Email Writing Case Example: Can You Spot the Errors?

March 11, 2010

Here’s a sample of an email I received a few minutes ago. I noticed that it was full of  long-winded writing, old-fashioned terminology and grammatical errors. Can you spot everything that’s wrong with it?

Dear Sir/Mdm,

We are in receipt of your feedback dated last week, 3 March 2010.

We are sorry that we have delayed the sending of your requested document due to some mistakes in the information presented in it. Please be informed that our marketing dept is in review of your complaint and will respond soonest with your revised document.

We seek your sincere understanding for the delay and we offer our sincerest apologies for any unneccesary incovenience caused. We look forward to send you the latest document at the soonest.

Kindly contact our cust serv dept if you need any assistance in the meantime. Have a G8 day!

Yours sincerely,

[Company Name omitted to protect privacy]

Here’s how I re-wrote the same letter in a modern, natural style:

Dear Mr. Wong,

Thank you for your feedback of 3 March.

I am very sorry to hear about the delay regarding your document. I have personally looked into this and learnt that some critical information is incorrect and needs to be updated. Our Marketing Team has been working on the neccessary updates to ensure that the document you’ll be receiving is accurate. I will have the document arranged to be sent to you tommorow morning.

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused. Meanwhile, please give me a call if you need my help.

Yours sincerely,


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How to Write Better Emails: Avoid Unnecessary, Old-Fashioned Phrases!

March 4, 2010

Business language has changed. But unfortunately, not many people realize that!

Take a look at this email I received a few days ago:

Dear Sir,

Enclosed herewith is the letter as per your request.

Please revert back to us if you may need any further information to support the membership application.  We will do our best to assist.

Cheers

If the tone of the email sounds familiar, that’s because everyone else is using it! Open up your inbox and I guarantee you’ll find emails that are riddled with stuffy, centuries-old expressions like “I am pleased”, “As per your request” and “Enclosed herewith”, among others. Unnecessary, long-winded phrases such as those dilute the meaning behind your messages and lead to confusion.

So if I were to re-write the above email in the style and tone of today’s writing, I’d say:

Hi Marc!

Here’s the letter you requested.

If you need more information to support the membership application, please me know.

I’ll do my best to help.

Cheers

See the difference?

On print, the word count of the email is now shorter and the messages are easier to read. When read out loud, the tone of the email sounds more natural and relaxed. So if you want to capture the interest of your readers – some of whom I believe could be important business clients – you have to keep your emails concise, focused and personal. It also leaves a better impression on your readers!


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