Almost no one doubts at this point that electronic mail has become a vital means of communication, which relegated at the time to others such as fax, mail or telegram, and that most people use daily to Contact our friends, family, co-workers …
However, despite this importance, many people tend to relax their writing when communicating in this way, perhaps because of the speed and immediacy with which communication sometimes occurs, perhaps because in many cases it is used in informal contexts in those that reduce the quality and correction demands.
It seems that there was a false belief that it is the support that determines the writing and not the type of text that we have to write at each moment, nothing is further from reality!
Any text, regardless of the medium that we will use to disseminate it (web page, letter, blog, email …) must be written according to the orthographic and grammatical norms of the English language, and the success of the communication and the attitude with which the recipients conclude reading our messages (credibility, trust …). I recommend the entry Write well to succeed with your blog.
Here are some suggestions or criteria to write an email well:
- Take care of what you write in the subject. In this medium, the matter is equivalent to the title or title, this will be the summary or synthesis of the content of the mail and it will largely depend on what the recipients will do with the message (open it to the first one, delete it directly, leave it abandoned in the inbox…). Ojo !, do not write point behind the subject: it is incorrect.
- Try to be brief: if you can communicate something with less words, do it! Remember that being formal is not synonymous with being involved and always review your texts before sending them to try to reduce everything that is superfluous or dispensable.
- Greet with the correction required by any formal document. Some aspects of the spelling that should be remembered here:
a) Vocatives must be separated by commas from the rest of the statement. Correct: Hello, Berta or Good morning, Juan. Wrong: Hello Berta, Good morning Juan.
b) In the case of using Hola, Berta, remember that the interjections (hello it is) must always be isolated between commas. Therefore, if you forget the comma, you will be making a double mistake.
c) If you are going to address someone unknown, you can use the formula “Dear sir / a”. In the text body you can abbreviate the treatment (“sr./sra.”), But do not do it in the greeting formula.
c) Behind the greeting two points are written (do not eat !, which would be a copy of English) and in the next paragraph begins with initial capital.
Correct: Hello, Berta:
- You have a good day…
- Incorrect: Hi Berta,
- You have a good day…
- Say goodbye cordially (be grateful) and try to sign your emails. The signature must be simple and consist of the basic elements: name, organization and some relevant links (web, blog or profile in a social network …), as long as they are of interest for the mail subject.
Now, with what punctuation mark do we close the dismissals? The brief formulas of the type a greeting, greetings, attentively, kisses, hugs, etc., are closed with a comma. On the other hand, for the most elaborate formulas we will use the corresponding sign if we write everything together: (Receive a cordial greeting from Berta Carmona), that is, you should not write or comma or period behind the preposition of.
Note also that behind the signature (of your name) you do not have to write period.
- Pay attention to the formal aspects:
- It is advised that the spelling be homogeneous: use the same type of font (preferable the most readable as Verdana, Arial, Tahoma or Helvetica, for example), size and color …
- Do not overuse the underline, the bold, italic … as they greatly affect the correct readability. Use this resource just enough to point out or highlight the most important part of the text.
- The content must be ordered and balanced in order to facilitate reading: paragraphs and short and simple sentences, ideas separated by blocks, separation blanks between paragraphs, use bullets and lists, etc.
- Be careful with the use of capital letters (on the internet they are equivalent to shouting).
Of course, any suggestion to write better in general will be useful to optimize the writing of your emails, I invite you to read my entry Write to read you.
Finally, remember that a quality writing helps greatly to achieve the goal of communication: if you are going to apply for a promotion, if you are looking for a job and constantly have to contact a multitude of companies, if you want to declare or confess some essential feeling … take care of the wording and the attitude of your reader will be more positive.
Do you think I’ve forgotten something? Do you detect any typo in this text? Your comments will be very useful to continue growing and improving, thanks!