The ability to communicate effectively electronically is one of the most important communication skills in the workplace today. The bulk of communication at work now occurs through email. Emails can be your greatest communication tool, or a thorn in your side depending on how you use them. So, how do you write effective emails in the work place?

Before you write any email, consider these questions:

·         What are you trying to accomplish?

·         Is email the best way to communicate this message?

·         What will the audience gain or learn from this email?

Then, you can tailor your communication based on the answers to these questions. Try to keep your message as clear and concise as possible. Be mindful that the average office employee receives 120+ emails a day ( People don’t always have enough time in their day to even read all of their emails. This is why it’s absolutely imperative to make sure your email is short and to the point, so you’re not wasting the audience’s time.

Start your email with one introductory sentence to inform what information the audience will gain from reading this email. For example, “I am writing to inform you of the project’s status.” This allows the person reading the email to quickly see the importance of the email, so that they can prioritize accordingly. Next, utilize formatting to make the email easy and fast to read. Use the highlighter function to highlight important items. Use bullets and numbering to display items in a list. Use tables to keep data organized and easy to digest. Structure the format in such a way that the audience can quickly glance at the email to spot key items that are important to them.

Make sure every sentence of the email clearly supports the goal of your message. For example, if the goal of your email is to inform of your project update, then do not add unnecessary sentences that do not support this goal. Remove all of the fluff. Use words that are clear and easy to understand—this is not your chance to pull out a thesaurus to show off how smart you think you can sound. Use simple, easy to digest words to get your message across effectively. Poorly constructed sentences, business jargon, and long sentences only serve to confuse the reader.

Don’t forget that emails can be saved forever or even forwarded to another person, not intended to see the email. Always be mindful of what you say and how you say it in an email. Never say anything in an email that you would not feel comfortable saying to a person’s face. Never write an email when you are upset. If you have a sensitive topic to discuss, email is probably not the best method of communication.

To summarize, a well written email should give the reader information that is important to them in the quickest way possible. Business email writing is a craft, and it’s going to set you apart when you master the art of it. To learn more about how to enhance your career, or to let us help you with your business writing, check out the many services we offer at

VIDEO: How to write an effective email!