Master the art of keeping your emails concise and to the point! Discover distinguishing strategies, crucial tips, and the importance of adopting the minimalistic approach in email communication. Learn how to easily convey your message without overwhelming your recipients, thus elevating your professional communication skills. Worth your time!
You have reasons to worry if you spend too much time writing long, detailed emails that could have been said in a few sentences!
Why keeping your emails concise and to the point is important
Mailbird has found by a data-driven analysis of 91 million inquiries that 35% of the emails are left unread! This is not a surprise in a world where an average professional sends 40 and receives 121 emails per day.
So, if you want your email to be read and acted on, you must be clear and to the point when writing it. Because concise emails can:
So, if you want to save time and get your point across more effectively, here are some tips for writing emails for dummies.
- Quickly convey the key message to its readers and increase the response rate,
- Save your time composing it
1. Keep your subject line concise and to the point
People get a lot of emails daily, and many of them are never opened by their receivers! One thing that determines which email will be opened as soon as it arrives is the subject line. A study suggests that 47% of people who get emails open them just based on the subject line. At the same time, 69% of people who get emails report them as spam based on the subject line alone.
The secrete of ensuring email messages are read and responded to promptly is keeping the subject lines concise and to the point. Lengthy, rambling subject lines are likely to be overlooked, so it is important to make your point in as few words as possible.
2. Keep your email body concise and to the point
Adding a lot of information and details to your email can be tempting, but doing so can make your message difficult to read and understand. Hence, keeping your email body concise and to the point is important.
Limiting your email body to five sentences or less is a good rule of thumb. Consider adding it as an attachment if you need to convey more information. This will help keep your email organized and easy to read.
In addition, avoid using unnecessary words or phrases. A few examples are given below:
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you think my help would be necessary.Not recommended
Please, contact me if you need any help.Recommended
The first sentence is wordy and over-polite, which is unnecessary.
Please be advised, your password will expire in the next week.Not recommended
Your password will expire in the next week.Recommended
“Please be advised…” is a phrase that you can remove.
Be concise and direct, increasing the chances that your email will be read and responded to quickly. The best emails are one-sentence emails.
If you are certain those will make sense to the audience, you can use email acronyms and abbreviations instead of whole words. For example, writing “ASAP” will take much less space than “As soon as possible.”
In addition, be sure to proofread your email before sending it. This will help ensure you haven’t included any typos or grammatical errors. Taking the time to do this will show your recipient that you care about communicating clearly and effectively.
3. Use lists and bullet points
Email is a great way to communicate quickly and efficiently, but only if you keep your messages concise and to the point. But there are times when you need to cover a lot of details in the email body. In that case, present the details in lists and bullet points. It will make the text easy to skim through.
In the following section, the same message is delivered. First, in a single paragraph, and second, with bullet points.
Without bullet points
To keep your emails concise and to the point, keep your subject line concise and to the point, keep your email body concise and to the point, use lists and bullet points, use short paragraphs, use clear and concise language, Use active voice, and use strong verbs.
With bullet points
- Keep your subject line concise and to the point - Keep your email body concise and to the point - Use lists and bullet points - Use short paragraphs - Use clear and concise language - Use active voice - Use strong verbs
Now, you tell me which one is easy to read and understand?
4. Use short paragraphs
Writing long paragraphs in your emails can be tempting, but this is often counterproductive. Long paragraphs can be difficult to read, making your message seem unfocused. For these reasons, it’s best to stick to shorter paragraphs when writing business emails.
If you struggle to keep your paragraphs short, try focusing on one main point per paragraph. This will help you stay on track and ensure your email is easily read. You can also try using bullet points or numbered lists to break up your text and make scanning easier.
Remember, the goal is to get your point across as clearly and concisely as possible. Taking the time to edit your email to its most essential parts will save you and your recipient time and frustration.
5. Use clear and concise language
It is important to use clear and concise language when writing an email. This means that you should use short sentences and simple words. You should be careful in choosing jargon or technical terms. Consider who your audience is in that email and craft that accordingly.
Trying to sound smart using big words or complicated sentence structures can be tempting, but this will make your email harder to read. It is better to use simple language that everyone can understand.
One way to do this is to imagine that you have to pay for every word you add (like telegrams of the good old days!). This may sound like a silly mental exercise, but it can be quite effective in helping you eliminate unnecessary words and phrases.
If you are unsure whether your email is too long or complex, ask a friend or colleague to read it and give you feedback.
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6. Get rid of emotional phrases, greetings
Work e-mails are all about work and business, so there is a little place (if any) for greetings or emotional phrases like
“Trust this mail finds you well,”
“Hope you are keeping well.”
Even simple “Good morning” or “Good evening” is unimportant to a business email.
Keep greetings aside, and land straight on the topic. You can say a polite “Thank you,” and that is enough. No one expects a display of politeness or kindness from you in business emails.
7. Use active voice
One of the best ways to keep your emails concise and to the point is to use an active voice. An active voice keeps your sentences short, clear, direct, and easy to read. It also helps you avoid using unnecessary words and phrases.
For example, the second option below makes more sense to the reader.
The proposal will be submitted as soon as the data will be in my hand.Not recommended
I’ll submit the proposal as soon as I get the data.Recommended
8. Use strong verbs
When it comes to email, everyone expects a response. Pleasing the reader with linguistic beauty is pointless if the main goal is not achieved. So getting your point across as quickly and effectively as possible is important. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using strong verbs.
Strong verbs convey a lot of meaning in just a few letters, which can help to liven up your writing. So next time you’re drafting an email, look at your verb choices and see if you can switch them out for something more powerful. Trust me; your recipients will thank you for it!
For example, instead of saying, “Put under your consideration”, you could say, “Consider”,
Put under your consideration.Not recommended
The board is of the opinion that we should conduct surveys with our customers and take into consideration the suggestions that they provide.Not recommended
The board recommends conducting client surveys and considering their ideas.Recommended
9. Edit, edit, edit
Editing an email multiple times is important to ensure that the email is clear, concise, and error-free. Editing also helps ensure the email is appropriate for the intended audience. When you are done with your first draft, take a break for a few minutes and come back to it later. Read it repeatedly until you end up with something you are confident to send. The more you will do this exercise, the better you will be.
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10. Conclude with a clear call to action (CTA)
Concluding with a clear call to action makes it easier to achieve your expected results out of the email. When designing a call to action, ensure it covers who, what, when, and how.
- What needs to be done?
- Who will do the task?
- What is the deadline for the task?
- How the task will be done?
An example of a decisive call to action is below:
Would you please revise the output file specification following the above-mentioned guideline and submit it to me by the next Friday?
Final words writing concise emails
By following these tips, you can ensure your emails are read and acted upon. Communicating effectively via email is a valuable skill in today’s fast-paced world. So make your emails work for you by keeping them concise and to the point.
FAQ on how to write concise emails
What is a concise email (Concise email meaning)?
A concise email is an email that is short and to the point. It is free of any fluffy content, focusing on the objective of the email. The contents are organized in small paragraphs and sometimes bullet points to appeal to readers.
How do you write a concise email?
Keep your emails concise and to the point by following these simple tips:
1. Keep the subject line short and sweet.
2. Get straight to the point in the body of the email.
3. Use bullet points or short paragraphs to make your email easy to scan.
4. Avoid using unnecessary words or filler phrases.
5. Edit your email for clarity and conciseness before hitting send.
What is an example of a concise sentence?
Below is an example of how an email can deliver the same message in elaborate and concise sentences.
“Send me a response to this email if you are unable to view the file for any reason. I will look into the matter.”
“Please reply if you have trouble accessing the file.”
Why concise email is important?
Concise email is important because it saves time for the sender and the recipient. It also eliminates the possibility of miscommunication. Above all, a concise and to-the-point email increases the chance of getting a response.
How do you write a clear email?
Write a clear email following these steps:
1. Write a clear and to-the-point email subject.
2. Divide the main email body into 5 sentences or fewer. Use bullet points where applicable.
3. Avoid unnecessary details, greetings, or superfluous words.
4. Conclude with a clear call to action (CTA).
5. Proofread your email before sending it.
How do you write a short email?
You can write a short email using fewer words and keeping your message clear and concise. You can use bullet points, short sentences, and simple language. You should also avoid unnecessary words and phrases and stay to the point. In the beginning, this won’t be easy. One way to do this is to pretend, like in the old days of telegrams, that you must pay for every word you add. This may sound like a silly mental exercise, but it can help you build a habit of eliminating words and phrases that aren’t needed. There is no ready-made concise email template.
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