When you really start to think about how much content you write at work for communication alone, it’s insane to think about how many words you must be writing per day. From your daily check-in to your inbox every morning, then multiple times a day between departments and different levels of management, it’s no wonder, so many of us feel like we’re answering emails all the time.
However, despite this being something you do every day, there are still so many people out there who implement avoidable mistakes over and over again. Not only does this create the impression that you’re unprofessional, but it can also always increase the risk of a mistake taking place, then causing problems within the business.
Today, we’re going to explore the top 8 most common mistakes we find in work-related emails, giving you everything you need to know to be your best.
#1 - Checking Emails All the Time!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is falling into the trap of checking your emails all the time. With tabs in our browsers open all the time and notifications constantly pinging on our devices, it’s no wonder we constantly feel like we’re living in our inboxes.
However, while there are obvious productivity problems here, the writing-related issues may not be so clear. By being in your inbox all day, every day, as well as feeling the need to reply straight away, you may rush your typing, or want to clear your inbox as quickly as possible, ultimately increasing the risk of making a mistake.
Instead, make sure you’re only writing and responding during set hours of the day.
#2 - Not Writing Proper Subject Lines
Not writing an accurate or genuine subject line, or leaving it blank entirely, is one of the worst things you can do when writing an email. The subject line is there to help everybody stay aware of what the content is about and what message they can expect, especially defining whether it’s important or not.
You need to make sure you’re filling this out accurately, and genuinely so it’s not misleading, and correctly identifies the content of your email.
#3 - Not Getting to the Point
Nobody in the workplace has time to read an email that’s thousands of words long and takes ages to get to the point. Someone will see this kind of long-winded email and will start to skim read it, meaning they’re probably going to miss out on the important information.
Make sure you're 100% concise and accurate with your content, and generally speaking, the shorter your emails, the better.
#4 - Not Addressing the Individual
If you’re writing in response to a 40-person email that has been sent out and you’re replying directly into the group using the Reply All function (which should probably be avoided at all costs anyway), you need to make sure you’re addressing who you’re speaking to at the beginning, so everyone has complete clarity.
Even if you’re speaking to someone on a one-on-one basis, make sure you’re using their first name, so everyone is absolutely clear you’re talking to them.
#5 - Using Abbreviations and Emojis
“Not everybody uses emojis, and not everybody knows or understands every single abbreviation, so for the sake of communicating effectively, make sure you’re typing out all words fully to avoid any mistakes or misreads” explains Benjamin Goody, a recruiter at Elite Assignment Help and State of Writing.
#6 - Not Writing to a Professional Standard
While you may not be a professional writer, that doesn’t mean your emails can’t be written to a professional standard. There are plenty of online tools and services out there to help you create the best quality content, so if you’re not using and you need them, you won’t be writing to the best of your ability.
Below, you’ll find a list of some of the best online tools and services to help you improve the quality of your work emails quickly and tenfold;
Via Writing / Academadvisor - These two websites are full of online editing tools to help you improve the structure and format of your emails.
Grammarix - This is an online tool to help you edit your work email content to ensure it’s readable, makes sense, and flows professionally.
Studydemic - Use this online tool for all the features, tips and advice to make sure you’re using grammar properly in your work email content.
Writingpopulist - These are two leading online proofreading tools to help you spot errors in your content and rid your emails of silly mistakes and typos.
My Writing Way - Use this online tool to help you create subheadings, headers, subject lines and titles to accurately grab the attention of your readers genuinely.
Let's go and learn / Simple grad - These are two online formatting tools designed to help you structure your email to make it the most readable it can be.
#7 - Using the Wrong Tone of Voice
The way you speak to your colleagues, managers, and customers via email will all require a different tone of voice and style of writing, and this needs to be reflected in how your type. Being able to convey a different voice through written text is a skill, but it’s a necessary skill if you want to be the best, most flawless communicator you can be.
#8 - Writing an Email When It’s Not Necessary/Appropriate
While email is a popular form of communication, depending on the individual situation you’re in, it might not always be the best. It’s important to make sure you’re thinking about why you’re sending a message in the first place, and then deciding whether email is the best format.
If it’s not appropriate, sending an email can do more harm than good, and you’ll have made a mistake. Sometimes, sending a text, having a face-to-face conversation, or even just a phone call, can be far better than writing an email.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to think about when it comes to writing work emails, and lots of mistakes you can be aware of to ensure you’re not carrying any of them out. The more mindful you can be, the better you’ll be at communicating in the workplace.
Nora Mork is a marketing journalist, writer and proofreader at Ukwritings. She helps brands prepare better marketing and communications strategies, and writes blogs for Boomessays and Essayroo blogs.