Crafting A Killer Email: 9 Rules for Writing an Excellent Email

Love it or hate it, email is a way of life.  It’s how we communicate with our clients and each other. Recent data from HubSpot showed that a whopping 99 percent of us check our email every day.

So, when you’re sending those all-important emails to colleagues, clients, or potential clients, it’s imperative that you represent your company in an appropriate and professional way.

Your message should reflect your branding (friendly, trustworthy, etc.) without being too casual in our contact.

Here are 9 rules for crafting a killer email, rather than just firing one off!

1. Start with a smart subject line.

This is where your communication begins and is your best shot at making a great first impression.

Your subject line should be clear, specific, actionable, and personalized when possible.

It should also be concise… as in, fewer than 50 characters.  If your subject line is too long, it will get cut off (especially on a mobile device.) And since approximately 46% of emails are opened on phones, a lengthy subject is a great way to lose your reader.

Finally, avoid spammy words in your subject line.  Trigger words like “free,” “act now,” and “guaranteed” will send your email right to the spam folder.

Why Are My Group Travel Marketing Emails Going to Spam or Junk?

2. Keep it short and sweet.

The average employee receives approximately 121 emails each day.  We spend roughly 8 seconds reading the 53% we open.  That’s not a lot of time – so keep it short and sweet!

3. Don’t forget the white space.

If you’ve ever gotten an email that looks like this, you know that you’re not going to read it from start to finish.  The volume of text is overwhelming and frankly, off-putting.

You may have a lot of information to convey, but no one will want to read it!

rules for email

A better bet is to add more white space to your communique. Double-space line text and double-click between paragraphs for easier reading.

You can also add headings to break up your content and make the information more easily digestible.

Finally, re-read your message.  If the text is not absolutely relevant or necessary, leave it out!

4. Follow a proper format.

Be sure to use a proper format when writing an email.

rules for writing email

5. Beware of CCs and BCCs.

Beware of the CC.  While we want to be inclusive, not everyone has to know everything all the time.  Think of the CC as a “courtesy copy.”  Include those who may benefit from the information or be affected by it in some way – not as a blanket way of communicating.  USE DISCRETION!

If you do CC someone, please note why in the body of the email.

Ex: “I’m looping Mike in here since he will be handling the meal vouchers.”

A BCC (blind carbon copy) is used primarily for sending an email to multiple recipients who don’t know one another (note: if you are introducing recipients to one another, then use the “To” field so everybody’s email is visible).

This is not intended to be used as your own personal covert operation. Don’t use the BCC field to secretly loop in additional, unknown recipients.

6. Skip the smiley faces.

This one is like a knife to our hearts since we LOVE a good smiley face! 😊  However, only use them internally – never with clients or unknown recipients.

7. Include attention-getters.

As previously stated, most of us spend no more than 8 seconds on an email.  This is especially true if you’re mailing to those who get an overwhelming volume of emails (think teachers, admin assistants, etc.)

Be sure to underline, use a different color, italicize, or use bullet points to grab their attention!

8. Remember that grammar counts.

Honestly, there’s no excuse for poorly written emails.  In a world where Grammarly can be downloaded for free, your emails should be ‘free’ of errors.

Always check for

rules for writing email

9. Most importantly… catch it before you click (send).

The most important rule for crafting a killer email is to proof your message before you send it.  Most of us race through our workdays, jumping from one task to the next. It’s easy for our mind’s eye to skip a word or miss a mistake in our writing.

If it’s a particularly important email, be sure to ask a friend or colleague to double-check it.  Sometimes it takes something as simple as a fresh set of eyes to discover a glaring error in your work.

At the very least, run it through your email program’s spelling and grammar checker.

Related Reading: Unlocking the Power of AI: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform the Travel Industry

Crafting A Killer Email

These 9 rules for writing an email may seem antiquated or unnecessary, but they are still very relevant.  It’s amazing how many of us forget the basics as we race through our daily emails.  Take time to craft your messages thoughtfully rather than simply clicking send for better engagement with your reader!



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