Improving Business Email Etiquette

Effective communication is essential for success. Whether it’s reaching out to potential clients, networking with industry peers, or simply staying in touch with existing contacts, sending an email that resonates with the recipient is crucial. A recent experience with an unexpected email has prompted a closer look at the key elements of a well-crafted business email.

A few days ago, I received an email that nearly ended up in the trash bin. The sender was unfamiliar, and the subject line, “Introduction,” provided little context. However, upon reading the email, it was revealed that the sender, an associate who had previously shared reciprocal links, offered to provide valuable insights to enhance my business listing at no cost.

The offer presented significant potential benefits, including the possibility of gaining insights into customer behaviour on my website that were previously unknown. This experience prompted a rethink on the essential components that can elevate any business email, ensuring that it captures the recipient’s attention and delivers the intended message effectively.

First and foremost, the “who” aspect of the email is crucial. If the sender’s name is not immediately recognizable, the inclusion of the company name in the “from” box can provide the necessary context. This simple adjustment can enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of the email, setting the stage for a more meaningful interaction.

Furthermore, clearly stating the “what” in the subject line and the opening sentence of the email is paramount. This practice ensures that the recipient understands the purpose of the communication from the outset, reducing ambiguity and increasing the likelihood of engagement. By explicitly outlining the content of the email, the sender can effectively manage the recipient’s expectations and convey the intended message with clarity.

Equally important is the “why” of the email. Communicating how the message might benefit the recipient in the subject line or the opening sentence adds value to the interaction. By articulating the potential advantages or opportunities associated with the communication, the sender can capture the recipient’s interest and convey the relevance of the content, ultimately increasing the likelihood of a favourable response.

Avoiding the pitfall of burying the main point deep within the email, especially amidst technical jargon or excessive detail, is also essential. Instead, the sender should strive to concisely and clearly communicate the primary purpose of the email early on, ensuring that the recipient can quickly grasp the key message without unnecessary effort.

Crafting effective business emails relies on the mastery of the “who, what, and why” of the communication. By incorporating these fundamental principles, senders can elevate the impact of their emails, fostering meaningful interactions and achieving their intended objectives.

A graduate of the University of Waterloo, I have been a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario since 1982 (Now designated Retired). A member of The Association of Ontario Locksmiths, I have been active in the Locksmith trade since 1985

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