You might think that you already know everything you need to know about writing in the workplace. After all, anyone can send an email, can’t they? But even though an email can seem more informal, if you’re using email in the workplace then you need to make sure that the correspondence you send out is appropriate and professional. Your emails will usually be your first point of contact with new customers and clients, and first impressions count!
Our Business Writing course covers all aspects of writing in the workplace, from emails to sales letters and advertising materials. Today though, we’re just going to look at a few simple ways you can improve your emails.
- Spelling and Grammar: Take the time to look over your emails and check your punctuation, spelling and grammar carefully. If you aren’t sure, use a dictionary or look it up online! It’s always best to be absolutely certain, because if a customer spots an error in your emails they’re likely to remember it. When you’re contacting customers you’re asking them to part with their hard earned money in exchange for your products and services, so you’re trying to convince them that you can offer them a professional and reliable service. An email riddled with errors doesn’t reflect this, so proofreading your emails is important.
- Keep it Simple: Emails with graphics, animations and flashy colours might seem like a great idea to attract a reader’s attention, but in reality they can actually work against you. Bright colours and different fonts and sizes are off-putting and make the message difficult to read, and some email providers will even mark your message as spam or junk if there are pictures involved. A plain email with simple text and a few links to your website is much more effective, and gives your reader the option to find out more if they want to.
- Layout: It’s such a small thing but the layout of your email can make a big difference. No one expects to be confronted by a wall of text when they open an email, so using paragraphs is important. Split the information up into small chunks to make it easier to read. Also, make sure to address your recipient as “Dear Mr/Mrs...,” at the top of your email, and then start a new paragraph. Emails that take a lot of time and effort to read often get deleted straight away, so a clean and simple message works in your favour.
- Text Speak: It should go without saying, but you should never ever use text speak in a business email. If you are sending a message to a friend or family member then you can be as informal as you want to, but you should always be writing formally when speaking to a customer. More than anything, this is a sign of respect but it also helps to ensure that your message is understood. Not everyone will be familiar with text speak, so it could end up looking like a lot of nonsense to some of your readers!
These are just a few simple steps for improving your emails, and most of them apply to any written material you send out. They might seem like tiny changes, but we promise they'll make a big difference to your customers!