10 common Business email mistakes even smart people make – Business English lesson

10 common Business email mistakes even smart people make – Business English lesson

So I’m typing a work email and I’m kind
of confused as how to start? So it’s to Susan, should I say, Dear Susan or HI Susan
or I don’t know, I’m confused. Hello and welcome to yet another lesson and today’s lesson is about, Common mistakes in Business Emails. That’s right, we all know, how important
it is to make your email, look good and sound good in order to get your work done.
And there are so many people out there, who actually struggle with writing business emails
and there are many many mistakes that are common. I’m gonna address a few of them
today and you know maybe you can actually double check, whether you’re making some
of these and make sure then that you start avoiding them. So the first one on my list
is, well now this one though it sounds kind of really really atrocious. A lot of people
do this forgetting to greet. Now imagine if you receive an email that just starts with
a subject matter like, Well according to our conversation. I have decided to send you the
presentation right away. But who are you? A and who are you talking to? Is this email
for me? Is it for the person in my team? It gets very very confusing. So it’s very important
to address the email with a Hi, Hello or Dear, followed by the person’s name and to also
close it with your name, so a greeting and a closing are both very important. Otherwise
it’s very difficult to find out, who the email is addressed to and who has written
the email and that can lead to a lot of confusions at work. So this one is something that you
really want to avoid. So make sure you remember to greet the person that you are writing the
email to and also remember to actually close the email with your own name, you know with
say maybe a thanks or a regards, followed by your own name. And that makes it very very
clear as to who the email is going to and who has written it. Now the next thing that
a lot of people do and you don’t want to be the one to do this is being too formal.
Now the way you write your email or rather the tone of the email has to reflect your
personal relationship with the person you’re writing to. So for example, if I have been
working with Jack for the past ten years and we have a friendly working relationship, but
I write the email to him saying something like, Respected, Mr. Jack White. You know
suddenly Jack is gonna be like, why is she talking to me, like she’s talking to me
for the first time. We’ve been interacting for work for the past ten years and she could
have said something as simple as, Dear Jack and that would have made more sense. So you
know addressing people with respect to your relationship with them is very important.
So for example, if you’re writing to Susan for the first time, you could actually address
her as, Dear Mrs. White. But once you get acquainted with her, that’s when you can
actually drop the, Mrs. White and come down to first name basis and say something like,
Hello Susan or Dear Susan or HI Susan and that would be appropriate. So make sure you’re
not being too formal, coz that can make the tone of the email very very business like
and very heavy and not a very friendly tone. The next thing you can do is being too informal.
Now let’s remember we are writing business emails. Business emails are for work and professional
purposes. They’re not a chat between you and your best friend. So sometimes I’ve
seen people in emails they get too informal and too soon. So imagine you’ve met a client
one month back and instead of you know addressing him as Mr. John or John. You actually write
to him saying, hey Johnny boy or hey buddy boy. How do you think, he’s going to react
to that? Hey Johnny boy, hey buddy boy. Trust me it’s a big no, no. That’s right, so
make sure, you’re not being too informal. So avoid nicknames or endearments. Like for
example, if you’re talking to Martha, you can’t always keep saying something like,
Martha Darling, Martha sweetie, please reply to my email quickly. Martha is not your best
friend from school. Martha is somebody, you work with, so it’s very important to maintain
the professionalism and that degree of formality, which appears appropriate. So you know using
nick names or endearments, getting too informal, too quickly in a business email is not recommended.
Moving on now this is something that forgetful people do, but it’s a huge jarring mistake,
forgetting the subject line or worse till forgetting to change the subject line. So
imagine you’ve written a previous email to somebody and then you’re kind of writing
another email to somebody else, but you forget to change the subject line. Now that could
actually prove to be very expensive, coz you know, it’s very rude, in polite and it may
show your client or your boss that how careless and casual you are about writing a business
email. So that’s one thing that you shouldn’t do, so forgetting the subject line is not
recommended, make sure you mention the subject always. So your subject line could be as simple
as regarding the quarterly presentation. So what happens, when you mention a subject line
that is crisp and to the point? The person whose viewing your email, actually comes to
know what your email is regarding in brief, in short and then they can actually prioritize
or chose not to prioritize that email depending on their time. So if I have a full inbox of
emails, I’m gonna look at the subject line and see which one to address first and which
one to keep for later. So the subject line is a very very important thing, forgetting
to write the subject line or forgetting to change it is definitely not the correct way
to go about it. Moving on this is something that can really irritate you, your colleagues
and your bosses. It’s called hitting reply all. This is a complete no , no , coz imagine
if your boss has written to you and he has Cc some others in your team, but you want
to address certain doubts, certain queries and those are of a personal nature by hitting
reply all, the first thing that you’re doing is disturbing others at the same time, you
know over sharing. So there may be certain details, you know which you need to share
only with your boss. By hitting reply all, what you’re doing is you’re sharing it
with a lot of other people, when it is not required. It can you know actually prove to
be a nuisance and disturbance to other people. So make sure, when you are replying to a business
email. You know exactly, who you want to reply to and you can add that person or if there’s
more than one person, you can add those persons, but absolutely and completely avoid hitting
reply all, coz you don’t want fifty people receiving your email. And you don’t want
to cause a huge nuisance. Well, that’s all about hitting reply all. And the next one,
now this is a habit that starts when you’re very young, probably in school and then goes
on and multiplies and grows and becomes a huge problem, when you’re working. So well
that is all about not punctuating. Punctuations like commas, full stops, semicolons. These
are all very very important punctuations, coz if you don’t put a comma in the right
place or if you don’t end your sentence with a full stop or you don’t use the semicolon.
You could actually change the meaning of what you’re writing and it could get very confusing
for the person, whose reading your email. So make sure you’re punctuating properly.
In fact I would say, make sure your punctuating absolutely, perfectly while writing a business
email. It actually shows how organized and you know to the point and crisp you are, if
you punctuate well. So we looked at some common mistakes that people make while writing business
emails and we are gonna look at some more. The first one on my list is including too
many personal details. Now you have to understand that your email is a business email. It needs
to be crisp and to the point. It’s not really a chat group, where you just keep talking
about your personal life. Like for example, if I’m asking my boss for a leave on one
particular day. I can just say, I request you to grant me leave. I don’t have to actually
go and explain to him, things like for example, Well you know now that my daughter is in first
grade and it happens to be her annual day celebration, where she happens to be playing
the cub in the lion king. I have then decided to go to her school and attend the annual
day function. Trust me your boss is not interested or I would say not that interested in your
personal life. So you have to keep it brief, to the point and formal. Because if you include
too many personal details, you can be viewed as unprofessional. Now that’s not an impression
that anyone wants to create at their work places. Moving on I have the next one. Now
this one is something, I’ve seen a lot of people do, mostly lazy people. They do this;
they forget to correct their typos or their errors. Now there’s lot of errors that can
happen, when you’re writing a business email. There could be spelling mistakes, you know
spelling errors or punctuation errors or probably the information that you wanted to share.
The technicality of it, maybe there is a discrepancy there. But some people don’t take the time
to actually review their entire email. They just hit the button send and then that email
with a lot of mistakes reaches either your boss, client or whoever that you’re sending
it to. And that’s not really professional. That shows how relax and careless you are
about sharing the information. So it’s very important to correct spelling, punctuation
and other details. Before you hit send, because your email needs to be word perfect to make
a good impression. Well moving on I have some traits that I have seen in people who are
very very curious. So lot of us have a lot of queries, lot of questions and doubts that
we want answers to, but be careful, when you’re writing an email, it’s okay to ask questions
and clear your doubts. But make sure you do that just once. There are lot of people I
have seen in emails, who like to repeat the same query, the same question over and over
again. Probably I don’t know what they are hoping for? A different answer maybe or a
clearer answer. So if you’re confused and the first answer is not sufficient for you.
You could say something like, Well I’m glad you addressed my query, but I am still not
clear. Can I please request you to clarify? Rather than writing the same question all
over again, coz that can appear very rude. So repeating questions is a complete no, no.
Make sure you actually address your queries and doubts without repeating the question.
And moving on I have the last one on my list. Now this one’s a pet pee with many bosses,
because a lot of employees especially the younger employees are seem to be using emojis
in their emails. Now for those of you, who don’t know what emojis are, they’re actually
these really cute icons. Which are available nowadays on the emojI app? It could be like
a smiley face or it could be an angry face or it could be someone crying. So we have
a lot of these really cute emojis. You know different symbols like, All the best and ill
punch you and all of those things. So since you are writing a business email, make sure
you stick to formal method such as writing the full word, not using short forms and punctuating
correctly, rather than punctuating with an emoji. So make sure emojis are avoided. Save
all the emojis that you want to use for your watsapp chats with your friends. Coz I’m
sure they will be much more appreciated and much more welcome over there as against using
them in your business email, because if you use emojis, you’re gonna come across as
too casual, unprofessional and over friendly. So well these are the mistakes that I have
seen a lot of people making, while writing business emails. If you know of some more
mistakes, feel free to write to me in the comment box below. And make sure you keep
subscribing to our lessons by subscribing to our channel. It’s time for me Rima to
actually you know make sure that I don’t make any more mistakes in my business email.
Because remember I was typing a business email. I’m gonna go finish that and I’m gonna
catch you very soon. Till then take care.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. thank you so much .I really benefit from your lessons and those of your colleagues . Let's talk is the best .Sanae from Morocco

  2. Great tips Rina! I'd say that whenever in doubt about what to put as an opening greeting go with "Hello". It's in between the overly informal "hi" and the formal and rather archaic "dear."

  3. mam, you are looking very pretty and your explanation is too good. And thank you very much for your kind information about preparing proper business mail.

  4. thanks rima you are good teacher ,but if we send business email what is problem to talking about yourself or your life .

  5. Dear these are very common thing you have mentioned in your lesson but too good for the new learners and new trainee as well.

  6. This is actually a very good turorial. She brings up some important points, especially the one about being too formal. There's one point she may have overlooked though – the importance of remembering to keep business emails as brief and to the point as possible, while clearly including all the information needed.
    There must be no ambiguity in a business email and you must always remember that even thought 'you' sent the email, you are actually acting as the voice of the entire business. So always be clear and always remember that you speak on behalf of the business.

  7. with due respect. "being too formal "point comment – w.r.t. itself stands for With Respect To…. (humble request not to confuse your viewers by adding extra "to" after it.which is completely unnecessary.)

    thank you

  8. Great video. It is an interesting method to explain such a great topic. I also outlined this very important topic in my lessons.

  9. you 've a great manner example things thank you mam. your every videos is superb. I want to many lesson hindi or English.

  10. After watching this video I'm confused in pronouncing "Appreciate". Neharika pronounce different 😟😟😒😒😒 4:19 .. Tell me who is right Or both are right

  11. Tell us how to pitch a investor for a new startup . Tell me what should i tell to investor ? That they get impressed.

  12. It’s so funny – you mention forgetting to correct typos. In the description box you have said “Been too informal”

  13. Ur tips are great and useful thank you.please teach how to start email expressions in the mail body content writing after salutations. If did the video please mention the link.

  14. Nice video, more mistakes to discover on this blog too :


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