Write Better Email: Learn the Best Uses for Business Email

In this course, you'll find out how to save yourself--and your organization--time by learning when it makes sense to use email and when not to use email. You'll learn about the four best uses for business email: to inform, to make requests, to answer questions, and to document. We'll walk you through plenty of examples, and a quiz at the end will test what you learned.

Introduction

Welcome to 'Learn the Best Uses for Business Email'

 

Write Better Email:

Learn the Best Uses for Business Email

Man typing on laptop

If you've taken another Write Better Email course, you can proceed to the course objectives by clicking on 'Course Objectives' in the menu on the left. Otherwise, click 'Next' below to continue.

The Problem With Email

Why does email take up so much time? Click on the video below to find out.

What Can Be Done?

What can be done about email taking up so much time? Click on the video below to find out.

True Communication

What is 'true communication,' and why is it important in email? Click on the video below to reveal the answer.

Pop Quiz

'True' communication can be best described as:

  • Communication that occurs in one direction.
  • A two-way street in which the recipient responds to the sender as intended.
  • Not applicable to email.
  • Impossible in the workplace.

Course Objectives

To find out the objectives for this course, play the video below.

The Best Uses for Business Email

When Not To Use Email

Click on the video below to learn about when not to use email in an organization.

The Four Best Uses for Business Email

To learn about the four best uses for email in an organization, click on the video below.

Use 1: To Make Sure Everyone Is Informed

Play the video below to learn about our first best use for email: making sure everyone in a group is informed.

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Example 1: Reminder Email

What do you notice about the simple reminder email below?

Example 2: Personnel Change Email

Take a moment to read the personnel change email below:

Example 3: Policy Change Email

Take a moment to read over the policy change email below.

Use 2: To Make Requests

Click on the video below to learn more about the second main use for email: making requests.

Example 4: Information Request Email

Take a moment to read the information request email below. It's from Ron, our company's financial manager, to Jessica, a sales rep.

Example 5: Action Request Email

Review the action request email below. It's from Jerry, our company's CEO, to Justin, his administrative assistant.

Use 3: To Answer Requests

Our third main use for email is to answer requests that require only a short and simple answer.

Click on 'Next' below to see an example of an email that answers a request.

Example 6: Answer Email

To refresh your memory, take a moment to re-read Ron's request email to Jessica:

Now take a minute to read below Jessica's email response to Ron.

Use 4: To Document

Our fourth main use for email is to document, such as a meeting or phone call, to ensure everyone involved has the same understanding of what transpired, and to have a reference point in case details become fuzzy later on.

Click on the video below to learn more about documentation email.

Example 7: Meeting Documentation Email

Click on the video below to go over an example of a meeting documentation email.

Can Email Overcome Time and Distance?

What if the recipient of your email is separated by time and distance?

Poor Uses of Email in the Workplace

Click on the video below to learn about poor uses of email in the workplace.

Quiz & Summary

Quiz: Question 1

The four best uses for email in an organization are:

  • To document, to thank coworkers, to inform, to make requests.
  • To answer questions, to document, to inform, to make requests.
  • To inform, to share photos, to make requests, to thank coworkers.
  • To annoy, to gossip, to bother, to distract.

Quiz: Question 2

Read the statement below and decide whether it's true or false.

  • It’s usually a good idea to respond to an informational email with at least an acknowledgement that you’ve read it.

Quiz: Question 3

Which of the statements below are best email practices? Click all that apply.

  • Including descriptions of numbers or figures.
  • Attaching at least one supporting document to every email.
  • Including as much private information as necessary to get your point across.
  • Making only simple requests that are a routine part of the recipient’s job.
  • Writing at least three full paragraphs in every email.
  • Adding a date to any relative time reference like ‘yesterday’ or ‘last month.’

Quiz: Question 4

Read the statement below and decide if it is true or false.

  • Email should always be used with coworkers in different time zones because it’s the only way to ensure they will receive your message.

Quiz: Question 5

Which statements below are examples of poor uses of email in the workplace? Check all that apply.

  • Inviting three coworkers over to your house for poker night.
  • Selling raffle tickets to your child’s fundraising event.
  • Inviting your whole team to your church’s weekly prayer meeting.
  • Speculating on the reason for a coworker’s recent abdominal surgery.
  • Providing a few lines of code from your company’s biggest money-making application to a coworker in a different department.

Summary

Click on the video below for a recap of key takeaways from this course.