How to write an email: an easy beginners guide
An email can be a daunting prospect. Unless you’re an extrovert, it takes courage to hit send on a new message. You never know how the other person will respond or if they’ll respond at all.
We are a society that thrives on instant communication, which is why emails are so popular. But this doesn’t make it any easier to write one!
Emails are a great way to stay in touch with people and make new connections, but they require thought and planning in order to get your message across without coming off as robotic. Read on for some tips on how to write an email—and do it effectively, too!
Know Who You’re Emailing
The first thing you need to know is who you’re writing to. If you’re writing to a friend or someone that you are familiar with, then you can be much less formal and speak in a relaxed tone.
“Hey [name], what’s going on it’s, [name].”
If you’re contacting someone you’ve never met before, it’s polite to introduce yourself in the email and keep your wording formal.
This could be as simple as saying;
“Hello, my name is [name].”
A short and clear introduction is the best way to make your first impression.
If you’re writing to a potential employer, make sure to keep your email in a professional tone.
“Good [morning, afternoon, evening], my name is [name].”
Employers are looking for people who can think on their feet, so it’s important that you don’t make any silly mistakes that show you still have a lot to learn.
If you don’t know what to say in your email, it’s best to keep it simple and respectful.
How to Write an Email Subject Line
The subject line should direct the reader to what your email is about, but it shouldn’t give too much away.
If you’re writing to a friend or colleague you know well, you could include the subject line;
“Thanks for coming to visit my show!” in your email.
Otherwise, you could write something more formal like;
An easy trick to choosing a good subject line is to ask yourself;
“What if someone sees this in their inbox and doesn’t read it?”
If you wouldn’t read it, neither will they.
When composing your email, look at the subject line field and ask yourself if the information you’ve written there is relevant to the rest of the email. If not, start again. It’s important to be direct and to the point.
Proper Grammar And Spelling in Your Email
It’s easy to let grammar slip out of our minds when we’re typing something up quickly and in private, but it’s essential to get it right in an email.
An email is like a business letter—it’s a formal communication between two people who may not know each other, and so it needs to be written to a specific standard.
If you’re unsure of the correct format, check out a site like Purdue’s Online Writing Lab. For the most part, though, you don’t need to be too strict with your writing.
Emails are more relaxed than business letters, but they still need to be clear and professional. Don’t use text-speak like “u” or “r” and avoid abbreviations like “BTW”.
Using full words and grammar correctly is more professional and shows more care for the person you’re emailing.
Don’t Use All Caps When Emailing
Unless you’re writing an important message in code, avoid writing in all caps.
It’s considered a sign of aggression and can easily come off as rude.
Just look at this quick example;
You may want to use all caps for an attention-grabbing subject line, but avoid using them for the rest of the email.
Be Clear And Concise in Your Email
Although an email is a great medium for people who are shy or introverted, it’s not an excuse for being vague or overly wordy.
If you don’t know what to say, it’s best to say nothing at all. Don’t just say “Hi” or “How are you?” without giving any context to your email.
Instead, write a brief introduction and explain why you’ve contacted that person.
Don’t go on and on, though. Keep your email short and sweet, but definitely don’t leave it open-ended.
You don’t want to tell the person reading your email everything about your life, and you don’t have to. If you’re writing a short email, don’t go into too much detail about your past, your job and your interests.
Instead, put the focus on the person you’re writing to and what you want from them. If you’re emailing a friend who lives nearby and you want to go on a hike, you don’t have to go into detail about your childhood, your job and your interests.
Instead, you could write something like;
“Hey! I’m free Saturday. Wanna go hiking?”
Use Plain Language
As mentioned before, emails are a more relaxed form of communication, but that doesn’t mean you can write like you’re talking to a friend.
Write like you’re talking to a friend who you want to impress. Ensure that each sentence is clear and concise, that your paragraphs make sense and that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Funny
Hilarious emails are a great way to break the ice and get someone to laugh. If you’re emailing a friend or someone you know well, feel free to be a little silly or sarcastic.
If you’re emailing someone you don’t know very well or who is in a high position in your field of work, don’t try to be too funny. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, but not at the cost of professionalism.
You may be tempted to be snarky or sarcastic if the person you’re emailing rubbed you the wrong way in the past. But this is a bad idea.
Even if you’re emailing someone who hurt you in the past, you should keep your tone positive. Think of it as a way to prove to yourself that you aren’t that person anymore.
If you’re emailing someone who hurt you in the past, you should be nice but firm. Don’t be overly friendly or apologetic. Be polite, but show that you’re not a pushover.
Don’t Underestimate Your Email Signature
Your email signature is the perfect place to put links to your social media pages, your website and your email address. If you want to be taken seriously in the online world, you need to have a consistent online presence.
Your email signature is a great place to start. Make sure that your signature is consistent across all your social media pages and email addresses.
You don’t want to have your name spelled differently on every account.
In this day and age, there’s no escaping email. It’s a quick, easy way to stay in touch with people, which is why it’s so important to write them well.
If you follow these tips, writing emails will become much easier and more enjoyable. If you want to write better emails, you have to write more emails.
The more you write, the more you will improve, so don’t be afraid to send those messages!
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