Email is one of the most widely used forms of communication both in and out of the work-related industry because of its efficiency and direct marketing system for targeting customers directly through their mailbox. Hence, it is important that you have a professional email checklist to ensure you consistently send out well-written emails to your clients.
At a certain point in life, you will likely use email in some capacity or the other. It might be to apply for a recommendation letter, to engage with business clients, to apply for a job position in a top company, or to communicate in a work environment.
According to Statista, 293.6 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2019 and it is expected to increase to over 347.3 billion daily emails in 2022. Furthermore, McKinsey & Company says employees spend an average of 13 working hours each week in their email inbox. These statistics show that many people receive tons of emails every day and would likely filter out the good ones. The side your email is likely to fall on depends on how well you structure your email as well as your communication skills.
Therefore, when writing professional emails, it is really important to make sure your message is well composed and structured to provide the recipient with a clear, concise, and informative message. To achieve this, you need a professional email checklist to keep track of what you have done well and what you haven't done well.
In this blog post, I will discuss some important items you need to have in your professional email checklist to ensure your emails truly look good before you hit the send button.
10 Checklist Items for Writing Professional Emails
1. Subject Line
This is the most important thing in any professional email letter. A subject line is the first thing your recipient sees when they open your mail. A good subject line gives the recipient an idea of what your email is about and why they have to open it. If a subject line is poorly written or left blank, it can have a devastating effect on the goal as well as the purpose you want the email to achieve.
According to Optinmonster, 47% of email recipients will open your email based solely on the subject line. The wrong subject line can leave your email unread or sent straight to the spam folder. Research also shows that 82% of marketers send emails with no more than 60 characters in the subject line and only the first 30 characters of a subject line are visible on the iPhone email app according to Yola.
Here are some helpful tips for writing a good subject line
- Make your subject line brief, a one-line sentence should be okay
- Make it personal by using your business name or your personal name personal.
- your subject line should generate curiosity
2. Professional Salutation
Another important thing is the opening salutation or greetings. The way you address the recipient when writing professional emails is very essential and it can determine whether your email letter gets the right response. Choosing the right way to address your recipient is about how well you know your audience and how well you've done your “homework”.
Greetings in a professional email should be about who the recipient is, what you’re emailing them about, and how well you know them.
The type of greetings you can use in a professional email include;
- Dear Mr./Ms/Professor/Dr.
- Dear(Last name)
- Dear Sir/Madam
If you are not so sure about the name of the person you are addressing, it is best to stick with Dear Sir/Madam. Don't use “to whom it may concern” as this shows that you have not done enough research on the company or organization.
3. The Body of Your Email
This is the 21st century, a lot of people don't have time to go through wordy and lengthy emails. Research shows that the average person receives about 90 emails a day. Emails that are too lengthy, wordy, or that aren't formatted well often get ignored by the recipient. or sent to the spam folder.
Tips for Writing a Good Email Copy
- Structure your email with plenty of white space between your paragraphs. Keep it between 2-3 sentences to avoid a large chunk of text.
- Make sure you state all the information the recipient needs to take the action you desire in the body of the letter.
- Keep it clear, brief, precise, informative, and straight to the point. Avoid going back and forth
- Always devote one email to one topic. If you need to communicate with someone about several different topics, consider writing a separate email for each one.
This makes your message clearer. It allows your recipient to understand your message and reply fast.
The idea of the body of the email is to create a balance between being too wordy and too blunt. Therefore your email must not be too wordy and at the same time must not be too short.
4. Ending Your Email
The way you close your email matters in a professional email because it can determine the level of success of your email. Like the greetings or opening salutation, the closing salutation is also about the person you are addressing. Make sure you do your research well before ending your email and hitting the send button.
The type of formal closing salutations often used in a professional email include;
- Best regards,
- Thanks in advance
- Kind regards,
- Best wishes.
The next thing to do is to add your name and contact details. If you’re writing on behalf of a company or organization, include this information in your signature as well.
5. Make Sure Your Email Address is Appropriate
Choosing the right email address is essential to building trust and establishing a professional image. Generally, for business or professional emails, if you can, avoid using domains like Hotmail and Yahoo, or Gmail. Instead, use your custom domain. It shows an element of sophistication, and it proves you’re serious about what you do. It also allows you greater flexibility to create the ideal email address without having to worry about it being taken already.
Using a professional email address with a custom domain name gives your business a lot more prestige.
The most standard and recommended form of a professional email address is the [email protected] format.
6. Check Grammar and Spelling
In a professional email, there is no room for typos and grammatical blunders that may be overlooked in casual emails. When writing professional emails, it is assumed you don't know the other person well, or you’re writing to a person of authority. Therefore your recipient will likely take your message seriously when it is not full of errors, misspelled words, and missing punctuation.
These errors can be unprofessional and at the same time be stumbling blocks for the reader and make your message harder to understand. A professional email is your chance to make a strong impression on your recipient and your writing abilities will reflect your skills, education level, as well as quality of work.
With the aid of different spell-checking tools and grammar-checking websites, you have a high chance of sending an error-free email.
7. Double-Check the Recipient's Name and Email
In a formal email, it is very essential to double-check your recipient's email address and name before you hit the send button. Make sure you double-check the recipient's email address when writing professional emails to avoid the costly mistake of sending your email to the wrong recipient.
Be sure to research the organization or institution to know the right address you are supposed to email your letter to.
8.Remember to Address All Attach Files
Attachments are additional files you send to your recipient to give more information about your emails. They can include PDF, documents, images as well as videos. When writing professional emails, you need to state that you are sending an attachment with your mail, state the kind of file or document and the information it contains so the recipient would know that the file is from you.
9. Use a Professional Font
When writing professional emails, it is best to select a font that's clean, uncluttered, and easy to read. Use a professional font that can help your message get through. Make use of a large font so the reader doesn't have to squint to consume the message, but not so large. A 10-point or 12-point font size will do just fine.
Stick to the classics. Familiar fonts like Arial, Verdana, Calibri, and Times New Roman.
10. Check the Reply-all Button.
The reply-all scenario occurs when someone sends an email to more than one person. Clicking the reply button sends your message to the email sender while clicking the reply-all button sends your message to everyone who received the original. Experts recommend that you always check the “To field” in your reply email before clicking send button.
To avoid including unnecessary recipients, make sure to check the others that received the email and make sure that you are sending your reply to the correct recipient.