7 tips for effective email communications in the workplace

August 26, 2021

Email has become an inevitable and valuable communication tool in our work and personal lives. Moreover, email communication is an essential writing skill for employees because it reflects your working style and the professionalism of your organisations. However, it might be difficult to express tone and emotion solely via letters, which might lead to miscommunication, unprofessionalism and negative perception from the receivers.   

Therefore, to help you understand the core principles of writing emails and conveying the right message, here are seven tips to improve your email communication:    

1. Remember subject line   

47% receivers will not open an email without a subject line. An email without a subject is considered unprofessional and careless. The subject is the title of your email which gives receivers a summary of the inner message. Therefore, be really concise on the email purposes and name the subject accordingly for a positive first impression. The subject line should be about seven to ten words to make it attractive and clickable.   

2. Define the target reader   

Before starting to write an email, consider who the readers are, so you can choose suitable and relevant content. For example, writing to your colleagues is different from communicating with clients and managers. Avoid casual words such as “hey” or “hi” and remove slang words or acronyms when sending to clients and managers. For emails to colleagues, we can use casual words to make it friendlier.    

3. Build a structure  

A neat email will make it easy for readers to follow and understand the message. Too long or too short paragraphs could make them lose momentum and quit reading your email. So, dividing the texts into two to three sentences per paragraph could keep the reader’s interest and help them to follow the content easier. Also, remember to use BOLD or ITALIC to highlight important points and catch the attention of readers.      

4. Use simple words   

Even though emails need to be professional to some extent, it is not about writing essays or academic reports. So, keep the wording as simple as possible because the more complicated it gets, the higher chance that it could lead to miscommunication and confusion. Simple words make emails easy to understand and thus, improve the communication.   

5. Be calm  

We should not write emails when angry or agitated because it could influence the tone and mood of the email. Senders could bring negative emotion to their message and appear unprofessional. In this case, the writer needs to calm down before they begin to think about writing anything.     

6. Think about the time   

Avoid sending emails after working hours because it could annoy the receivers. The suitable time for us to send emails is during working hours which could increase motivation for recipients to read them. Also, we should respect the senders by replying within 24 hours from receiving. This also helps you to avoid skipping it.   

7. Proofread before sending   

Before sending any email, make sure everything is qualified because a minor mistake could lead to miscommunication. The important elements are: email address, subject line, grammar spelling, file attachment. Do not forget to put an appropriate closing such as “Best Regards” or “Sincerely” with the signature, so the receivers know the identity of sender.   

Writing an effective email is not too difficult but it challenges us to convey the right mood and message to readers. Therefore, we should spend time thinking about the readers and the points in our email. Remember the email could reflect your professionalism or your company’s values, so proofread any email before clicking “send”.