Course Outcomes

This email etiquette and business writing course will:

  • Address the importance of understanding readers.
  • Review such email conventions as effective subject lines, professional greetings, and readable formatting.
  • Discuss common errors in written English and how to avoid them.
  • Introduce participants to the basics of email and the law.

Course Overview

When information needs to be disseminated quickly, there’s no better way than by email. Unfortunately, with the benefit of speed come some problems that aren’t always predictable. This email etiquette and business writing course is designed to help employees create email messages that are understood as intended by the writer in a single reading. This program contains a heavy writing component. We recommend participants have access to computers during the session.

Program Objectives

At the program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain instances when sending email is necessary and appropriate.
  • Describe what should not be discussed via email.
  • Determine who should and should not receive copies of emails.
  • Create an email subject line that accurately describes the content of the message.
  • Write in the active voice.
  • Avoid the most common mistakes people make in business writing.
  • Consider the visual components that enhance an email message and make for easy reading.
  • Know what to do when emails misfire and reach the wrong people.
  • Develop a personal action plan to improve their email skills at work.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Before You Start Typing: What to Send by Email

In this opening discussion, the facilitator will engage participants in exercises designed to measure their knowledge of email use at work. They will gain a clear understanding of circumstances that require formal written communication rather than email, and they will discuss the kinds of items they must never send electronically—on or off the job—without the risk of serious consequences.

What I’m Trying to Say: Creating an Accurate Subject Line

Like any other piece of business writing, a business email should present the “bottom line” immediately. One of the benefits of using email is that it enables the writer to succinctly state the purpose from the outset. In this part of the workshop, participants will learn the importance of providing a subject line that clearly and accurately reflects the content of the email message. During this seminar segment, group members will have ample opportunity to practice developing fitting subject lines based on the content of email samples they will receive from the instructor.

Polite, Short, Common, Active: Four Components of Strong Text

Email isn’t a novel, and it shouldn’t read like one. Unlike a thriller laden with suspense, email should get to the point and do it quickly. At the same time, its writer must adhere to the rules of good etiquette in order to avoid hurt feelings, an inappropriate tone, and other problems. This course segment looks at methods for creating polite, short, active text that uses commonly understood words.

It’s Still Business Writing: Common Errors to Avoid

Even if it’s an email message, electronic business writing must still adhere to the same standards established for hardcopy writing. In this portion of the course, participants will review 12 of the most common writing mistakes that find their way into business writing, and they will learn how to avoid them.

Looks Matter: Visual Considerations to Help the Reader

For an email to be visually appealing, white space is as important as the text it separates. This seminar segment looks at best practices for creating attractive text. In this part of the program, participants will work through a series of samples to improve their visual appeal and overall quality.

Before Clicking “Send”: Checking, Proofing, and Copying

Fast is fine, but email must still be re-read and revised before it is sent. In this workshop unit, participants will explore a range of tools to help them write with greater clarity and find errors before they hit the “send” button.

Damage Control: Rx for Bad Email Moments

Because email is fast, it lacks the advantage of giving the writer time to reconsider once the message zips through cyberspace. There are also occasions when a message is received by the wrong recipient. In this part of the course, participants will discuss measures they can take to offset the problems created by rogue emails.

Mailbox Know-How: Using Technology to Your Advantage

Even if you are the world’s greatest writer, if you can’t stay on top of your inbox, you will eventually encounter problems. This part of the course reviews a handful of tips and techniques for organizing messages, using templates, and leveraging automation to manage messages.

You’ve Got Mail: Plan for Improvement

In this final lesson, participants will design a personal action plan for improving their email skills. Serving as a ready reference, these individualized lists will assist them as they prepare business correspondence that positively represents them and their organizations.

At this program’s conclusion, participants should understand how to craft clear, correct, and courteous digital correspondence.