3 reasons to chase excellence in Email writing

During our Business writing course, we are often asked, how to perfect email or letter writing? Answer to this question is very simple. Do not chase perfection right from first email, rather chase excellence in business writing.

In this fast life, it is difficult to wait for perfect products. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, coca-cola keep on updating their existing ones and keep on introducing new ones. Key to success is excellence and not perfection. If you wait for perfection chances are you will miss the opportunity. Many business people talk about excellence. But, then what is excellence? Pursuing excellence is nothing but creating best possible result within given resources. Next question is why you should chase excellence especially in writing emails.

Wait for perfect opening and miss deadline

Most of the people we meet ask, how to write a perfect opening. The bad news is, if you wait for perfect opening you may not finish the letter in time. Do not strive for perfection. Rather brainstorm – start looking for relevant points, illustrations or anecdotes depending on the type of business document you are writing.

Purpose is important than literary value

Every business document has a purpose. It can be change expected in policies, behaviours, communication etc. After relevant points, you must include “call to action” message which should be loud and clear for the reader. If you focus on literary content more than purpose, and start using thesaurus on every word, you may end up coming across as a confused writer.

Nikhil is a Purchase Manager in Home Appliances Division at an Indian Corporation. He has to reply to at least 150 mails in a day. Most of them are addressed to his suppliers and many to his senior management. He initially used to wait for perfect opening and best possible lexical terms. His mails were for sure were appreciated for freshness, but he could reply to hardly 50 mails in a day. Many of his juniors and suppliers were not happy because of the delay in reply. Moreover, he himself could achieve little more than writing mails and meeting people throughout his busy day. At the end of the week he used leave office late in evening as he was replying to pending emails. In the process, his tired approach was reflected in his mails.

We advised him to change his style of email writing. He not only replies to all of his emails, he leaves office in time. You may find the tips on how to write effective mails here.

Learning curve

After explaining these points with relevant example people start accepting the point that they must focus on the excellence more than anything else. It takes years of writing practice to come up with really good writing skills.

07learningcurve

Graph for learning new skills is as shown in image; this is s-shaped curve. Initially we, humans, take a lot of time as our mind tries to stick older concepts or resists learning and adapting to new ideas. As the resistance fades away, learning gathers momentum, paving way for new ideas. It again reaches saturation after some period. This holds true for most of the skills including Email Writing. In order to write better emails you may click here.

We hope this helps you understand why excellence is important. Your likes, comments and shares are always welcome.

Write effective mails

During our Business English: Writing classes, we encounter experienced professionals, taking a lot of time to write an effective email. In case they are at position, which requires lot of mail exchanges, they ignore importance of writing effective mail. Counterargument of such seniors is that, as far as communication is done, it is alright to just scribble down messages. What they forget is, merely writing things down that come to your mind is not communication. Through your mails, you should be able to convey your thoughts and generate an action that you intend to.

We are writing this blog to make you aware of simple steps that you might take to make your emails effective.

Brainstorm

When you sit down to write an email, don’t focus on impact initially. Deal with impact later. Just sit down and think of the things that are necessary to say. There are many softwares available for this process. In my opinion, legal pad and pencil would be as effective as any other tool. Jot down the points you think that must be communicated.

After writing points down, group these points with some criterion. This criterion could be responsibilities, priorities or timeline. This will help your reader understand your mind in better way. Look at this blog, I categorized my writing into three parts based on levels of activity. It creates homogeneity in writing. Also, if you could condense down the matter in these paragraphs into few words and put it as a title, readers can anticipate in advance what they might read in the mail. It helps set realistic expectation for what is going to follow on.

Write first draft

Do not wait for the inspiration. Neatly organized, substantial content, scores over inspirational letter in business. We are not trying to recreate Shakespeare’s magic here. Just start with the points. Write down relevant sentences to the points. You may miss few words in first draft, but do not stop and re-correct for two reasons. First, you may lose the idea you were writing and it may not come out that effectively. Second, after completing mail, you may become blind to your own mistakes. So, focus on writing as far as possible without bothering much about mistakes.

Once you are done with the body of the email, focus on its beginning and end. Write them down. You have said what you have to and now you are in better position to write appropriate beginning and also summarize effectively at the end.

Revise and Edit

Once you have written down all your points, you know main job of writing is over. All your ideas are on the paper. Now start revising and editing the mail. Watch out for few words, it’s better to have dictionary handy when you wish to convey particular nuances of words.

After correcting your mail for grammatical mistakes you may like to show it to your colleague, just to make sure, your mail is in same mood that you wanted it to be. For insistence, in follow-up mail to a client you choose to urge him that, he needs the product and you have quoted rock bottom prize. You do not wish to beg for the order. Get this checked from your colleague.

In conclusion, three steps just mentioned will help you write effective mail. I hope this helps you in your day to day jobs. Also, to summarize, it took me about forty minutes to complete this blog with same principles I just explained. It’s not that bad, I guess.

Please like and keep encouraging us for writing such content regularly.