Effective Email Writing

How to write great emails

Effective Email Writing

Emails tend to be less formal and have a shorter word count than emails.  They are also generally faster at delivering the message and have the ability to link to other information if needed.

To write an effective email, you should use the same principles as writing any other communication:

  • Know your audience.
    Remember, you are writing to an individual.  The email may be sent to thousands of people, but there will normally only be one person at a time who opens and reads it.  Before writing the email you should have an idea about the person who will be opening and reading it.  If you target your email to a specific person, it will be more engaging, persuasive, and easier for the reader to understand.  Age, Education, Employment, and interests can be used to give you an idea about the reader and how to target your email writing so that it engages with them.
  • Use an appropriate subject heading.
    Your subject heading will determine if your intended recipient will open the email or not. The heading needs to be relative to the content of the email and should never be left blank.
    If you are blind emailing people and want them to open the email then you still need the subject to be relevant to the content.  Sending an email with the subject line ‘Read Me,’ or ‘RE…’ is only going to end up not being opened by the reader, or flagged and end up in the email SPAM box.

  • Address your reader appropriately.
    Email is an informal messaging system, having said that there are times when addressing your reader formally will be more appropriate. If you are emailing regarding important or official information then address the recipient as you would when writing a letter.  Also, if you need to email a large amount of customers, never be tempted to use the mass marketing fail of ‘Dear valued customer…’  If the customer was valued then surely you would make the effort of using their name.
  • Be precise and make sure your reader will understand the message.
    People don’t enjoy reading emails, they read them to gain information. If you are replying to an email then always include the previous email content, this will provide your reader with the information to give context to your new message.
  • Proofread and spell-check before pressing send.
    Always make sure you have proofread and spell check the email you have written before you press the send button. Typos, bad grammar, and wrong spellings will lose you valuable authority with your reader.
  • Final tip.
    Never instantly reply to an email that evokes your emotions. If the email you receive makes you angry or irritates you in any way, then do not take action until you have had time to calm down and think logically about your reply.  Fire off a quick inappropriate response and you may regret hitting that send button.



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