How to Write Simple and Effective Emails for Businesses

How to Write Simple and Effective Emails for Businesses

Email is one of the most useful, and sometimes overlooked, tool in the business world. For some of you, it’s the first thing you check in the morning and the last thing you check before falling asleep. Email is great for communicating to your business colleagues; it allows you to keep projects moving regardless of where you are.

Email is the communication tool of choice for most of us. Email’s great because you don’t have to be available at the same time as your conversation partner to communicate. It allows us to keep projects moving when our co-workers are unavailable or on the other side of the world. However, emails can often be too lengthy, misinterpreted, and more.  The best email is always a simple one. Follow these steps to write simple emails for business

Know Your Purpose

Every correct email has a clearly communicated purpose. Before you sit down to write your email, ask yourself “What do I hope to get from this email?” The answer should be a clear and simple. If you can’t answer this question with one to two sentence(s) then you should rethink if the email is worth sending. Few things are worse than reading through a long email and still being unclear as to what the sender needs.

Know Your Recipient

When composing an email to send to a colleague you want to make sure you keep the recipient in mind. Chances are the person you are sending an email to is busy and will have several other unread emails by the time he/she gets yours. By keeping your email brief and concise, you’re more likely to get the simple answer you are seeking.

Too often, readers misinterpret emails. Before sending your email, think about it from the reader’s perspective and ask yourself, “is there another way I could ask/say this?” There’s a difference between being polite and direct than just being the officer jerk.

Communicate Timelines

If you are writing an email and asking for something in return; communicate a time in which you wish to receive their reply. A rookie mistake in the business world is interpreting this as a due-date and not including this within your email to avoid coming off as bossy.. The reality is that by providing this to your colleagues, you will be viewed as a direct, action-oriented worker that understands the flow of the office place. Depending on who you are sending your email to, you can sometimes include the reason why you need XYZ in a short turnaround.

This is not the same as Texting

If you want to show your personality in your email, don’t do this the same way you update your Facebook status. Rather let this come through softly in your prose. Regardless of your relationship in the office, remember that these are still your business colleagues. Don’t use your favorite emoticons, text abbreviations or colorful fonts and backgrounds. Those are perfectly okay for personal emails and do add a significant amount of charm, they’re just not welcome here.


Like with anything, practice makes perfect Writing concise, simple, and effective emails isn’t easy – sometimes it’s more difficult than writing long ones. With that said, remember to always proofread your email before sending. Be sure to check for spelling and grammar mistakes on top of using spell check.

Lastly, read your email aloud and ask yourself,

  • Is my request clear?
  • Could there be any misunderstandings?

Make the changes you find and get rid of unwanted sentences, paragraphs, etc.

For more information and insight into writing effective emails, you can join, an online marketing tool for business professionals.

Burt Churkan, a freelance writer and businessman, enjoys sharing tips and insight into effectively running a business. If you would like to learn more about Burt, you can check out his google+ profile.
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