You can do better than a “hope this message finds you well” email during a quarantine. (Or anytime, really.)
“How do you write a business email during a quarantine?” isn’t the start of a really bad joke—it’s something I personally struggle with daily.
I strive to begin every email I send with a genuine and upbeat greeting that is unique enough to grab the attention of my reader, but I’m running out of creative ways to maintain professionalism and address the elephant named COVID without sounding insincere -— or — insane.
Here are a few tips to writing that perfect business email during quarantine:
- Take a moment to be present and really think about the person who will receive the communication. Think about both the person and the position she holds.
- Ask yourself what you would wear to a meeting with this person. How would you greet this person if you were meeting face to face? This helps set the tone for the email, especially the greeting.
- “Be specific…be memorable*. Be funny, but don’t make him (or her) laugh.” Rusty/Brad Pitt, Ocean’s Eleven. Sound advice. Especially in the 6th month of a pandemic.
- Be your authentic self. If you are like me, it’s more like “be your authentic self in a professional manner.” I tend to use a LOT of exclamation points when I type (my internal voice is pretty animated) which is annoying. Professional Hayley limits the use of exclamation points. And emojis. Mostly.
- Ask yourself if YOU would read any further or respond. If you would hit the delete button, your recipient probably will, too.
These tips will hopefully keep you —- and me -— from making Jessica Salfia’s next poem.
This poem is called “First lines of emails I’ve received while quarantining.” pic.twitter.com/4keCqPaO63
— Jessica Salfia (@jessica_salfia) April 11, 2020
*For the movie buffs, the actual line is “Be specific, but don’t be memorable.”