Good email vs bad email – what makes the difference?

Good email vs bad email - what makes the difference
Email is today’s letter. As such, it is essential for everyone to know how to write a real email as this has become a very common mode of communication. Emails have emerged as the primary communication method in the business circles. It is also adopted by lovers to communicate, people to keep in touch and so on.

The objective of the email and the intended recipient should be clear in the sender’s mind. It is also vital to think of what the email content should achieve, for instance, pass information, get feedback, or for expressive purposes.

Emails give the reader an insight into the writer’s personality. As the writer, you may have to be careful of the impression you give whenever you send an email for whatever purpose. Some people, who may be the recipient, have the ability to read in between the lines.

With that in mind, the email content should be precise and straight to the point with the message very clear. If you are not confident of the message, it is advisable to draft it offline with the following considerations.

The Subject

Good email: The name and the opening line of an email, like any other written material, is one of the most significant sections you should concentrate on. Most often, that determines whether the reader will take the time to open it or not. The subject line should, therefore, arouse the recipient’s curiosity so bad that they will have to open and quench it.

The subject line should be short, precise and enlightening. It should also be personal. Like letters, emails are addressed to a particular person(s), hence, should be to specific recipients. General emails are mostly spammed therefore the message might not be passed as it may end up not read.

For Instance, when calling for a meeting, instead of having the subject line read: Important information concerning our next meeting in Company X, it should simply read, urgent meeting information.

To check your email quality, you can use the A/B testing method.

Bad email: Grammatical errors are some of the biggest mistakes most email sender commit. It is not only annoying but the credibility of the writer is also questioned. There is, therefore, a need to counter check the subject line severally before hitting that send button.

The subject should not be ambiguous. The readers do not want to keep guessing what message you intend to pass your email. Most of the targeted audience will just pass on it and get to other things. No one wants to crack their brain over an email. Explain your message with clarity.


Good email: Refrain from uptight old fashioned salutations like Dear Sir or Madam and the likes. A friendlier tone and semi-formal approach will do if the email is to a close colleague, friend or acquaintance. If the email is intended for a colleague on the higher level, then it should be personal but also professional and sound smart.

Bad email: Email is used for business communication so symbols and abbreviations should not feature. A writer comes out as unprofessional, lacks seriousness and immature when they use signs. Such signs water down the content, regardless of the importance.


Good email: Now you have come to the body of the mail. This is the part that contains all you want to say. Just as before, the grammar should be good. Spell checking programs like Grammarly, can be used now that there are even free ones that one can download from the internet. One can also invest in one if they have to. These software’s help to point out or correct grammar mistakes whether it is out of ignorance or honest oversight mistake.

Attention should be paid when writing the body of an email. Sentences should be well structured and constructed. The paragraphs should be short since long articles discourage readers.

The opening sentence should be profound. It should capture the readers attention and keep the reader glued to the end. If you choose to start with a question, then the answer should be informative with useful content.

Did you know that one can shout in writing? Yes. Avoid writing sentences in capital letters or exclamation marks. Using these implies shouting and can insinuate arrogance.

Bad email: Using complicated vocabulary or slang just makes the email less likely to be read. It should never be hard to understand.This is made worse if there are different cultures involved in the communicating parties. Use of slang might also get some words misconstrued. Some homework on the recipients background would help to avoid some uncomfortable scenarios.


Good email: Images help to capture the reader’s attention. A well-written email furnished with a corresponding image is an interesting read. Having said that, photos or images should be clear and relevant. They should also be minimal as they can be bulky.

Bad email: A bad, unclear or pixelated image depicts a lack of professionalism and carelessness on the writers part. There is no excuse for a bad image given that there are very many websites that offer free pictures. Some of them are Magdeleine, Pixabay, Unsplash, Death to the Stock Photo.


Good email: A link to other sources of credible information that is relevant to the reader is not only a good move but shows the writers dedication and keenness.

Bad email: Wrong, incomplete or broken links in an email equate to a writing crime. As the writer, you should re-read and re-check the links. No one wants to guess what the sender wanted to say. Bad links may just make a great message be disregarded.


Good email: Once you are done passing the message, you should sign out. Recommended signatures should be Yours sincerely, Best wishes or Kind regards though there are others that may be used.

Bad email: Symbols or abbreviations are still not recommended at this stage, just like all the other stages. End the email professionally.


Read and re-read an email before sending the final email to ensure that it is free of errors, consistent and flowing. Once everything is correct, send the email. This way, your email writing skills will be perfect.

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