Have you ever wondered how to write a great email?
Throughout the course of the past two decades, emails have become a crucial part of modern-day life. People use emails to communicate everything from crucial information to pleasant, more friendly ones. Many people need email addresses now for work and to send information to their bosses and colleagues.
Still, unless you’re a seasoned wordsmith, you probably want to know how you can write better emails and make yourself sound good when you communicate.
So how do you write great emails?
Keep reading to find out!
Know to Whom You’re Writing
All great writing boils down to communicating well to your audience. When you set out to write something, you need to know to whom you’re writing in order to get your point across well.
Why? Think of it this way:
Say you’re writing an email to your friend, whom you haven’t seen in a while. You might include casual language, answering their questions and giving them an update on your life. You may even add photos of your family and share more intimate details. All of these items would be appropriate in an email to a friend because you know this person well.
This person presumably also possesses in learning about your life or a certain aspect of it.
For your business, though, many of these ingredients may not appropriate. Instead, you should select words with a more formal tone. Likewise, you won’t be including intimate details about your life unless there is a professional reason to do so.
Choosing a More Formal Tone
But how do you write formally?
This might surprise you, but it’s not always about using bigger words. In fact, professional writers often frown on choosing large words rather than simplified ones.
Large words often come with a degree of difficulty. You don’t want to sacrifice understanding for the sake of sounding more eloquent. Rather, many business people achieve eloquence by paying attention to other aspects of their writing.
For instance, in formal writing, avoid using slang terminology or contractions. If you’re tempted to use the term “awesome,” for instance, opt for “incredible” instead. Rather than typing “don’t” or “can’t,” use “do not” or “cannot.”
If you’re talking to people within your business, you may also use business-related jargon to make yourself sound more professional. Yet, if the message will be received by people outside of your field or company, do your best to choose words everyone understands.
Strengthening Your Writing
Have you ever read something some wrote and thought, How did they do that?
Many people have favorite writers. Whether or not you read a lot, you probably can think of at least one person who writes well. Quite a lot of people think some are born with a natural talent for words. In truth, though, writing functions more like a muscle. Good writers choose to work on and refine their craft, making it better.
This is good news! It means that anyone, whether or not they find themselves with a good writing foundation, can become a better writer.
Let’s go into some basic writing tips to help you hone your ability to pen great emails!
Use the Active Voice Rather Than the Passive One
Have you ever taken a writing class?
If so, someone probably told you this at some point. Writers prefer the active voice because it communicates a more direct sense of action. It causes writing to feel engaging and gives it a better flow.
But what comprises the passive voice, and how do you change it into an active one?
To identify the passive voice, first look for “to be” verbs. These include “is” and “are,” as well as “were” and “was.” “Be, being, and been,” also indicate a passive voice, as does “I’m” or “I am.”
When you spot these verbs in your own writing, ask yourself, “Do I have other options for this sentence? Can I rearrange this sentence in any other way?”
Of course, you may not be able to phrase your sentences in any other way. If you discover that’s the case, don’t worry yourself too much. Trying to eliminate some of your passive voice strengthens your writing, even if you find it impossible to think of alternatives for all of it.
Shorten Your Sentences
Have you ever read a writer whose sentences go on and on?
Sometimes, people confuse wordiness with great writing. While some people do write longer sentences than others, brevity often creates more succinct phrasing.
Nowadays, people don’t spend copious amounts of time reading everything in detail. The shorter you make your sentences, the better you will be at getting your information across.
But how do you shorten your sentences?
Read over them and try to identify areas in which you rephrase yourself with fewer words. For instance, if you catch yourself writing, “The computer that the business owns no longer works” consider shortening it to, “The business’s computer no longer works.”
Create Engaging Opening Lines
Did you notice we began this article with a question?
Most good pieces of writing start with an engaging opening, also called a hook. Openings draw your reader into your writing and compel them to keep writing.
Effective emails are no different. Good email copy should always draw the reader in.
Want to know one easy way to create a hook? Ask a question. Questions immediately involve the reader in what you try to communicate.
Other ways to open emails include stories or surprising pieces of data. If you’re a marketing professional writing advertising copy, for instance, the opening of your email could include statistics on how many people liked your product or a brief anecdote.
Want to learn how to email GIFs? Check out how to make an email GIF!
Ready to Start Crafting Great Emails?
Now that you know some basic advice about writing better copy, you’re ready to pen great emails.
Many business owners and employees believe that good writing comes naturally to some and not so naturally to others. While many people possess a strong command of the written word, everyone can strengthen their writing skills. To do this, focus on using the active voice, shortening your sentences, and creating engaging opening lines.
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