Effective Email Communication
We’ve talked a bit about the basics of an email communication – the parts you need, and a few things you need to be aware of and cautious about.
This post provides you much information and specific examples of a few kinds of email that you might write:
So, follow through to read about the examples shown above.
How can you succeed in producing effective email communication? And what is an effective email?
An email is a form of communication – so to be effective, it must deliver the message intended. Since communication is a two-way street, you should be participating in both ways in the street of Email.
There are numerous situations for which you might write an email – and let’s look at a few of them:
Respond quickly. If you receive an email, it is a courtesy to respond quickly. You will be demonstrating effective email communication.
Many individuals offer an automated response to an email to indicate that they’ve received the email. Depending on the reason, that may or may not fall into the category of effective email communication. People do it, however.
If an automated message achieves the purpose intended, then perhaps it can be considered effective. The automatic response certainly may have its place; but as with everything, a balance is required.
Everyone must have an understanding of the following:
Write for the reader. Keeping the reader as the focus is most important in effective email communication.
Keep it short. If you have a long document to send, then the “cover” email should be short. Clearly specify what is being attached and what you would like the reader to do with it.
If you write to ask for information, you are requesting a
favour of the reader. What is it that would cause that reader to
respond quickly? Try to provide an incentive for the reader. What is there to benefit the reader?
Congratulations. A friendly email of congratulations would have to sound sincere.
Thank you. A friendly email of thanks must also sound sincere.
Complaint. Writing an email to make a complaint requires careful thought
and presentation. You need a little guidance on that, perhaps.
Personal emails are far different from business emails. You assume that your friends know you, so would forgive any errors you might make. However, the business email must be professional in all respects.
Asking for information
In the first category –
asking for information – you are, indeed, requesting a favour. Why
should the reader respond? If there is “something in it” for the
reader, then you can pretty well be sure that the reader will respond.
Please send me information about your hotel.
What is the benefit to the reader? If you send me the information quickly, then I can likely
book with you – and if I book now, I may book again. Word of mouth can
be powerful. If I like your hotel, I will be sure to tell my friends.
For the reader - If it’s a business inquiry, then the reader may gain much extra business by providing that extra service of responding quickly. You may also beat out the competition by responding quickly.
Effective email communication is a goal you can strive for in all you do.
Asking for information
Get to your request immediately in the short opening paragraph:
Please send me information about your hotel. I am looking for reservations for 6 adults from Wednesday, the 5th of … through to Sunday, the 9th of … Six single rooms are required.
OR a little more succinct:
Please send me information on the availability of reservations for 6 adults in six single rooms, arrival on Wednesday, the 5th of … and departure on Sunday, the 9th of …
You can add a short compliment to finish up that opening paragraph.
Please send me information on the availability of reservations for 6 adults in six single rooms, arrival on Wednesday, the 5th of … and departure on Sunday, the 9th of … We’ve heard many good reviews of your facility.
The middle paragraphs can provide a few more details – about who, why, and so on… Use a bulleted list if possible to highlight the information and make it easy to read and remember. Keep the points short.
The closing can begin with the direct request for action and add the goodwill comment:
Please respond by email as soon as possible. A reply by the … will allow us to confirm our stay with you. We look forward to enjoying your hotel for our annual getaway.
Effective email communication is a skill you can learn. You'll become skilled!
The personal email of congratulations
email can be a short note. It can be informal, and should be sincere.
“Best wishes” or “all the best” may be a useful phrase to use.
Congratulations on your promotion to …. I am so very happy for you! This accolade is so very well deserved!
I look forward to working with you in this new capacity.
All best wishes,
Congratulations on the birth of your son! Excellent news!
Congratulations on the newest member of your family! Excellent news!
I hope all is well and that you will soon be home and finding the time to enjoy your new arrival. I’m so very happy for you both, and wish you all the best!
A friendly email of thanks to a friend or colleague
Thank you very much for all your help with the project this week. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Thank you very much for going out of your way to assist me this morning. Your help was invaluable!
Then the middle/end…
If you want to be specific, you can add the details in the middle short paragraph.
Then, the closing:
Please contact me if I can return the favour… I look forward to seeing you again very soon.
OR Please contact me if I can assist you with anything. It will be fun to celebrate our success.
Please contact me if I can assist you. I look forward to working with you again soon.
An email to make a complaint
Any complaint that can be written with humour may be considered a good strategy in writing effective emails.
Humour can soften any situation, as long as the humour is considerate and not directed to another with any hint of blame.
brand-name swimsuit that I purchased from your factory is defective.
The clasps are of poor quality and have deteriorated.
Then add the request for action.
The swimsuit that I purchased from your factory is defective. The clasps are of poor quality and have deteriorated. Please replace the suit with a new model or provide me with a refund of the purchase price.
Give the details in the middle. If you can tell how inconvenienced or disappointed you are, that provides a very good personal touch.
I wore the suit only a few times, taking good care of it. When I exited the sea yesterday, the clasp broke, the top came undone, and fell off. You may imagine how embarrassed I was because there were a number of sun-bathers on the beach. I was horrified!
Then the short closing, beginning with the request for action and a goodwill comment.
Please contact me by return email to let me know how you can fix this situation. I loved my brand-name swimsuit, and hope that I can enjoy wearing a new one very soon.
Writing well involves messages that actually get the point across and communicate efficiently and effectively. With practice, you can achieve your goal.
What is effective email communication?
Effective communication is a communication that achieves the purpose for which it is prepared. Obviously, effective email communication is that effective communication through the medium of email.
Who is your reader? Most likely, it is
(a) someone who either works hard during the day, receiving emails as a matter of course in his or her job.
(b) it is someone who works without a lot of computer support, and will check emails infrequently
(c) it is someone who actually “has a life” outside of the computer.
Your goal. Your goal is to write an email communication that most effectively will be
by the recipient of your email.
Then – and only then, when you receive the feedback – can you state that your email has been an effective email communication.
So, let’s get started and analyze the various scenarios. Who are your readers?
Regardless of what your reader does, your reader's time is very important.
In all cases, you must capture the reader's attention and interest first if you hope to have your reader read and follow-up with your email.
First – the subject line. The subject line must be clear and
succinct. It must be relevant. It must show some urgency – if there is
urgency – but not a false urgency or you’ll be accused of “crying wolf’
to the detriment of future emails that you might send.
Catch the reader’s attention with the subject line first.
Begin with a salutation – a personal salutation so that the reader feels important and individual. Making the reader feel good is very easy – and it’s such an asset to any email communication.
Body - Begin the short opening (maximum 2 sentences) with a focus on the reader – not the writer. Avoid “I” and “We” at the start. Instead, perhaps ask a question. Would you … OR Please …
The middle paragraph(s)
– Write short sentences and short paragraphs. Again, focus on the
reader. Write in active voice, rather than passive voice. Be clear.
The closing paragraph – Keep it short, but add the important closing paragraph. Begin with a direct request for action – Please contact me at …
The closing paragraph should be separate because that’s where you want to end the communication – and you want the reader to remember what you have asked or what was the purpose of the message. It’s a chance to choose your words to leave the reader with a good feeling.
Of course, the closing must be relevant to the message – but it’s very easy to do.
So, you’ve written your email. That’s effective communication from your side. What about from the other side?
What is effective communication? Communication is a two-way street. To have effective communication, there must be a back-and-forth of sorts to indicate and confirm an understanding between the two.
Feedback. If you ask a question, and get no response, what do you know?
If you speak to someone – call out to them – and get no response, what do you know?
Without feedback, you really don’t know the whole story. Effective communication is effective only if there is feedback.
So, if someone writes to you by email, respond!
Follow up - Then, put that email – and the need to respond in detail – in your ToDo list so that you will be sure to follow up.
The acknowledgment is so very important.
You can imagine how frustrated you would be if you send an email to someone and get no response.
Did the email arrive? Was it ignored? Did it not arrive?
You can see that the feedback is so very important - and feedback is a very important part of effective communication!
The format of an email is important for effective email communication. The format can produce a positive effect or a negative effect upon your reader.
Avoid all capitals. Writing in all capitals is the equivalent of yelling at your reader – something you definitely want to avoid.
Soon, you'll be on your way to very effective email communication.
Consider the following guidelines for effective email communication:
LINK - Click here to learn more about Email Etiquette.
You can be known for effective email communication!