The main aim of business writing is that it should be understood clearly when read quickly. The message should be well planned, simple, clear, and direct.
It should either:
- Convey information
- Deliver news
- Direct action
- Explain or justify
- Influence someone to take action
The Wrong way to send Business emails…
- Never substitute an email for necessary face-to-face meetings
Especially when praising work well done, reprimanding someone, or firing someone. Such communications should be handled in person if possible.
- Never assume that email is private
Something can go wrong with any software program, and your email might be misdirected. Also, many companies monitor their employees’ email. Don’t send anything via email that you wouldn’t want your colleagues to see. If your message is highly personal or sensitive, ask for a face-to-face meeting or send it via regular mail.
- Don’t assume that everyone reads email immediately
Email travels quickly, but speed of transmission does not guarantee speed of communication. Some people don’t check their email inbox every day. Others may set aside a particular time of the day to check their email, but respond only to messages that require immediate attention. Sometimes days or weeks can pass between when a message is sent and when it is read. If you need an immediate response, put ‘urgent’ or ‘please read immediately’ in the subject line, preceding the specific subject of the message.
- Never send an angry message via email. There’s no time in business when such correspondence is appropriate.
- Never send an email message written in capital letters, LIKE THIS. Using all capital letters in any context is regarded as the email equivalent of shouting.
- Never forward jokes, spam, chain letters, or advertisements. They could annoy colleagues and potential customers.
- Do not reply to everyone who received an email unless it’s relevant to them. If you’re simply acknowledging receipt or confirming the time of a meeting, respond only to the sender.
- Do not use email for any illegal or unethical purpose. This goes without saying!
Sign up for our Business Writing course that will equip you with the skills to communicate clearly and professionally through business letters. It explains how to write high quality letters, provides examples and illustrations, and applies the skills to specific types of business letters.