September 30, 2021

How to Compose & Answer Emails Professionally (6 Tips For Success)

Pierre Subeh
Founder & CEO of X Network

Apply these tricks to your next email and you will notice a big improvement in your communication style — Improve your potential for bigger leads.

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Once you learn how to properly manage your email inbox, your chances of success in any industry increase drastically, making it much easier to close business deals, avoid misunderstandings, and of course; look professional (without even trying). A well-articulated and formatted email can be your best friend when you have a goal you want to reach or a message you are trying to convey to your recipient.

Why should you trust my advice? I built an award-winning digital marketing automation firm before I even got a Bachelor’s degree. How? Because I know how to organize and present my ideas through a captivating storytelling form. I began my career by learning the fundamental psychology of human behavior and understanding what factors influence the decisions we take in our everyday life.

“Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” -Anne Lindbergh

Let’s dive right into it, here are my 6 simple tips to writing a professional email that your recipient will want to open:

1. Begin your email with a kind greeting and carry on with a cohesive style of writing and formatting

Nothing says professional more than neat formatting and cohesive styling in your writing — Come up with a writing style that feels authentic to you and compose your email knowing that your recipient can’t hear your tone, so be wise when using descriptive words. In addition, always start by greeting your recipient and (re)introducing yourself. Here are some good examples for your reference:

“Warmest regards your way! This is (your name) on behalf of (your company or organization) reaching out in regards to your recent enquiry.

“I hope this email finds you well, good afternoon!”

“As per our conversation earlier today on the phone, hereby I’m sending you the requested information on (your email’s topic).

2. Create a beautiful email signature and include it on all your emails by default

Whether you are selling a product/service, answering your teachers/classmates, or even briefing your boss/colleagues — Having a neat email signature gives you that extra credibility and makes you stand out. Even if you don’t know how to use any graphic design software, you can create a stunning email signature within a few minutes in the Free Email Signature Template Generator by HubSpot. Here is my own email signature:

Make sure to include your signature by default on all your future emails — once you finish creating your signature on HubSpot, instructions for each email provider will pop-up automatically teaching you how to do it.

3. Be timely on your responses, it demonstrates that you care, and it allows for faster progress

Time management is vital when it comes to succeeding in any industry or chapter of your life. When you manage an inbox, you might be overwhelmed with the flood of emails; begin by cleaning up and archiving emails and unsubscribing to any promotional mailing lists you no longer are interested in, this will help make your inbox much easier to browse.

Always dedicate an hour or two of your day to check your emails and catch up with your clients, colleagues, or classmates. Try to respond to most of your emails within 24-hours, quick responses are a sign that you care and always make for faster progress in projects and other matters.

4. Show genuine compassion when responding to negative feedback

The most challenging part of email communication is how you respond to negative feedback of any sort. Oftentimes, you will find yourself receiving emails that aren’t all happy and sparkly, they will be pointing out an inconvenience or a mistake; the way you respond here is crucially important.

From experience, I can advise you to show your genuine compassion; this can be done by you taking accountability and apologizing if you’ve made a mistake, or expressing your support to the matter at hand. Therefore, immediately jumping to how you plan to fix it or how you recommend it be fixed. If the matter is out of your hands, find the best alternative way to assist; make a suggestion, do some research, or provide any information from your past experience that can help out.

5. Articulate your thoughts in lists rather than long paragraphs

In today’s busy world, efficiency is more important than ever. “Cut to the chase” as they say, don’t write long boring paragraphs if you can articulate your thoughts in a nice comprehensive list. Here are two examples that showcase how a long paragraph can be put in an organized list:

If you would like to collaborate on a Medium story I’m writing about working for NASA, it’s important you send me your story details, and maybe share some of your experience on this topic. I think it’s a good idea if you can send me some pictures of you and the NASA team wearing uniform. Could you also send me the date you started working there? And what is your advice for those looking to work for NASA?

If you would like to collaborate on a Medium story I’m writing about working for NASA, please provide me with these details:

Can you elaborate on your story details and share some of your experience on how it is to work for NASA?

Please provide me with a few pictures of you and your team in NASA uniform (this can look great and add credibility).

Kindly provide me with when you started working at NASA and how long you worked there?

Lastly, do you have any advice you would like to share for those looking to fulfill a career at NASA?

Notice how much easier it is to read the list? It shows that you have taken the time to organize your thoughts, and it makes your email much more fluent.

6. Double-check for grammar errors, broken links, correct numbers, and any attachment(s)

I cannot stress this enough. It is often that I receive emails from the highest executives and they either forget to attach the attachment they promised or they send broken links that lead to 404 error pages. It only takes a few minutes to go in and double-check your email for any errors. It’s the cherry on the top of any professional well-written email.

Illustration by LoopDeLoop

To conclude, please take your emails very seriously. They are the stepping stone to your professional career, the key to success in your academic journey, or the final puzzle piece to making sales for those who offer their services/products through email communication. With time, your writing skills will only excel and recipients will be eager to open your emails and answer you.

It took me a few days to organize my own thoughts on this topic and write this story because I’m very passionate about helping people reach their full potential and grow their professional skill set; I hope that I was able to contribute even if just a little to your knowledge.

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