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7 tips to help you follow the new trends for professional English emails




E-Mail-Korrespondenz folgt ihren eigenen Regeln. Secretary Today präsentiert Ihnen 7 wichtige Erkenntnisse aus der aktuellen Forschung zur effizienten E-Mail-Nutzung.
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Email has been around for a long time, but many of us still don’t use it effectively. Research has shown that people don’t read emails the same way that they read letters. Often, they merely skim through an email, jumping from place to place, and they might miss important details. You can make sure your busy readers don’t miss anything important in your messages by following these guidelines for modern English emails.




1 Make your subject clear

Make the subject line as personal and active as possible. If you can, use a verb.

  • I need to cancel next week’s meeting.
  • Can you send me the sales figures this week?

2 Keep your salutations short


In modern emails, elaborate salutations such as "Dear Mrs Smith" or "Dear Alma" are not necessary. Just "Alma" will do, even when the correspondents don’t know each other personally.



3 Use punctuation carefully

Most modern writers use a comma after the name, like this: Alma, … If you use a colon, you are signalling that you are going to say something important.

  • Alma, …. means business as usual.
  • Alma: … means that you are about to say something important.

4 First things first

In an email, the first sentence of the text is the most important, and the first sentence in each paragraph is more important than those that follow.
So if you want a reader to notice a particular point, put it at the top of the email or in the first sentence of a paragraph.

  • This is to ask you for some input for the presentation next month.

5 More white space, please


In order to make it easier for the recipient to skim your email, make sure you leave a lot of white space in your message. A dense block of print on the screen does not encourage rapid eye movement. It’s impossible for the eye to jump around, because there’s nowhere to jump to!



6 Write as you would speak

Make your language conversational. Use contractions (I’ll, you’d, it’s, thanks, and so on).

  • Thanks for getting back to me.
  • I’ll send you the information this afternoon.


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7 Don’t be too wordy when you sign off

Just as we don’t start our email with "Dear Sir" or "Dear Mrs Jones", we don’t write "Yours faithfully" or "Sincerely" at the end. Modern closing salutations suitable for most occasions are:

  • Kind regards
  • Best regards
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