It’s best to keep work emails short and to the point. Typically, a couple of brief paragraphs will suffice. At times, of course, you’ll need more space, but it’s still a good idea to limit your word count. Restraining yourself will help ensure that readers don’t misunderstand your message, and it will save you valuable time—both worthwhile goals.
Here is a third reason to tighten up your emails: Sometimes you don’t have time to be chatty. Sometimes your week is just too packed, and in order to focus on your to-do list, you need write very short emails.
When you are writing business email messages, follow these guidelines:
- Convey your message. Direct, succinct messages are best. Ensure that you’ve answered all questions and covered your thoughts thoroughly. Just don’t forget the niceties like “Hello, Dan,” “Please” and “Thanks,” or you could come across as abrupt or rude.
- Cover only one subject in each email. If you must cover multiple subjects, break the material into sections and use bullet points or boldface headers to indicate a change in subject.
- Condense your message. Don’t force your reader’s to scroll past one page to read your message. If you need to draft a longer message, put the contents into an attachment and summarize the key points in the email.
What’s your email style? Have you had to adapt it at all to fit your new position?
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