9 Tips You Need to Write and Respond to Emails Professionally

    PEM 101 (Part 2): Tips and Templates for Responding to Professional Emails

    The Internet has subtly crept into modern life. Unfortunately, the advent of communication through emails has met many people unprepared. As a result, businesses lose big clients and grand projects due to ignorance of email etiquette and the rules of writing professional emails.

    This post is part of a series of posts on Professional Emailing. It is recommended that you also read the other posts in the series below:

    Professional emails are neither written like letters nor text messages. They are in the middle. They are not as long and overly formal as letters nor are they as short and overly informal as text messages.

    Below are 9 tips that would help you write and respond to emails more professionally and effectively:

    1. Choose Your Email Subject Very Carefully

    Time is very precious. Executives today receive hundreds of emails daily and often have little time to decide which of them is worth reading. So, ensure your subject is not ambiguous and is straight to the point, for example,

    "Request for Advertising Quotation"

    Avoid using ‘URGENT’ or ‘IMPORTANT’ as subjects in professional emails. They are commonly used for spams.

    2. Address Your Email Recipient Correctly

    Your address sets the tone of the email. It determines whether it is cordial, serious or casual.

    You can begin a professional email with ‘Dear Ms. Williams’ or ‘Hello Ruth’ depending on your relationship and previous communication with the person.

    ‘Hello Ruth’ is okay for someone you have already developed a form of relationship with and can call by the first name. However, ‘Dear Ms. Williams’ is a more appropriate address for people you are contacting for the first, second or third time.

    In the end, you should always aim at making the communication more cordial after the first few interactions. After a while of continuous communication, you should address each other by first names.

    3. Introduce the Email Body on a Good Note

    In responding to professional emails, it is always better to open with a compliment, for example,

    Thanks for a swift response
    I really appreciate the detailed explanation you gave.

    Even when you receive a nasty email, you must write professionally in your response. Generally, replying to emails warmly and professionally puts your reader in a good mood to answer your questions or requests and shows you are business-minded.

    Do not respond to rude emails right away. Take a break to ensure that you are acting as intended and not reacting to the contents of the email.

    When writing a fresh email, you can introduce yourself warmly by stating where you met the person previously or where you got the email address.

    4. Always Acknowledge the Receipt of Emails

    Though it is more professional to reply to emails in time, sometimes you would need more time to think or prepare the documents you need to send. In times like this, let your reader know you have seen the mail and would get back to them soon.

    You can respond with:

    Hello Ruth,
    Thanks for a swift response. I shall get back to you shortly.

    That is a great way to let your clients or partners know you take them very seriously. Let more about acknowledging emails here.

    5. Answer all Questions in the Email and Anticipate Other Questions

    When responding to professional emails, first answer the questions in the email before passing on fresh information.

    It is better to answer them stepwise or start with the first question to the last. Also, you should answer each question using a short paragraph.

    You should also quote what part of the email you are responding to.

    6. Keep it Simple and Sweet (KISS)

    Professional emails are not formal letters and should not be excessively long neither are they text messages, so they should not be meatless.

    Remember that email recipients are eager to know what you have written but do not have the luxury of time to read through unnecessarily long emails. To simplify the reading of your email, use one paragraph for each point and use bullets for lists.

    Basically, write the information with little or just enough explanation to help your reader understand. Avoid using abbreviations like ‘U’, ‘HTH’,’ASAP’, and avoid colloquial English also.

    Read over your emails before hitting ‘Send’ or ‘Reply’. Always bear in mind that once the message is sent, it cannot be modified. Check carefully for grammatical errors before sending a professional email.

    7. Conclude the Body of Your Email Intentionally

    If you expect a response, state it. For example’

    I look forward to your response.

    Otherwise, just conclude the email such that your reader does not need to reply to you unnecessarily.

    8. Sign off CordiallySign Off Cordially

    How you sign off an email is important. It often reflects your personality.

    Unlike in letters where most people use ‘Yours faithfully’, it is often better to end your emails with,

    • Best regards,
    • Warm regards,
    • Sincerely,
    • Thanks again,
    • Cheers, etc

    Learn more about signing off your emails professionally here.

    9. Use a Professional Email Signature

    Your email signature is not just for the professionalism of your email. It is a major contact tool.

    You can use something like,

    Smith Bam
    CEO, Africa Entertainment Inc.

    Remember to always use pre-written templates for frequently sent messages, and avoid attaching unnecessary files or using capital letters. Before writing your message, always ensure you are writing to or replying to the person you intend to email by checking the email address field carefully.

    Recommended Text

    Perfect phrases

    Do you handle correspondence in your office or run your own business?

    Deciding the right phrase to handle different situations can be very tasking, especially if English is not your first language. As a correspondent, you are directly involved in critical day-to-day interactions via email. This makes your ability to craft good email messages, using the perfect phrases and clauses, tangential to your business success.

    There is a book by Meryl Runion that will help you to a great extent even if English is not your first language:
    Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for getting respect, recognition, and results in today’s workplaceir?t=email0f 20&l=as2&o=1&a=B005C3WUUI

    Overall, this book will greatly improve your communication skills. It will also help you easily clarify assignments with your manager or projects with your clients as well as guide you in handling the inevitable complaints that sometimes follow sales of products or services.

    Find out more >>>
    Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for getting respect, recognition, and results in today’s workplace (Perfect Phrases Series)ir?t=email0f 20&l=as2&o=1&a=B005C3WUUI

    Dr. Ayoade Oyedotun
    Dr. Ayoade Oyedotun
    Dr. Ayoade Oyedotun is the co-founder of Afrimash - An Online Shopping Site for Agricultural Items. His daily work encompasses customer service, sales and marketing, human capital management, and business operations management. He is passionate about working smarter using the Internet technology.

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    1. Ayo,this is a really helpful post!I was just about to send such an email before reading this.Now,you’ve helped me increase the chances of getting a response.Keep it up!

      • Thanks Segun, I’m glad you read this article before sending the email. I actually intend to write more related articles on email etiquette and text messaging in the next couple of weeks.

        Warm regards.

    2. I liked that you explained that you will want to make sure that you keep your reply short want to the point. I really hate having to respond to emails and phone calls. So, if I was a business owner I would want to get an expert to help with answering things for me.

    Comments are closed.

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