9 rules for sending great emails

Email is a key method for communicating with other individuals within your business. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can afford to use them lightly. Check out these nine rules for sending more effective emails.

Rule #1: Create effective subject lines

Your subject line should tell your reader exactly what they should expect from the email. Offer context, if possible. Reference meetings, clients, and other key information that is essential to the email in the subject line. This will also make it easier for your recipient to search for that email later, if necessary.

Rule #2: Keep it short

Email communications are designed to be short. Provide context and relevant information, but don’t feel as though you have to fill up some arbitrary amount of space. Instead, keep it short. Give your recipient the details they need without stuffing it full of unnecessary details, which can lead to your recipient not reading the email at all.

Rule #3: Check your grammar

There’s nothing quite like a load of grammar errors to make your email read far less professionally. Take the time to carefully check grammar, spelling, and other important details before hitting Send!

Rule #4: Be direct

When you write an email message, be clear about what you’re trying to say! There’s no need to dodge around your message. Instead, get straight to the point and tell your recipient exactly what you want them to know.

Rule #5: Send only necessary emails

Emails are highly distracting for many workers, who may find themselves checking email regardless of whether or not they have something else they need to focus on. Don’t waste your readers’ time! Instead, send out emails only when absolutely necessary. If you could pop over to them and have a 5-minute conversation instead, that is usually better.

Rule #6: Let them know when you don’t need a response

One of the best things you can do for your recipients is let them know that a response to your email isn’t necessary or that you aren’t in a hurry for their reply. This will enable your recipient to focus on their other job tasks without worrying that they need to offer you a fast response.

Rule #7: Learn to create scannable content

Many email readers want to be able to skim through their emails, rather than taking the time to read them in depth. Highlight key details with bold headings or separate paragraphs, especially if your email has gotten longer than intended. It should be easy for your readers to separate out the main points of your email.

Rule #8: Double check your recipient

Always make sure that you’re sending your emails to the right place. Check your recipient an extra time before you hit send. Better yet, pass on filling them in until after you’ve proofread your email. This will prevent you from accidentally sending half-finished content.

Rule #9: Keep one subject per email

When you’re sending an email, don’t use it as an opportunity to share every detail you need to share with your colleagues. Instead, send separate emails about separate subjects. This will help organise those key communications more effectively.

If you’re struggling to deal with proper etiquette when sending emails, these nine important rules can make it easier. With these simple strategies, you can make your emails more effective and better communicate with individuals in your office and beyond.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within the British Gas Business Blog are those of the author alone and do not represent those of British Gas. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this blog are not guaranteed. British Gas accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright in the content within the British Gas Business Blog belongs to the authors of such content and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. For more information about the mix of fuels used to generate our electricity simply visit britishgas.co.uk/business/about-us. You can find information about how to make a complaint at britishgas.co.uk/business/complaints.