Stop Ruining Your Great Emails with Terrible Grammar

Aug. 12, 2017 – Also published on Medium.

HubSpot recently published an article providing interesting insight into the power of email etiquette. It says:

Research shows making errors seriously impacts how people see you. In one study, participants who read an email with grammatical errors thought the writer was less conscientious, intelligent, and trustworthy than those who read the same email without errors.

What did your last email to a client look like?

Was it carefully thought through? Did you edit and proofread it before sending? Or, was it riddled with grammar errors, run-on sentences, and confusing language?

With the impact of poor grammar in mind, I put together a simple checklist of the top grammar mistakes to avoid in your next email. Keep these handy and glance at them before you press send!

  1. Don’t use run-on sentences.

You’ve probably received an email that looked something like this:

“Hi received your call would love to set up a time to talk, let me know your schedule for next week thanks.”

This run-on sentence makes you look rushed. It gives the impression that you didn’t stop to think long enough to formulate a proper response. Instead, be sure to use correct punctuation and keep one sentence limited to one thought.

  1. Capitalize the right words.

In our modern hyper-connected world, we’re used to switching quickly between text, instant messaging, and email. That means that we sometimes blur the boundaries between each tool and apply the same style of writing across the board.

This sometimes includes doing away with capitals: “hi. let’s meet up in 5 mins.”

While this might be acceptable in a text message, doing so in an email comes across as sloppy. Make sure you begin each sentence with an uppercase. (And definitely do not begin each word with an uppercase! It Is Hard To Read And Just Plain Annoying.)

  1. Watch your use of ‘tricky’ words.

If you don’t make mistakes, no one will notice. But the moment you do make a mistake, people will notice.

Remember this golden rule the next time you think to yourself: “It doesn’t really matter if I use it’s or its. They’re close enough, right?” Wrong!

It’s the small details that matter when you’re trying to make a professional, competent impression on clients. Some common words to pay attention to are: they’re/their/there, your/you’re, and to/too/two.

  1. Stay away from using emojis in emails.

A recent study by university researchers states: “contrary to actual smiles, smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence”.

Enough said.

  1. Include URLs the smart way.

If want to include a link to a website in your email, don’t just copy and paste the URL in. Long URLs look bulky and break your reader’s flow. Plus, you run the risk that the URL will cut off midway with a line break, rendering it unclickable.

Instead of copying and pasting a long URL into your email, add it by hyperlinking the associated text. Like this.

In Summary…

Following these tips will help you make the right impression with your clients.

No one wants to come across as incompetent, lazy, or sloppy. With a few simple tweaks and a thorough proofread, you can protect your reputation as a capable and intelligent business leader.

Now it’s over to you. What are your favourite grammar tips for email etiquette?

Comments

Add A Comment