Sample Email to Send Monthly Report
Subject: Monthly Report for [Month and Year] Dear [Recipient's Name], I hope this email finds you well. As promised, please find attached the monthly report for [Month and Year]. [Give a brief overview of the report and highlight any key findings, trends or insights.] In addition, I would like to draw your attention to some noteworthy updates and events that occurred during the month: [Include any important information or developments that might be relevant to the recipient.] Please let me know if you have any questions or require additional information about the report. I am always available to discuss the findings or answer any queries you may have. Thank you for your attention and continued support. Best regards, [Your Name]
Sample Email for Submitting Report
Subject: Submission of [Name of Report] Dear [Recipient's Name], I am pleased to inform you that I have completed the [Name of Report] that was assigned to me. As requested, I am submitting the report on [Date of Submission]. The report covers [Briefly describe the scope of the report]. I have included all the relevant information needed to address the objectives outlined in the assignment. [If applicable, mention any limitations or constraints that you faced while preparing the report and how you overcame them.] I have also attached a copy of the report in [File format]. Please review it and let me know if you have any comments or feedback. I am open to any suggestions or revisions that you may have. Thank you for the opportunity to work on this project. It was a valuable learning experience, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the report. Best regards, [Your Name]
Daily Report Mail Format
Here’s a sample email to send daily reports to your boss.
Subject: Daily Report for [Date] Dear [Recipient's Name], Please find attached the daily report for [Date]. This report outlines the progress made in [Briefly describe the tasks or projects that were worked on that day]. [If applicable, provide a summary of any issues or challenges that were encountered and how they were addressed.] Key accomplishments for the day include: - [List the main tasks or projects that were completed.] - [Include any notable achievements, such as meeting deadlines or exceeding expectations.] Looking ahead, the focus for the next day will be on [Briefly describe the tasks or projects that will be worked on]. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about the report. I am always available to discuss the progress or any other issues that may arise. Thank you for your attention and continued support. Best regards, [Your Name]
Sample Email to Send Weekly Report
Subject: Weekly Report for [insert week and year] Dear [insert recipient's name], I hope this email finds you well. Please find attached the weekly report for [insert week and year]. The report contains an overview of the progress made during the week, the challenges faced, and the actions taken to address them. The key highlights for the week are as follows: - [Insert key highlight 1] - [Insert key highlight 2] In addition, please note the following updates: - [Insert update 1] - [Insert update 2] I would be happy to provide further information or clarification on any aspect of the report. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your time and attention. Best regards, [Insert your name]
Email reports are a stable means of communicating developments in most organizations, therefore, an understanding and development of proper email report writing skills will help you to stand out as a competent professional and valued team member. A proper understanding of the objective of each report you are required to write is the cornerstone to help you present useful and insightful reports.