It’s very common that we use email in our working file every day. And it’s easy to assume that we know how to use email effectively: it’s been around for long enough. As a PM, mastering how to write a wonderful mail is really important, But if you find yourself struggling to communicate effectively by email, I think there are six tips we can follow:
1. Start With an Appropriate Salutation
Some people jump straight into the text of an email without so much as a “hi”. It’s polite to add a salutation, just as you would with a letter. That might look like:
But don’t assume that formality is always the right answer. If you’re writing to a friend of a friend, using “Dear” plus their surname is going to seem oddly stilted.
If in doubt, “Dear [first name]” will usually work just fine.
2. Get Straight to the Point
Your correspondent won’t want to wade through paragraphs of waffle – so get straight to the point. If you’re writing to someone out of the blue, don’t give them your life story before you make a request.
You may well need to include more details, but if you put the important point up front, your email is more likely to get a timely response. If your question comes too far down, the recipient may not even realise that you need a reply.
3. Keep it Short
Try to keep your email as short as possible. Make the paragraphs short, too – long paragraphs can be difficult to read and take in.
Do make sure you give enough information for your correspondent to be able to make a decision, if that’s required. You might find that it’s best to offer this as an attachment – you’ll have more flexibility over formatting, and your correspondent can print out the attachment easily.
4. Use Numbered Points
If you’ve got several questions or points to make, it’s very helpful to number them. This makes it easy for the other person to respond to each one, especially if some just require a yes/no response or a single word answer. For instance:
#Could you let me know:
#1. How much it would cost for the website design
#2. How much for the website design plus a tri-fold brochure
#3. Whether you could complete #2 by the end of April
It’s also useful to list your questions or points as bullets in this way; if you write a single paragraph, some of your questions might get missed.
5. Re-read and Use Spell-Check
A typo or spelling mistake can turn one word into an entirely different one. If you’re using email in a professional capacity, that mistake could be embarrassing – or even offensive. It might alter the whole meaning of your email: a missing “not”, for instance, could potentially cause problems.
Spell-check should help you avoid any silly mistakes – but use your eyes and brain too. There are plenty of words that spell-check won’t pick up. If you’re emailing from a device with predictive text and an auto-correct feature, make sure you always re-read what you’ve typed.
6. Make Your Signature Useful
Do you have an email signature? (That’s the text that appears automatically at the bottom of your email.) Some people don’t use one at all; others have a funny quote or favorite saying.
Whether you’re using email for professional or personal reasons, make your signature useful for both you and your recipient. That might mean:
Giving the link to your website
Including your work address and/or phone number
Adding links to your social media accounts
Putting in a line to promote your recent book / blog / product
If your email provider allows it, you may even want to create several signatures to use for different purposes (e.g. one for emailing friends, one for new business contacts).
Moreover, there are some tips for sending notification email
1 Your subject line needs to clearly state what’s inside the email
2 What will happen in the future
3 The purpose of this email
4 Time and time duration
To achieve a successful and effective communication, the mail with full information is of paramount importance, which is the first step for helping us finish a project fluently.