It’s weird that, in today’s world of Twitter and Facebook, people still don’t seem to have a good grasp of emails. It’s bad enough that people mess things up with personal emails but it’s worse when people do it in their business emails where things could go more horrible wrong with more grotesque consequences. Here are some mistakes to avoid when writing business emails.
Using an unprofessional email address. Your company should provide you
Childish fonts and emoticons. Oh sure. Most email clients and services offer rich-text editing. But do you have to write it in Comic Sans, in pink, and peppered with smileys? Not only does this make it unreadable for people, it makes you look like an immature thirteen year-old Justin Bieber fan.
Sending the email to the wrong person. Oh how many times has this happened? Before hitting send, make sure that you’re sending it to the right person. Gmail has an extra feature that would give you five extra seconds after hitting send to cancel the process just in case you go cross-eyed and butterfingers with the recipient line again.
Unclear subject lines. Keep in mind that subject lines are also being used to filter spam. So if you have very generic subject lines like “Hello!” (or forbid “Grow extra 2 inches!”), it’s likely to get flagged as spam. Even if you get through the spam filter, people now sort email based on the subject lines. So make sure the subject line is clear and gives a good picture of the content, e.g. “May 2011 Sales Figures Summary”.
Not being clear and concise. No one likes to read rambling emails. In today’s business environment, no one has got the time to read lengthy emails. Go straight to the point. Use lists and bullet points to itemize. Make it scan-able by using bold letters to emphasize key points.