Before email, writing a letter of introduction was a fussier affair. It involved nice paper, ink, and delivery by a human being. In various eras and cultures, letters introduced individuals hoping to join polite society, secure employment, or win a thumbs-up from a potential spouse’s parents. Such letters, especially when written by respected mutual acquaintances, opened doors.
Thank goodness for email. Yes, really. What other means of communicating offers savvy business users as much control of their messages? Telephone calls, Zoom meetings, and face-to-face talks are excellent for real-time, two-way conversations. But email is fundamentally different.
Email is more forgiving. The effectiveness of a live business call relies a lot on an individual’s performance on the call. Did I misstate that fact? Why did I mispronounce her name twice? Was I on mute when I cursed? Email, on the other hand, affords users the time–and breathing room–to construct and deliver pitch-perfect messages.
Was English your worst subject in high school? That’s unfortunate. Unlike trigonometry, you need those writing skills that may have eluded you in your younger days. Who doesn’t write an email or text every day of their lives?
Writing effective business emails is an essential, yet underappreciated, skill. Business emails are concise, demonstrating respect for readers’ time. They also encourage collaboration, through tone and attention to detail.
Effective business emails help individuals and organizations succeed. To increase your business emails’ effectiveness, observe these sensible rules of etiquette.
By Robert Bernal
Many of us feel like we have two jobs: our actual job and responding to emails for our actual job. The high volume of email desk workers receive daily (and sometimes nightly) can be daunting or even downright dismaying.
But even the most email-fatigued among us know we need email to communicate with customers, colleagues, and friends. Email is woven into our lives and won’t go away anytime soon. And that’s okay because we can equip ourselves to manage our inboxes smartly, simply, and sanely. Read on for email habits devised to reclaim valuable hours, redirect energy to more important tasks, and restore the sanity email saps from us one ping at a time.
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Imagine you’re at a cocktail party filled with VIPs. With a smile and a handshake, you introduce yourself to your favorite author and describe how your copy of her latest novel has been passed from friend to friend all the way across the country and back and is now making its way across the Pacific. Then the party’s host whisks away the author to meet many more partygoers. By the end of the night, the author has difficulty keeping everyone she met straight. But she remembers you, thanks to your story, and seeks you out to chat some more.
You want the same results with a cover letter. Your goal is to be interesting and memorable enough to prompt further conversation.