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5 Ways to Improve the Tone of Your Emails

Category: Business English Skills, Language Training | 2017-07-08

Ever since the introduction of the web, we have been getting more and more emails. According to the Radicati Group’s report (2015), business people send or receive over 120 emails per day. With that many emails floating around, it’s easy to understand why people don’t read them all. But, if you improve the tone of your emails, readers will be more likely to respond. This helps build better relationships and increase leads, which ultimately leads to more sales.

Below, we will take a look at 5 ways how you can improve the tone of your emails. Let’s get started!

5 Ways to Improve the Tone of Your Emails

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Keep it Positive

Probably the best advice I have read on how to improve the tone of your emails is to keep it positive. Simply put, we like to be happy. The words we chose create a tone for our emails. When we receive emails that are positive and upbeat, our mood almost always improves. Maybe only a little, but at least it’s heading in the right direction.

So, when you are writing your emails, aim to use positive words and phrases. Likewise, try to avoid using negatives. Keep away from obvious downers like don’t, can’t and won’t. And steer clear of negative images created by words like problem, mistake and unfortunately. Absolutes like never should also be used sparingly, if at all.

When talking to clients or staff, positivity in your emails will go along way to strengthening relationships. Keep it positive and watch as your network reacts. Goodwill breeds goodwill and the response can only benefit you and your business!

improve the tone of your emails

Give and Take

How often have you written a reply with only one or two words? This is sometimes ok. Especially if you have a back and forth thing going with the other person. But if someone has taken the time to write a long email detailing the progress on their project, respect their effort and give them a proper response. Simply writing “Thanks” or “Got it” can leave them feeling underappreciated.

Take the time to acknowledge their work, time and effort by writing a complete email in return. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, but it should clearly answer any questions or concerns made in the original. They will be grateful for your effort and you will build better relationships because of it.

improve the tone of your emails

Say No to Jargon

I know almost nothing about web development. Sure, I can use WordPress and I can update a plugin, but beyond that I am lost. So, when my web developer writes me emails with more acronyms than words, I lose interest in a hurry. Probably because I feel dumb. And I don’t like to feel dumb.

This is a problem that a lot of salespeople face when writing emails. The product or service they are selling is so familiar to them, they forget that the client has no idea what they are talking about.

Be sure to write to the level of your audience. If you are writing to a colleague who shares your knowledge, no problem. But, if you are writing to the owner of a small business, they may only have a basic understanding of your industry.

Be clear and take the time to explain everything. But try to do this without talking down to them. That will only make them feel more stupid, and you don’t want that!

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Seal it with a KISS

Keep It Simple, Stupid! This is a lesson I learned way back in grade school when playing basketball. Our coach constantly reminded us to stick to the basics and perfect them. When running through the offence, we always wanted to improvise. Of course, we all thought we were the next Michael Jordan! But, the coach beat it into us that running simple effective plays well was the path to success. As we got older, we slowly realized he was right.

The same is true for writing emails. With the amount of emails that we receive each day, we don’t have the time or energy to read an opus. Keep it light. Follow long sentences with short ones. Avoid run-on sentences. Write one idea, then move on to another.

It will make the reading experience much easier, and as a result, much more enjoyable. If your email tires the reader out, don’t expect high response rates. Keep it simple and watch the replies roll in!

improve the tone of your emails

Play it Again Sam

Nowhere are words more commonly misinterpreted than in emails. You are having a bad day and you write a quick email to someone. Chances are that you will be curt and quite possibly rude to them unintentionally. This often happens even when we are in a good mood.

Most of the time when we write emails, we write them purely from our perspective. We don’t take the time to think about how they will be received. We often leave out critical, although minor, details simply because we take them for granted.

Before you click send, take the time to read through your email as if it were sent to you. Is everything in it clear? Does it come off as short and snappy? Read through it, then read it again to be sure. The extra five minutes you take may just save a misunderstanding, and a major headache.

Putting it All Together

At the end of the day, writing emails can often be an uninspiring task. But, if you keep it positive, avoid jargon and write to your audience you will see better results. Remember to take the time to respond accordingly and always read through your emails again. Do these things and you will definitely improve the tone of your emails.

What tricks do you have to keep your emails sounding right? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter for more tips, articles and exclusive deals. Thanks for reading!



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