Writing an email has become a common task on a daily basis. But do you know how to write an effective email in English? Here you can find 5 steps to help you while doing this task.
The subject line needs to summarize the main point of your email. It has to be clear, so the receiver can know what your message is about.
Never send an email with an empty subject line because you need to write a line that attract the attention of your reader. Also, be careful with subject lines like: Very Important! Emergency! Read Quickly! If the message is really important, maybe you should call.
There are many ways of starting an email. A simple and good way of writing the beginning of a message is “Hi, Mr./Ms. …” and the person’s name or last name. If you want to be a little more formal, go for the last name. “Hey” is very informal. Using this word with friends is OK, but don’t use it if you are writing a business email or sending a message to a person you don’t know very well.
The “Dear” family can be a little tricky. Going for “Dear + Last Name” can be a little formal, as well as “Dear + First Name”. Avoid writing “Dear friend”, because if you don’t know the name of the person, they are not your friend.
Also avoid greetings like “good morning”, “good afternoon” or “good evening” since you don’t know what time de receiver is going to read the message.
Another bad start is “to whom it may concern”. Besides being cold and impersonal, the reader can think “oh, this doesn’t concern me, I don’t need to read it”.
Being subjective is very important to attract your reader. Don’t write a long email and don’t use too many technical terms. You must be sure your message is clear and easy to be understood. Go straight to the point.
Start making you purpose clear. You can begin your message with sentences like “I’m writing in reference to…” or “I’m writing to enquire about…” and then develop your email. People don’t like to spend too much time reading emails. So be clear and quick in order to send your message and be understood.
After deciding if your email is going to be formal or informal (it depends on your reader: family, friend, boss, co-worker, etc.), you have to be careful with your grammar and spelling mistakes. Actually, it can’t have any spelling mistakes. If English is not your native language, you can look for translators, grammar books and you can always ask for someone to revise what you wrote. You should also ignore abbreviations in formal emails.
The important is to have a message with no mistakes. Spelling or grammar mistakes can be a big problem, even more when you are writing a business email.
It’s polite to thank the reader at the end of your email, then you can start ending your message with sentences like “Thank you for your patience”, “If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me” or “I look forward to hearing from you”.
The last step is to attach proper closing with your name. If you are writing a formal email, choose words like “Sincerely” or “Best Regards” before your name. But if you are sending a message to your friends or family, you might use “Best wishes” or “Cheers” instead.
Are you wondering if you can use “xoxo” (kisses and hugs) at the end of your email? It’s OK to use it when you are really friend of the person that is going to receive the message. But NEVER EVER write “xoxo” at the end of an email to a person who is not so close to you.
You can also improve your English by exploring Captain English website. There are many explanations and hints on the page grammar and vocabulary.