How to Write Professional Sounding E-Mails

If you want to make an impression in business, if you want to build the right connections, and if you want to make sure that you are taken seriously by your contemporaries, then the importance of good communication skills can’t be understated. Business is all about making the right connections and it’s all about convincing people that they need to use your services or products, and if you can’t do that then you won’t get very far.

And these days ‘good communication skills’ 90% of the time refers to good e-mail skills which is where the vast majority of business communication now takes place. This is particularly true of course if you work online and run a website or a web service, but in any case the main way you’ll probably talk to clients and customers and work with your colleagues is likely to be through e-mail.

Having the ability to sound professional in your e-mails then is very important, particularly when you are contacting a client or a business out of the blue for the first time. Here we will look at some tips to help ensure you can do this successfully…

Introduce Yourself and be Personal

First of all, don’t just launch straight into your e-mail with a request or a proposal – that comes across as rude and these days it could easily be mistaken for an e-mail written by a robot (a PHP scrip that sends out mass e-mails). To begin, introduce yourself and let the person know who you are – this way they know who they are dealing with and it gives what follows more credibility.

Don’t be too Pleading

Normally if we are initiating contact in an e-mail out of the blue it’s because we want something from that person or organization. In other words you might want a magazine to write a story based on your press release, or you might want to offer a service to them. As such many people come across almost as grovelling when they write their e-mails and will spend half of the content writing about what a good business they are and how much you’d like to work with them. While this might be nice for massaging their ego though, it sends out the entirely wrong message – it sends the message that you need them more than they need you and that as such it’s probably not really worth their while to use your service.

Instead then when you contact them do so from a place of confidence – as though it’s you doing them the favour. Don’t be rude of course, but at the same time try to shift the power balance subtly in your direction so that they feel drawn to you.

Don’t Lie

The thing that makes me cringe most when I read a bad e-mail is when a young entrepreneur uses the term ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. They want you to think they’re part of a large corporation so they use the plural, but unfortunately in most cases it’s obvious they aren’t. Being an individual is nothing to be ashamed of and good businesses will recognize it doesn’t make you any less capable – but if you lie and it’s obvious then it will look like you’re playing ‘grown ups’…

Check Your Grammar and Spelling

Most important of all though – make sure that your spelling and grammar is perfect. If you write in what sounds like broken  English, or with lots of typos, then it will sound less intelligent and it will sound less professional. At the same time if you can’t take the care with your e-mail it doesn’t bode well for your other business endeavours, and in some ways it’s insulting as it can look like you haven’t made any effort. If you can’t spell well yourself then use software or a colleague/friend to check it over.

The article is written by Neil Jordan who is a business expert and authors guest posts for different business organization. He also writes for Successful Speakers, provider of experts keynote speakers for corporate presentations and speeches in Australia.

Filed in: Communication, EMail, Technology
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