Lynn Gaertner-Johnston is a business writing trainer. She comes up with these 12 essential rules for e-mails on her blog:


  1. Grab the client in the subject line and opening sentence. Create a reason to open the email and read it.

  2. Focus on just one purpose in each message. Don’t make the client (or you as the writer) go in different directions.

  3. Focus on you–not on I, we, or your company. Clients focus on themselves–so should you.

  4. Describe benefits to your client–not features or deliverables. Excite your client with possibilities.

  5. Write to this client–not any client or clients. Use his or her name, and be specific in your offer.

  6. Provide value in each sales communication–don’t just check in or follow up.

  7. Ask for action. Give the client a clear step to take. If there is nothing to do, your client will delete and forget the message.

  8. Show the benefits of taking action. What’s in it for the client to renew, buy now, or schedule a meeting with you?

  9. Communicate positively. For example, don’t change the client’s program–upgrade or enhance it.

  10. Be concise. Use short, powerful sentences that don’t string readers along.

  11. Format for easy access to content. Help your clients find information fast.

  12. Be professional. Follow the rules of business writing.


Read more from her blog here:


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