Top mistakes that employees make when writing business e-mails

Effective business e-mail writing is the lifeline of any business venture.  As an employee, you can help to increase the profit margins of your organization by building a healthy rapport with your customers, partners and colleagues, and to build rewarding professional relationships; you have to communicate effectively.  In the present day, e-mail is considered to be one of the best communication tools. Apart from being cost-effective, e-mails help you to stay in touch with your clients in a more than cursory manner. Conversely, the efficacy of e-mails decreases significantly if they are not written in a proper manner. Thus companies are conducting various workshops including business writing workshops,business e-mail workshops etc. These business email workshops help their employees to improve in effective business email writing.

Here are top mistakes that employees make while writing business e-mails.

  • Meaningless subject lines: Every person receives hundreds of e-mails each day. If you do not include a meaningful subject line, your business e-mail is bound to get lost in the crowd. Your subject line should be pertinent to your message, not just baffling ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’.
  • Irrelevant header: Make sure that the header corresponds perfectly with the subject of your e-mail.  For instance, if you are writing to a client to remind him that he hasn’t paid the bill; your header should look something like this, ‘Request for the payment of dues’. Once the client has made the payment, the e-mail header should read like this, ‘Thanks for the payment’. 
  • Incorrect tone:  During face-to-face communication, the listener is not just listening to your voice, but he is also closely observing your facial expressions and body language. In the case of e-mail, the reader is merely reading whatever you have written. For this reason, it is essential to choose the words carefully. One wrong word can rampantly change the tone of the e-mail and annoy your potential customer. Avoid CAPITAL LETTERS or emphasizing using colors. These are considered rude.
  • Significance of salutation: Business e-mails should always begin with a salutation. A proper salutation helps to personalize the e-mails and prevents it from being marked as spam. Additionally, a salutation also denotes the beginning of the conversation. Thus, a business e-mail without a salutation is incomplete and informal.
  • Spelling and grammar mistakes: Spelling and grammatical errors in a business e-mail simply exhibit your lethargy and laxity, and are considered to be unprofessional. Before hitting the ‘send’ button, edit your e-mail carefully to weed out all types of spelling, grammatical and typographical errors.
  • Jargons, acronyms and emoticons: Slang, acronyms and emoticons should not be used in business e-mails. Jargons should also be avoided because people usually don’t have time to consult a dictionary every time they encounter an incomprehensible word.  You never know when the other side is unfamiliar with an acronym – try to avoid them.
  • Run-on-sentences: Don’t cram two or more sentences into one. Either learn how to use proper conjunction to join two sentences appropriately, or simply write them separately.
  • Too lengthy: Your prospective clients and colleagues do not have spare time. Hence, don’t make the mistake of writing lengthy e-mails. Meaningful, short and crisp messages typically produce a positive impact on the reader.
  • Absence of call to action: Call to action is a vital part of business e-mails. If you succeed in convincing the client that your product or service is the best, then a suitable call to action will help him to endorse your company with ease. 

The economy is in a recessive mode and businesses, partnerships and customer base are reeling under excessive pressure.  A small mistake on your part can cause the whole structure to crumple. You will never be able to regain lost ground. Don’t mince words because in business, every word is invaluable.Effective business email writing will make sure that your organization doesn’t lose even a single penny.


Miron Abrahamson

Mr. Miron Abramson is the CEO of Add-Vantage, a company that provides support for business interactions with international clients and partners overseas.  Add-Vantage offers a wide range of services to businesses that come in contact with global clients and partners.