I send a good amount of emails and pay close attention to how people compose them.  I remember taking a class in college called Business Communications and at the time I thought it was the dumbest course.  As I think back, I’m pretty sure this laid some guideline to how I construct emails.  It’s fair to say that there isn’t one right or wrong way.  This email will breakdown specific parts of an email.



The Value of Positioning

Positioning of Email Address

Evan, who works for Comcast, believes in a theory that people subconsciously, or maybe even consciously, put the most important people first to start a chain.  For example, Lebron James would be my best friend, AI is a person I hang out on the weekend, and I attended Kobe’s wedding but rarely see him.  It’s worth pointing out that this is not an exact science and yelling at people for putting you in the 5 hole probably isn’t a good idea.  Just something to consider.




When I was away Jeff was manning my email address.  He did a fine job but there is something funny I noticed when someone else writes emails posing as you and that is that people have very different writing styles.  For instance, Jeff’s opening line was “Hey Joe,” followed by the body.  When I saw this I chuckled because I wondered if anyone else that I transpired with over the years would pick up that I’d never do this.  My greeting is standard and 99% of the time is the person’s name followed by a comma and then paragraph spacing that leads to the body..  Tom,  I’ve seen people use dear, hello, or most commonly nothing at all.  I personally will use nothing at all in a reply but never nothing to start one.


The Body

How Not to Write an Email

I treat emails as a more formal document than a text message.  This means I’ll use less profanity and keep out inappropriate thoughts.  You never know who is reading emails when you send them to another’s work so it’s better to play it safe.  One thing for sure is that I’m completely turned off by people who don’t treat emails with respect.  If you type words with extra letters, misspelling, other colors, and all caps, I can’t take you seriously.  Why so serious?


The Signature

UPS Signature

A signature is important for an email address.  I get genuinely perturbed when people don’t have their contact info in their email.  If I need to contact you, where is the first place I’m going to look if I don’t have your info?  Your email.  A name doesn’t suffice anymore.  I want your name, business name, and a phone number at the bare minimum.  Fax number, email address, website, and physical address are not bad ideas either.  A picture and awards that you received are probably going overboard but I’ve considered something like this.  I like the contact card from the UPS example above.


 Reply All


Please never reply all with something that isn’t pertinent to all.  People will hate you for this.


I know other people must have some funny ones?