How to Structure an Email
When you are writing an email, your business or company may depend on the email being read and responded to. When writing any email, it should be tailored to the person you are writing to and should be professional in both tone, spelling, and structure.
When promoting yourself through email, it is important that your email is the best that it can be.
That is where we come in. With a little practice, you can be writing the perfect email every time. Here is what you should be doing to craft that perfect email.
The greeting is the first thing that your recipient will see when they open the email. Now, we need to take a small step back here and think about the subject line before that. Your subject line is what gets your email opened. You should think about how your subject line captures the content of the email without it having to be opened. The recipient should both know what they are in store for and be enticed to open the email.
Now, onto the greeting. Depending on who you are sending the email to, your greeting will be different every time. We recommend steering clear of ‘Dear Sir/Madam.’ If you do not know who you are sending the email to then, this has the power to offend the recipient. If you do not know the sex of the person, then try a different greeting like a simple ‘Hello.’ You should also avoid ‘To whom it may concern.’ This makes you come across as distant and does not establish any kind of relationship with the person you are emailing.
Before you send your email, you should do as much research about the person as you can (if you do not know anything about them to start with). If you know the person’s name, you should always use it. Use their first name unless you are addressing someone with some importance (then you can use their title too).
If you know the person well, then ‘Hello’ and their first name is perfect. If you do not know the person well, then this greeting can come across as too informal. Still use the person’s name but use ‘Dear’ in front of it.
The First Line
The opening line should be about the recipient and not yourself. If you are replying to a previous email, then it is good to start with thanks to the persons in the previous email. Include any relevant information in your thanks, such as thanking them for their question, inquiry, or previous reply.
If you are selling something to someone, then think about how you can make the opening about the person but still include what you are selling. How will your product affect the person? Try to include relevant information in your first line while putting the reader at ease.
After your opening line, which will entice the reader to read on, you want to get to the details. No matter what you are writing about, you should keep the email short and succinct. Think about how you can get across the relevant information in the least number of words. Your initial line should give your reader information about what is to come; now is the time to give the details.
State your purpose and continue with the information you want to get across. Do not be afraid to use lists and bullet points. You want to keep the reader engaged until the very end. People have lots of emails in their inbox. You do not want them to get halfway through and close it.
If your reader has made it this far, then well done. You have got the information across, and you want to leave the reader with a positive impression of your email. A thank you at this point would not go amiss. Even if you are just thanking them for reading the email, that will still leave a good impression. Leave any other information that is important to the reader and wrap up the body of your text.
Your final line is your closing line. As with the rest of your email, you want to keep it short and sweet. A simple ‘Thanks’ will usually suffice. Do not be overly informal unless you are good friends with the person. After that, your name will keep you memorable.
Follow our advice, and you will have a killer email, but there are a few more things which will get your emails into perfect condition:
- Check the spelling. Poor spelling or grammar can turn someone off immediately
- Check the name and spell it right. There is nothing worse than getting your name spelled wrong
- Use short paragraphs to keep your reader engaged
- Do not include redundant information. Does the information help you to make your point?
- Research your target audience. Are you targeting a person or a group?
- Be polite, friendly, and professional
- NEVER USE CAPS. It may seem like you are excited but it usually just comes across as angry
- Never use ‘urgent’ or exclamation points in the subject line. They are a real turn off.