Nowadays, e-mailing has become the front door to each business communication and relationship, so getting it right is the ultimate necessity. While e-mails aren’t necessarily as formal as handwritten letters, they still have to look professional, so that you would appear trustworthy in the eyes of your recipients. Here are some simple steps you should follow:
• Meaningful heading in the subject line: Never leave a blank subject line, this might make your reader delete your message and sabotage your personal and professional image, specially if you are communicating for the first time. Moreover, avoid an unclear title, a too vague expression, something as " Looking for an opportunity". Most importantly, do not "scream" in your subject line, it shouldn't contain something as " Very important! ", because what might be that important for you may not have the same importance in the eyes of your recipient. Do never use all-uppercase words and sentences, neither an exclamation mark because it would look unpleasant, as if you were yelling. Your heading should be clear and hit your message's purpose straight-to-the-point, something like " Aiming to work for you as a freelance graphic designer ". " Hi! " would never do the job!
• Concerning the greeting: Obviously, you begin your message with a greeting; for example “Dear Mrs.…” If you maintain a formal relationship with your reader, use his/her family name. You may only use his/her name if the relationship is more casual. Beware, don't get informal too quickly, do not say " Hey Julie " for someone you are contacting for the first time, even when you know the name. When you don’t know the name of your recipient, make sure to do some efforts to get it, the recipient prefers reading his own name instead of just “dear Sir/Madam”. But in case you still don't know who you are sending the message to, you may write "To whom it may concern.
• Thank your recipient: Nothing is nicer than a thanking sentence to begin your message. In case you are asking for information or favor, you may thank your reader in advance, for his/her cooperation. When you get a reply, don’t forget to thank him back, you would look more polite. Moreover, if you are answering an inquiry, thank him/her for his/her trust and interest.
• Concerning the content:Since no one enjoys reading endless emails, present your purpose in a concise and clear way. Talking about many purposes in one e-mail is annoying, so just mention one purpose. Write another message if you want to discuss another matter. Pay attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation, to display a professional image. Something such " i hav" doesn't help you building a positive impression! Since you aren't chatting with your friend, never use informal abbreviations. " Gr8! " and " 4 u " are certainly unacceptable in any formal message. Concerning punctuation, if you really need to an exclamation mark, do not use more than one, you are not displaying your anger through your email. For that same reason, all-upper cased words should be excluded in your content.
• About sending attachments: When you are sending an attached document, present it, add a short description, say " check the attached document ", because if the mail is being seen on a mobile device, your document may go unnoticed. In case you have a large sized document, ask your recipient's permission before sending it. It would be thoughtful.
• Thank your recipient once more: When you end your message, thank again your recipient for his time. You may use expressions like “ Thank you again for your time and patience ”. When you are answering a sender, it would be nice to say something as “ If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know. ”
• Choose an appropriate closing and revise: The conventional closings are still ideal, " Kind regards " and " Sincerely ", with your name after it. Before pressing the " send " button, make sure you re-read your e-mail!