Introduction to Email Writing
I know you may have scorned at the title of this article, or probably be wondering what is it about emails that you do not know. Well, do not be proud (chuckles), you will be shocked at what you would learn from this write up. Let’s get right into it now, shall we?
Simply put, an email is an electronic medium by which an individual or entity can send messages through a network to one or more persons or entities. If you were born in the late 90’s, or some of our folks that came into existence in the last two decades, you most definitely did not meet your parents sending letters through the postal office. Email is the technological advancement in the traditional way of sending information over a long or even short distance.
You should know that emails are the most commonly used means of communication between most corporate organization and existing or prospective clients and employees. As we help you take steps towards achieving your set goals and landing those mouthwatering opportunities that will set you up for success, it is pertinent we hand you some tools which will help make the process seamless.
Let me walk you through some of the terminologies and concepts of putting out an outstanding email. At this point, I want to assume you have an email address, and with that in mind, you should also be able create a new email, great!
This is where you should insert your email address.
This is where you insert the email address(es) you want to send a message to.
This stands for Carbon Copy. This is used to send a copy of an email to other individuals because you want them to be in the loop of the information contained in the email. It is mostly used in the corporate space, especially when subordinates want to keep their superiors aware of their engagements with client or co-workers.
This stands for Blind Carbon Copy. This is used to send a copy of an email to a group of people and do not want the recipients to see others it was sent to. HR practitioners use this feature to send emails to a bulk of successful or unsuccessful applicants.
This is the email headline. It bears the major highlight of the content of your email. E.g. Application for the Role of a Cost Accountant, Minutes of the last AGM etc.
- Compose email:
This is where you write your message. See it as the body of your letter.
- Pin-like icon:
This is used to attach files to your email.
- Paper-like icon:
This is used to send your email.
Tips to drafting an outstanding email
- Use an official email address for official purposes. Emails like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com is not ideal to make applications, apply for scholarships or even send out or reply any official message. The reason is because it does not speak seriousness to your person or depict professionalism.
- Do not forget to crosscheck the email address you are sending a message to in order to avoid sending confidential or sensitive information to a wrong person as this may have some serious consequences. Ensure to always doublecheck the email address(es).
- Never send out an email without a subject. I see a lot of HR practitioners complain about this particular oversight by applicants, especially when applications are requested via email. It may be a disqualifying factor as this action depicts lack of attention to details, or carelessness to say the least.
- In composing the body of your email, you should understand that it is not an article. You need to be as concise, clear, and courteous as possible. It is advisable to keep it to at most three paragraphs long. You should be able to ask about the recipient’s welfare, introduce yourself if need be, communicate your clear intentions and give room for a response should you require one.
- As much as you may want to be formal, you also need to be polite in your choice of words and to a very great extent avoid errors in your email. This can be achieved by proofreading it over and over again. It is wise to seek for a fresh eye to take a good look at email before sending it out.
- Salutations and closing remarks are highly recommended. It is an advantage if you know the name of the person to whom you are addressing the email to as this can creates some level of acquaintance. If you do not have a name, “Dear Sir/Madam”, or “Dear Hiring Manager/Admission team” may suffice. The most commonly used closing remark in the corporate space today is “Regards” and then, your name can follow suit.
- Do not forget to attach your file if it is required. It can get messy if you forget to attach a file as you may have to resend the entire email or send a new one apologizing for the omission.
- Read that email again! I know I said that before, I am reiterating. Read that email again. An error-free email shows professionalism and good attention to detail skill.
In replying an email, when there is more than one email address from the sending end, you should “Reply All”, if not, then “Reply” will be just fine.
It is okay to include the address of your recipient before the salutation, especially when it for an application.
Do well to check your spam folder as response(s) to your email might go in there.