Tips on Business Emails: Drafting the Email
12. Don’t qualify yourself often.
Be direct. Don’t cloak your sentence behind a qualifier such as “I don’t want to be rude but…” If you think what you’re saying might come across as rude, rephrase it. Saying you don’t want to be rude doesn’t make you any less so; it only conveys that you are aware of your rudeness.
13. Watch out for local linguistic peculiarities.
This is especially important if you are a non-native English speaker. I’ll occasionally slip up and write a term that I realize later is peculiarly Indian usage. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re sure your audience understands you. If you’re writing to a global audience, watch out for these.
14. Remember to sign off.
A simple “thanks” at the end with your name under it is sufficient, and you should include this even if you’re using an automated signature. Don't use your closing words as part of your automated signature—the recipient can tell, believe me, and you’d be better off not using those words at all rather than using them insincerely. (I worked with someone once who would send extremely rude emails that always ended with "Thanks and regards." It was a little disconcerting.)
If a generic sign-off doesn’t do it for you, say something specific. (e.g., "Thanks again for taking the time to look into this," "Let’s talk more at the meeting tomorrow morning" or "See you next week!")
15. Avoid fancy typefaces.
Stick to a basic, readable sans serif font such as Verdana or Ariel. (I like Calibri too.)
16. Avoid backgrounds.
Don't use patterns and images to jazz up your email. Express your personality through your writing and do your recipients a favor.
17. Avoid unnecessary emphasis.
Unless you absolutely need to emphasize a point, don’t use bold or italics or capitals (especially capitals). These are the online equivalent of shouting: use them sparingly, and not for more than a few words at a time.