How to Write a Clear Email | All the Buzz | Business Writing Tips


WHAT does this email say?

Have you ever received an email that didn’t make sense until you searched back through the email string to see what the subject was about?

This email might say something like, “Thanks. I got your message and I’ll send it tomorrow.”

Send what tomorrow?  And why?

Since the first email in this string was sent days ago, and several hundred emails have arrived since, how can you possibly remember what the “it” referred to! It’s even worse when there is no email string to follow, and you have to go back and search all previous emails to see what this person is talking about.

Make each email a stand-alone message

The easiest way to deliver a clear message is to ensure that each email can stand alone. It would be much clearer in the previous example to write a little more in order to clarify the message, like so:

“Thanks. I received your message about needing the Peterman contract this week. I will send it by FedEx so you will receive it tomorrow (Wednesday).”

The point of email is to communicate, not confuse. Take a moment to review your email message before you send it and see if you can easily identify the “what” and the “why.” If you can’t, add this information in. Your reader will be oh-so grateful and you will have clearly delivered your message.

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