Emailing is one of the most common methods of communication in the business world. As a contractor, you have to send lots of emails to other companies or individuals, whether to establish the first contact, proceed with an agreement, or send some important files.
The way you write your emails provides a perception of your company to the person on the other end. If your emails sound unprofessional and are full of mistakes, your potential clients and cooperators will have the same impression of your business. What you write forms an image of who you are.
If you want to write a perfect business email and make a good impression on people you work with, here are some important guidelines you need to follow.
Use a Professional Greeting
It doesn’t matter if you have already worked with the person in question or you are contacting them for the very first time, you should always greet them professionally.
Never write casual, slang or informal greetings such as “What’s Up”, “Howdy”, “Yo”, etc. That will create an impression that you don’t respect the person with whom you are corresponding.
“Hello” is professional and most commonly used. However, if you want to be even more formal you can use the formal professional greeting “Dear (name)”. If you know the person well and want to omit formalities just use a simple “Hi.”
Use Personal Names
Another thing to keep in mind when writing business emails is to address the person by their name. This makes the email seem less generic and it shows your interest.
If you’re emailing a company for the first time, try to find out on their website the name of the person you’ll be sending the email to. It’s usually the sales representative or the manager.
If you have already met the person you’ll be emailing but you are sending an email for the first time, besides including their name, make sure to let the recipient knows who you are. You can do this in one simple sentence. For example: “Hello (name). It was great to meet you at (X event).”
Have a Clear Subject Line
The subject line is the first thing that a person sees when receiving an email. For that reason, you need to pay extra attention to how you compose it.
According to Convince and Convert, 35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone.
You should let the subject line reflect the content of the message. For example, if you are sending an email about a certain task, let the subject line reflect that task.
When writing a subject line for your business, pay attention that you don’t mislead or trick the reader. Keep it straightforward and concise. It should be a 3-word to a 5-word overview of the content.
It might be tempting to add a bit of good old “clickbait” to your subject line, however, try to avoid this. While it might work for one or two recipients but most people get used to this trick and consider it bad manners. It’s easy to hurt your business image but it’s much harder to regain trust.
When writing a business email, you need to be very clear and direct. The purpose of the email is to explain your business venture or make a deal, not to confuse them and make them lose attention.
Try to use short words, sentences, and paragraphs. Short and simple words and sentences show that you respect the reader and that you have clear intentions. Don’t use specific terms and overloaded sentences when you don’t need them. Your deeds are much more important than the words you use to describe them.
Since you are probably sending the email for a certain reason, don’t beat around the bush but address the issue at the very beginning and stick to that. Keep in mind one of the rules for business writing – shorter is often better.
Also, try to avoid the passive voice and stick to the active voice. For example:
- Do: I have composed the contract.
- Don’t: The contract has been composed.
The passive voice sounds unnatural and stiff. It can also confuse the reader.
Don’t Make Assumptions
Make sure to write the content of your email as if the person to whom you are writing to knows nothing. Never assume that they know what you are talking about.
Let’s say that you met someone at a seminar and you talked about doing some business together and now you need to send them the very first email. Don’t write “Hi, I’m ready to do business”. The person may have some other arrangements in progress as well. Start by introducing yourself and explain what you talked about.
People would appreciate it if you remind them of your agreement. It shows that you have respect for them and their business and understand their busy schedule and sometimes forgetful mind.
Add a Signature
A signature is a great way to add some important information about you and your services. It means the person you are trying to reach out to gets some more information about what you offer. Maybe they’ll even get interested in some additional services after reviewing your website.
There are certain basic elements that every email signature is consisted of. Your signature should include:
- Your name
- Your job title
- A link to your website
- Your business address
Double Check for Errors and Mistakes
Never, and I mean never send an email before proofreading it and correcting all the errors and mistakes.
People won’t take you seriously if you can’t even commit to proofread the email before you hit that send button.
Start Sending Great Emails
As a contractor, you need to present yourself as a reliable person who pays attention to details. After reading and applying all the above-mentioned tips you’ll be ready to show off your professionalism in all your future emails.
Never underestimate the importance of a professional email and put these guidelines in good use.