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.
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.
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