I once had an internship where I had to send a lot of emails. I’d estimate that 75% of the work I did involved emailing contributors, various editors, or my supervisor.
Now, call me crazy, but I actually like writing emails (I once had a professor tell me that an email I wrote for class “kicked some major booty,” and it was the greatest compliment I have ever received). Even in formal, professional emails, I tend to be maybe a little too positive, maybe insert too many exclamation points. I just hate reading long, boring emails, so I write shorter, more energetic messages!
Everyone has her own style of writing and her own views on what a certain email should accomplish, so not everyone will want to send out emails sprinkled with exclamation points and interjections. Still, there are ways to jazz up your emails to make people want to read them and not click the “delete” button.
When I’m sending out a professional email to people for the first time, I always introduce myself and begin to bring up why I’m sending the email. Here’s an example of what I’d write if I was a church secretary writing an email to my congregation asking for volunteers for VBS (because we all know that people like to pretend they never got those six emails about desperately needing volunteers . . .):
In the next paragraph, get to the point of the email. Give only the most basic information that’s needed to keep their attention on what matters most. I like to bold sentences or phrases that are extra important—in this case, a plea for help.
VBS is happening on July 20–24, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. each day. We need your help! This year, we need volunteers to lead groups, make and distribute snacks, and run the crafts table. In addition, we also need volunteers to help create and set up the decorations the week before VBS.
The final paragraph should provide information on who to contact if they have questions or want to sign up. Give them a phone number and an email address so there are no excuses!
If you’re interested in helping, call the church office at 555-5555 or reply to this email. There is also a sign-up sheet on the church bulletin board where you can sign up for any of the above duties.
Close the email with your chosen sign-off. Some of my go-to sign-offs are “Best,” “Thank you,” or “God’s blessings.” In this case, I’d probably sign off like this:
Now that you’ve got the basic format for emails, you can start sending out engaging emails that are informative and interesting!
If you're interested in more ways to improve your workflow, check out our ebook “51 Ideas to Make Your Church Office Hum.” Download the free ebook by clicking the button below!