Email plays a significant role in internal and external business communication at the workplace. A standard and well-written email strongly compliments the essence of a business message it is meant to deliver. For this, appropriate word choice is very essential. However, most emails are written in limited time at the workplace which often leaves us with least time to carefully choose words. As a result, sometimes the intended message gets distorted or the writer unintentionally seems to be harsh to the reader. Here are five most effective solutions to this problem and which definitely make your mail elegant.
01. Cautiously Avoid Informal Words
Avoid informal words such as ‘like’, ‘thing’, ‘big’, ‘nice’ in any official email- be it upward or downward communication. Rather use the following alternative words- ‘such as’ for ‘like’, ‘large’ for ‘big’, and ‘excellent’ for ‘nice’. Follow the link to get an awareness list of formal-informal words.
02. Pay Attention
Did you ever use text message language ( i.e. ‘2’ for ‘to’, ‘u’ for ‘you’, ‘abt’ for ‘about’ etc. in emails? I did till I learned that it shows my lack of attention to the recipients. As we are respectful to all colleagues at the workplace, the same image needs to be displaced in our email too. For that, avoid all kinds of a text message in office emails, even if it is a one sentence email. Can you take few minutes to identify the text message language in the following email and correct?
A. Hello, Steven!
Thx for yr email. I’m gld u recvd the pkt OK. Great 2 hear u like the pies. 🙂
B. Dear Mr Wilson,
We are in receipt of your message, dated 15th of this month. I can confirm that we have dispatched your order according to your instructions.
C. Hi there
How r you? I’ve passed your msg to Bill, a guy in my office, and he’ll contact u soon.
03. Avoid Vague Words
Immeasurable words damage standard email writing. For example, it is hard to define how good a good report is or how much work it is when someone says he has ‘lots of’ work to do. Replace these vague words with quantifiable words i.e. the exact quantity.
For further reference, please see the link below:
04. Away From Idioms and Phrases
Avoid all kinds of phrasal verbs and idioms in office emails such as ‘mixed up’, ‘hold water’. Rather use a one-word synonym for them such as ‘confused’ and ‘reasonable’ respectively.
05. Forgo Emotionally Expressive Words
Avoid any emotionally expressive words such as ‘surprised’, ‘shocked’, ‘disgusted’, ‘annoyed’, ‘horrible’, ‘terrific’, ‘frustrating’, etc. Rather, one word is enough- ‘disappointing’.
Happy emailing. Next issue is for how to write effective email subject line.