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Business English: 8 Tips for Emailing

By Eslexplorer @eslexplorer

In today's technological world it is inevitable that you will face the task of sending business emails. In fact, communicating with your colleagues or potential employer has shifted from personal interaction to the online world. This can be a difficult area to manage especially since you can't rely on your body language or non-verbal communication to assist your English. Here are some helpful tips to help you successfully communicate via email.

1) Professionalism begins with your e-mail: When applying for jobs make sure you have a professional looking email. For example: [email protected] is not going to look good to a potential employer, it is best to just stick with your name. Also, most people love gmail accounts so get yourself one of those. Once you're employed you will most likely receive an official company email address. Make sure to use only this email when communicating with all business associates.

2) Include your signature: Set up an automatic signature on your email address so that it is applied to the bottom of every email you send. This saves you from constantly writing it out and provides necessary information to who you're emailing. For example, my email signature would look something like this:
Devon Butler
[email protected]
(416) 555-XXXX
121 Charles Street W, Kitchener, ON

3) Effective Titles: While it may not be obvious, the title of an email is extremely helpful to the receiver. It should summarize the content or overall message of the email. For example, if I send my boss next week's blog topics and leave the title blank "(none)" or something vague like "Next week" it could create confusion. Instead go for a simple summary like "Next Week's Blog Topics."

4) Don't write a novel: No matter the issue or intricacy, nobody has time to read an in-depth 500 word email. Make sure you summarize the content and lay out everything in a concise manner, use bullet points if necessary. If you are attaching a document make sure to clearly identify what the document is.


Rapid Response: In this technologically charged world we are rarely 2 feet away from a computer or phone. Most business issues are pressing matters so make sure to read all emails that come your way and respond to them. This shows you respect people's time and deadlines. Even if you are unable to take immediate action, make sure you at least acknowledge you've received the email and are working on it. If you are planning on being away for more than a day or two make sure to set an 'out of office' automated response.
6) Proofread and attach: Always proofread. It shows you pay attention to details and can be both efficient and effective. In addition to proofreading, make sure that if you say you're attaching a document you've actually attached it.

7) End your email: Since emailing can often seem impersonal, make sure to end it on a kind note. If someone is doing you a favour or working on a project, make sure to include a quick "Thank you for your time and hard-work." If you are sending a request make sure to show you are available for any help by saying "Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, issues or concerns."
8) Don't read into it: Business emails can often come off as cold or even mean. It's much easier for people to be harsher online but it's far more likely to misinterpret something. Don't ever let a questionable remark get you down and remember that you never know the true tone of an email. To personally avoid this make sure never to say anything personal and always include a friendly ending to your email.

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