January 27, 2016

Composing effective emails

We do send hundreds of emails on a day-to-day basis and for a day across the world there are 200 billion emails exchanged. According to a research a business person on average for a day would receive 88 emails and send 38 emails. These numbers are expected to grow in the coming years. With these statistics we could visualize the email traffic and there is a huge possibility that a good number of emails might get unnoticed or might get deleted without being read. You might be confused about how to make your email being read by the recipient. It is simple yet needs effort form the sender.


Here are the strategies:

  • Write  a meaningful subject line

Subject lines are the first thing a recipient would look at and it should be catchy and it should have a concrete
reason for the recipient to open the email. Never leave a blank subject line and make the recipient guess what
the content would be rather than opening and reading.

  • Keep the message focused

Ensure the body of the message has purpose, organization and may have number of points in a more complex  messages. The email should give the reader the feel of the writer yet it should be polite. The email should only be sent to target groups rather than to all so that time wasting could be avoided. Compose short paragraphs and do not use fancy typefaces.

  • Avoid unnecessary attachments

Attach documents only when they are extremely necessary. There are two reasons for avoiding attachments in a business email. The first is that business email servers are restricted to accept or send smaller attachments to prevent their network traffic being increased. The second is that people show lesser interest in downloading and opening the attachment in a different programme to view them. Best strategy would be to copy paste the content of the attachment and it will bring you faster results.

  • Identify yourself clearly

A routine business communication might not require a formal salutation such as “Mr. David Miller” or “Ms. Sandra Williams” but in case if you are writing to a person who is out of your close circle, the email should carry a formal salutation. Before you send an email, ask yourself whether the recipient will be able to recognize your email address. When contacting someone cold, always include your name, occupation, and any other important identification information in the first few sentences. It is also necessary to have a proper email signature that will provide your recipient a way of contacting you when necessary.

  • Proofread

It is a good practice to proofread the emails, specially when you send them to someone higher up on the chain of command. Proof reading will eliminate grammatical or typographical errors which might annoy the recipient.

  • Be polite

If you find yourself writing in anger, save a draft, go get a cup of coffee, and imagine that tomorrow morning someone has taped your email outside your door. Would your associates and friends be shocked by your language or attitude? Therefore to avoid unpleasant situations, be polite when you compose your emails. It will create a good image of yourself in the minds of the recipient.

  • Do not assume privacy

Email is not secured. Hence never criticize via emails which will hold your name and official email signature. When you stretch the truth in an email, you’re creating a written record that your recipient can use against you.

  • Distinguish between formal and informal situations

When you are writing to a friend or a close colleague, it is OK to use “smilies” 🙂 , abbreviations (IIRC for “if I recall correctly”, LOL for “laughing out loud,” etc.) and nonstandard punctuation and spelling (like that found in instant messaging or chat rooms). Do not use informal language when your reader expects a more formal approach.

  • Respond promptly

If you want to appear professional and courteous, make yourself available to your online correspondents. Even if your reply is, “Sorry, I’m too busy to help you now,” at least your correspondent won’t be waiting in vain for your reply.

  • Show respect and restraint

While most people know that email is not private, it is good form to ask the sender before forwarding a personal message. If someone emails you a request, it is perfectly acceptable to forward the request to a person who can help — but forwarding a message in order to ridicule the sender is tacky.


We trust the prescribed strategies will make your recipient read all your emails. Should you find this interesting and would like your staff to get trained on email ettiquate and composing advance business emails, please contact any one of us and we would provide you an unmatched and cost effective training session.

Prassanna Pathmanathan         +94 775 026 865
Braveenan Parathan                   +94 779 024 229

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