Office 2.0 Tips: How to write an email

Unlike the days when we typed letters or wrote them by hand, email gives us endless opportunities to revise our email as we’re writing it, as demonstrated in this fun video.

The subject line is the most important part of the email. You should be as clear and as specific as possible in the subject line, depending on the recipient. If writing to a busy executive who sorts through hundreds of emails per day you could include words such as “response required” or “here’s the info you requested” in the subject line so they don’t delete the email right away.

Then, in the body of the email, make it clear what kind of response you need. Use bold letters or, as a convenience, make the request near the top of the email, before the person starts scrolling, to save them time. They shouldn’t have to do much scrolling or reading to get the gist of the email or know what the necessary action is that they have to take.

Salutations these days aren’t as formal as they used to be. Very rarely does anyone use “Dear” in an email. “Hi” or “Hello” or “Hey” are typical salutations.

Thanks to SPAM filters, you can’t always assume that your email will arrive at its destination. If the email is very important, your email program probably has an option that lets you request that the recipient send a receipt acknowledging they received the email.

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