10 Rules for Writing Perfect Emails

For good or ill, we do a lot of emailing in our everyday lives. Here are a few tips before you start composing that next electronic mail message.

  1. Make your subject-line specific. No one wants to read an email with a subject line “Question”. Instead, relate your subject line to the actual topic of the email, like “Question about the Murphy project, phase 2”.
  2. Get to the point in the first paragraph. Don’t make the people you’re emailing have to read through a lot of fluff to get to the meat of what you want to say. Say it right off the bat and you’ll probably write a shorter email.
  3. Call to action. Finish off your email with a definite end in mind. Tell your reader you’ll call them on Monday to follow-up or that you’d like suggestions on how to proceed.
  4. Write like you talk. Are you cold and blunt when you talk to your co-workers in person? No? Then don’t do it via email.
  5. Proofread. Misspelled words and other typos can make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. Take a few seconds to read through your email before you hit send.
  6. Is the address right? Sending an important email to the wrong person not only wastes time, but can reflect poorly on you. Stop and check the email address.
  7. Be good. Avoid sensitive topics, politics, race, religion, sex, and disabilities.
  8. Not everyone needs to be cc’d. Only cc someone if they’re working on the project.
  9. E.T. Phone Home. If you’re spending 5 or more minutes on an email, why not just pick up the phone and explain the situation. Or, if possible, get up and walk to your co-worker’s office or desk to talk to them in person.
  10. No need for thanks. It’s unnecessary to reply every time with at “Thank you!”.

Keep them simple and keep them from clogging up your inbox.

Source: http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/10-golden-rules-writing-perfect-email-160700740.html