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Effective email communication - Do you email correctly?

Created on Wed, 13/12/2017 - 11:27 by Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer 



Given the amount of emails we send and receive every day, I am still surprised by how many of them are, well, terrible! Incorrect names, poor spelling, rude tone – the list goes on. And while I understand many of us quickly fire off emails because we’re busy, taking a little extra time before hitting ‘send’ can improve not only the response you receive, but also your relationship with the recipient.


1. Subject Line

Think of your subject line like the heading of a news article – you need to stand out in an overcrowded inbox, so write something attention-grabbing to compel the reader to open it. I’m sure we’re all guilty of the ‘as discussed’ subject line, which, when you think about it, is pointless. Your recipient has surely discussed many things with many people, so it’s better to be specific.


2. Be Polite

There’s nothing worse that opening an email only to find yourself immediately irritated with the sender. Maybe the tone is off, or their requests come across as demands. Whatever the reason, you’re annoyed and much less likely to respond straight away. This goes both ways! Just think, it’s actually rather difficult to be too nice… Start off with a simple, pleasant greeting. Make it personal, rather than a standard “hope you’re well” approach. If you have an existing relationship, something like “did you enjoy your weekend away?” will do nicely. If you’re emailing a stranger, a little flattery can go a long way. For example: “I read your article on part-time learning and found it very informative” adds a nice personal touch. There’s no need to go overboard, but it never hurts to start off on the right foot.


3. Resist Topic Overload & Oversharing

Wherever possible, try and cover only one topic per email. You’re less likely to confuse the reader, and sticking to one subject will keep your email at a reasonable length. No one wants to read an essay! It’s also a good idea to keep personal conversation out of a professional email. You never know who it might be forwarded to, and not everyone remembers to delete the conversation history. So unless you want the details of your weekend antics splashed around the office, maybe save it for another time.


4. Formatting and Punctuation

If you absolutely must cover multiple topics in one email, formatting is your new best friend. Slapping your recipient in the face with a huge chunk of unformatted text with no punctuation is not going to make them want to read it, and they will almost certainly miss an important point. Spacing out topics in separate paragraphs or dot points keeps things looking neat, and helps to convey your message and intentions clearly. You’ll also stand a much better chance of receiving a specific response for each topic. And in case there is any confusion, using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS is still (and always will be) the equivalent of yelling, which isn’t a particularly good look.



5. Urgent vs. Not Urgent

These days everyone thinks everything is urgent, but just because you’re facing a deadline doesn’t mean your recipient is on the same page. It’s important to allow them enough time to consider and respond to your email, and to bear in mind that their priorities are not necessarily the same as yours. If you do require a quick response, try to encourage, rather than demand one.


6. Closing Off

Closing off politely is just as important as your opening greeting if you want to encourage that response we’ve talked about. If you’re waiting on something, let the recipient know in advance that you appreciate their assistance. Sign-off with something simple like ‘kind regards’ or ‘with thanks’ followed by your name and email signature.


7. Proofread

How many times have you hit ‘send’ only to spot a glaring error after it’s too late? Argh! The worst! A quick read-through can save you from a world of embarrassment, and really takes no time at all. Get into the habit of proofreading everything you send – especially when contacting senior colleagues or managers, and for important matters such as a job application.

Peta BradyThis post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.


Peta Brady is a freelance copywriter, social media enthusiast, and general grammar pest.




Get in touch viawww.thewordbird.com.au or on Instagram @thewordbird_


Thanks Ms. Peta! with your approval I would like to share this one on our company's newsletter. If you may allow.


Thanks, very good tips and explaining how messages sent can be received in different ways, and sometimes mistaken. Thanks again.

I always have the spellchecker option on. It may take the email a little longer to send, but it serves as a great way to ensure that incorrectly spelt words are avoided.

Thanks.. for these guidelines it's so interesting.

Nowadays, 70% of those writing scripts, replying to mails, presenting formal articles on social media don't pay attention to what they do. No emphasis is laid on the style, the shape and the choice of words we use on our replies. It isn't because we don't give enough attention and time to what we do but self devotion...

This is a great summation of emails! If only I could actually find the email address for someone at open2study so that I could practise using the proper email etiquette....

These days, everyone thinks everything is urgent, but just because the deadline you are facing does not mean that your recipient is on the same page. It is important that they allow them enough time to think about dissertation help online UK and respond to your e-mail, and remember that their priorities are not necessarily the same as yours.

I hope you continue to have such quality articles to share with everyone! I believe a lot of people will be surprised to read this article

Thank you Peta. They are simple narration caption that we often forget ... Keep the great work going....

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