Simple tips on writing business emails.
In the beginning, email was how we communicated with our friends.
We’d start our missive without salutation; jumping into the
body, careless of spelling and punctuation, using shortcuts
and smilies, maybe playing with fonts and colours to get that
‘me’ feel to the words.
As email moved into the serious business world, many companies
have copied their letterheads and scan snail mail into the
computer, which arrives at the other end and is often printed
and placed on a desk as if it was delivered by the postman.
Those who have truly adopted to e-mail in their business lives
have created their own etiquette.
Firstly, gone are headings and dates. This is supplied by
the computer. There is no reason to repeat this information.
Secondly, it is unnecessary to start with “Dear” as it is
clear one is addressing whomever receives that email.
Thirdly, it is unnecessary to state; “I received your email
dated….” for the heading should be; Response to email of Date.
Suppose you wrote an email to Widgets Ltd. about whether or
not they could supply you with one hundred widgets at ten
dollars a widget.
Your heading might be; “supply of widgets” and your body
“Can you supply one hundred (100) widgets at ten
($10.00) per widget by the second of October?”
You would close the letter;
“Purchasing officer for My Company”.
An email from Widget. Ltd would have:
Re; supply of widgets
as the heading
and in the body;
“We can supply you with the one hundred widgets you requested
at ten dollars per widget, transportation costs; $45.00 via
And it would be signed by;
“Sales man of Widget Ltd.”
These messages should be back and forth within minutes, and
the next response from you would be the method of payment.
There is no reason for anything else. And certainly no reason
to waste paper printing out the messages.
Your method of on line payment leaves a trail, DHL will
contact you, leaving another trail, and if you are afraid of
crashes you can always use an account like gmail where copies
of your communications would be stored.
The reason you put in your name and title is to convince the
other party you are the correct person with whom Widgets Ltd.
can do business.
Remember in business letters to avoid all the “cute” little
‘brb’ acronyms. Avoid them when writing to someone for the
first time as well. And try to adhere to the rules of
grammar to some extent.
Brevity, precision and speed is the soul of email?