Body Of A Business E-Mail
Body Of A Business E-Mail
Tim Burress (E-mail Etiquette and Organization Specialist) gives expert video advice on: What are the four important elements of a business e-mail?; What is a good 'greeting' to use in business e-mail? and more...
What are the four important elements of a business e-mail?
The four important elements of a business e-mail begins with "What is the action?", in other words explain what you are asking them to do. Then they go on to ask themselves why you are asking them to do this. So the next thing would be supporting the action by qualifying why you have asked them to do this. And finally then a nice closing is appropriate, such as "Hope you had a great weekend".
What is an effective order of the elements of a business e-mail?
The proper order for the elements of you business e-mail is to bring the action up to the top. Too often the action or the request in a business e-mail is buried after we start to have a conversation within the email. An example of this would be "Hey Ben, great seeing you last week, I hope it was fun at the beach, I hope you had a great time, blah blah blah", and then the action becomes buried at the bottom. Therefore when Ben is buried in business e-mails he really wants to know the action up front. So bring the action, the request, or the main point of the e-mail to the top of the message. You can still ask about Ben's weekend at the beach, but just do it at the bottom, so that Ben can move on to the next business e-mail.
What is a good 'greeting' to use in business e-mail?
A good greeting up front for a business e-mail is usually very brief, but warm. Some of us tend to be a little bit too verbose and want to put too much into a greeting. But a nice cordial way to enter a business e-mail is something like "Hey team, great seeing everyone last week" or "Hi! It was great seeing you at the meeting last Tuesday", and then begin your message. Not putting too much up front into a greeting for your business e-mail gets people right into the action of the e-mail that you're sending to them.
What is the 'action' of a business e-mail?
The action of a business e-mail is the specific request, what you're asking the person to do. It doesn't necessarily have to be an action such as "you need to do this", it can just be a request, a delivery, or just sharing information. So the action of a business e-mail is the main point of the message. The main point of that e-mail should be at the top for the receiver.
What is an effective use of action in a business e-mail?
A quality and effective use of action in a business email is when you are being very clear and specific, particularly with response time or the specific action that you're requesting. In other words, "Please submit your business plan to me by 5 p.m. Eastern Time, May 15th", compared to "Send me your business plan by close of business May 15th" is a much more effective use of action in a business e-mail. "Close of business" for someone might mean 5:00 p.m. and whereas for another person it might be when they stop working that day, which could be at 10:41 in the evening.
What is the 'background' of a business e-mail?
The background of a business e-mail is really why you've requested something. For example, if you state "I need your business plan", in the background you can state why you need it, such as "Headquarters is rolling these business plans up into a final report". The background of a business e-mail is why you've either requested something, asked someone to act upon something or why you're sharing information with them. You need to tell them why you thought this was important, so the background is the "why" to the business e-mail.
What is an effective use of background to include in a business e-mail?
The background is supporting the request or the action, so an effective use of background within a business e-mail email should always explain why you've requested something or why you've asked someone to do something. Indeed the background becomes a few bullet points as to why that's being asked. Often times people will read an email and realise they need to submit a business plan, but wonder why. They don't know if Headquarters is rolling them up, or if they are going to be rolled into this plan and so forth, so include a couple bullet points with specific purpose as to why you're asking this action to use the background in a business e-mail most effectively. And then maybe sometimes with longer emails, to actually bold your title or a specific paragraph so that its chunked makes it easier to see the information, another effective way of using background in a business e-mail.