9 Simple Tips to Write Effective E-mails

Some people might think sending an e-mail is as simple as opening your e-mail, addressing it to the recipient, writing a message and hitting send! What most users don’t realize is that e-mails are more than a quick way to communicate, they can also be a reflection on the sender.

If your message is poorly composed, difficult to read, or vague, recipients may see you as unprofessional, unintelligent, or even rude. This can complicate communication and result in unanswered questions, misinterpretations, and delayed responses or worse, being ignored.

To write an effective e-mail that comes across with professionalism and intelligence, try following these tips below.

  1. Keep messages short and to-the-point so your reader isn’t bombarded with too much content.
  2. Avoid writing in all CAPS, because this portrays anger or frustration.
  3. Don’t write in all lower-case either. This gives the perception of laziness or a lack of education.
  4. Double check your recipients to make sure the intended people are receiving the e-mail.
  5. Proofread your e-mail before you send it to avoid making grammatical mistakes and spelling errors.
  6. Delete e-mail forwards to avoid spamming your colleagues.
  7. Make sure your subject line summarizes your e-mail. This will show respect for recipient’s time and help them better manage your request.
  8. Use the words “urgent” and “important’ sparingly. Overusing these words will cause all your e-mails to lose their priority.
  9. Take a moment before you send an e-mail when writing in frustration. You don’t want to lose your professionalism by lashing out at people.

E-mails are intended to help people communicate electronically for quicker results. However, if you don’t know how to compose an e-mail properly or if you abuse common e-mail etiquette, you may find yourself being viewed as unprofessional – or worse, your e-mails may often be ignored or deleted. Don’t let your e-mails get tossed aside. Follow these tips to write more effective e-mails to make sure your real message gets through.


  1. Judy Phillips

    Thanks for the comments on writing better emails. I wish the 9 tips had been 10 tips, and the #1 tip could have clarified when you use email and when you don’t. Email is for conveying “FYI” type information, or asking a simple question. If there is dialogue needed, if the issue is controversial, or if you are trying to build a consensus for a decision, email will actually slow down the process. Those are the times for a phone call or a meeting instead.

  2. Deanna Francis

    Nice, I haven’t considered email etiquette as this important in my workplace but these tips are good that I am going to follow through with them. I take know my coworkers for granted rather than on the professional level. This is food for thought.

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