| After reading this chapter, you are expected to be able to:|
|Write your activity here|
|Let's Sum Up|
- Introducing the learner to writing formal professional emails.
- Identifying the elements of emails.
- Writing appropriate content for formal emails.
- Proper formatting for official emails.
- Some dos and don’ts for senders of official emails.
- Activities to facilitate the writing of effective emails.
What is email?
Email stands for electronic mail. It is a method of transmitting data, text files, digital photos, and audio and video files from one computer to another through the internet. Despite being a relatively recent invention, email has become indispensable for business communication.
The primary reasons for this are:
- Email facilitates almost instant communication all over the world.
- It is a free or low-cost means of communication.
- It is accessible from any computer with an internet connection.
- It enables easy transfer of large amounts of data.
- It can be easily sent to multiple recipients.
- Email messages can be drafted and edited easily without having to re-write or print them.
Elements of an email
A typical e-mail consists of the following essential elements (though they may differ slightly across various service providers):
1. The “to” field – this contains the e-mail address of the recipient.
2. The “subject line” – this is a brief pointer about the core idea of the email.
3. The “body” – this contains the actual text written in the e-mail.
4. Attachments – these are files of data that can be sent along with the e-mail; they may include text, photographs and audio-visual files.
5. The “cc” and “bcc” fields – to enable sending of the same message to multiple recipients.
Take a quiz here
Before writing an email
Before you write an email, you need to answer these questions:
- The purpose of writing – Why am I writing this message?
- The desired outcome – What do I expect as the result of this message?
Purpose of writing emails
In a professional context, emails are usually written for three purposes:
- Giving information: e.g. ‘A meeting of all Customer Response Executives will be held on Friday at 10 a.m.’
- Asking for information: e.g. ‘ Please send me the progress report of your project for this quarter’
- Requesting action: e.g. ‘Could you call the clients and fix up the timing for our meeting next week?’
Besides these, emails could also be written for maintaining goodwill e.g. birthday greetings or festive greetings.