Write Better Business Emails in 6 Easy Steps - with Tiffany Markman | Tiffany Markman | Skillshare

Write Better Business Emails in 6 Easy Steps - with Tiffany Markman

Tiffany Markman, Business writing coach & trainer

Write Better Business Emails in 6 Easy Steps - with Tiffany Markman

Tiffany Markman, Business writing coach & trainer

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8 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Welcome and what to expect

    • 2. Step 1: Know your audience

    • 3. Step 2: Plan ahead

    • 4. Step 3: Use plain language

    • 5. Step 4: Structure emails optimally

    • 6. Step 5: Proofread emails carefully

    • 7. Step 6: Create powerful subject lines

    • 8. Summary & overview of class project

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About This Class

This beginner-level class is for anyone who wants to write better business emails in less than 25 minutes. Join skilled international teacher Tiffany Markman as she guides you through the 6 critical steps of creating best-practice business emails:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Use plain language 
  4. Structure optimally
  5. Proof-read carefully
  6. Create good subject lines

None of this is rocket science but millions of people are getting these all-important elements wrong every day - not to mention, feeling anxious about the first impression their writing creates.

Complete this practical, outcomes-based class and you'll start to master the 6 techniques of better email writing. More importantly, however, you'll become more confident and more capable in your daily work.

To complete this class, all you need is a basic working knowledge of business English, a notebook and pen, and access to your email programme of choice. Join Tiffany Markman today - this is going to be fun!

Meet Your Teacher

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Tiffany Markman

Business writing coach & trainer


I'm based in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I work as a business writer, trainer and event presenter.

I’ve been freelancing as a writer and trainer for 15 years, and one of the things I love to do is present masterclasses and workshops on writing, marketing, communication, service, small business management, freelancing, and more. I’ve been lucky enough to do this in 13 countries (so far!) while creating written content for over 350 brands worldwide.

When I’m not writing or teaching, I’m exploring my passion for fine art (other people’s – because my own is hideous), watching bat videos on Instagram, and drinking strong black coffee.

My proudest professional achievements? Publishing 5 non-fiction titles by the time I... See full profile

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1. Welcome and what to expect: Hi, I'm taking the Mothman. I'm a corporate copyright and business training based in Johannesburg. The last 15 years I've had the perfecter working with over 250 brands and teaching her about 10,000 students interest. And I've seen one thing consistently. Will most students that even the most talented ones. It's the palate and strength of the business. What's more, the rules of this language change, but millions of people don't know that. So there are a bunch of what important estimates that they're getting wrong and they know it, which is making them access about those crucial first impressions created if you're one of these people and you never had a crisis of confidence in the quality and power off emails to this course, this castle teacher to six critical building apps for best practice business. And these are No, you wouldn't hey, use plain language structure activities, preferred Kevin and create with subject. Over the next 15 or 20 minutes, I'm gonna try and help you to be more confident and capable in your daily rocking, and I'll even tell you the magic number of loot that an email subject line should contain. Based thinks who is this past fall. It's absolutely anyone to communicate by email list today. That's everyone, so let's get started. 2. Step 1: Know your audience: Hi. Welcome to video to stick one in six different, better business emails. I'm going to start with the most important thing about writing good business email, and that is the greatest obstacle to getting a message. In other words, no, your reader in business, right? We like to refer to as the audience and what we're gonna be doing now. It's called Audience announced. What is the nemesis? Sounds very complicated, but actually, it's something that we do all the time and evident conversation we just don't realize. So let's say, for argument sake, last night you entered in a finding its place. On this morning, you're telling a bunch of people about your experience last night based on who you're speaking to, you gonna tell your message and focus on different elements of your experience. For example, if you're speaking to a fruity your focus on last night's, if you're speaking to somebody who loves music and atmosphere, your focus on that element. If you're speaking to somebody who knows, some of the people you're with last night will focus on who was there. So what you are doing, then it's analyzing the audience. Giving them information is relevant. You can see from this example that makes complete safe to do exactly the same thing. Give your audience what it needs to. So here's how I do it. If I am writing to an unfamiliar audience China, imagine that that individual or group of people is sitting across the table from me, that state to try and describe him myself in my mind. So creative visualization of them. And Step three. I have to make some assumptions or generalisations in order to create a clear picture. So you may have to make some educated guesses based on people that you know you are like the people you are. So why do we bother to analyze how will dance in the first place? The main reason is we want to know the purpose behind our writing. Knowing your purpose is important because it helps you to create emails that are focused on targeted. And what might your purpose beat? Well might be to educate Julian's to in Latin in my explaining, it might be, too. For name of an update, a piece of news I had mild to enter tail inside, but most likely a business email your injectable purposes, probably to compel assuage audience to do something. And knowing this upfront helps you to ensure that you're sending a write emails containing the right content. When you're trying for yourself, you could use some questions to guide. You have used a new Monica idea, which is audience using the first letters of the word the and what he stands for analysis, which is analyzing your audience and creating the visualization that I imagine profusely. The year is understanding what is the existing knowledge of a subject to issue the D stands with demographics? What is the age, gender, educational, background, interest? That's the I. Why are they reading your document? Environment is the way Will this document casino viewed in stance? One needs. What if the audiences needs In terms of your document, Topic C stands for customization, and this is useful when it's a contentious or conflict shoot. What specific interesting feelings should you be addressing? The last stands for expectations? What is the audience expect to learn from your documents? Now? Here's an important you don't need to draw a full demographic analysis of every single what ends. You send an email to your business because Obviously that's not practical, but what do you want you to do? Speak of two or three minutes? It's just before you write any amount, stopping yourself and thinking, OK, who is this person that I am writing to let me try and create a visualization of them in my mind and maybe use this list of questions to help you what comes next? You'll find out in the next video in the meantime, to share your comments in any questions and follow me so that you could get fresh content as I. 3. Step 2: Plan ahead : welcome to video three and stick to and 60 after any better business email here, we're gonna be looking at planning ahead in other words, getting the basics in place before the writing. So in my work, people often ask me, How long did it take you to write something a blood post, a website, a radio commercial? And my answer is always the same. How much time do I have? If I have 30 minutes, I'll do it in 30 minutes. Have three hours. I'll do it in two hours. And the reason that I asked this question is because I won't kind of ratio of planning to writing a 60 40 Imation. So in any given period of time that I have to write something, will you, 60% of the time trusting it and structuring it and organizing it, and only 40% of the time I'm gonna teach you how to do that in your business emails. But in a very abbreviated krypton, we're not a lot of business, you know. Here's how you make money. I begin with the audience analysis, which we come in instead because this answers the question once I know who I'm speaking to ask myself, What is the purpose of this? In other words, but I want to read a to do think feel. That's the what is a handy flip the switch in your mind between what you want the audience to know in other words, your agenda or your perspective and what they need to know in other words there and give them what they need, not what you want to tell them. This sounds like a very simple thing, but what it does is it creates extremely targeted writing that gives the reader what they need in order to think, do will feel what you want. Then, once I know my who in my what I read and research, I look into the emails that have come before I taste any important key word phrases in. I researched the issue to ensure that I've covered all my bases, and then I make a rough notes and bullet points in the drop. By now, drop email is usually miss, so what I do next is refined. I read it through Aquino that take out stuff that I made repeated a move things around. The black items grouped together and I begin the process off cleaning up and cleaning up is what we're gonna cover in the very next video. So in the meantime, I absolutely love to read your comments and questions. And don't forget to bother me for fresh content. 4. Step 3: Use plain language : they language writing is ultimately about saying what you mean. One of the things that always shocked students in my business riding horses when I explained that professional writing, as we understand it today, looks very, very different to what it looked even five years ago, it's changed into a more plain language. Were writing. And why is that? Because 20 or so years ago, when email first emerged, we took what we knew about business writing from later, with enormous national formal, much more elaborate much number words today that doesn't work. And what we need to do is write to express and not to empress. What you'll find is that the confidence you as a writer, more big words you try and put into emails. So there were lots of phrases night attached to peace for the child telephonic conversation , or here with three signed attached for your perusal, not thereby here, buys and fences. And today that stuff really doesn't work. What we want to do, Pena say what you mean. Keep it simple, keep it short. And today that's what business right Here are some tips. Use the shoulders. Where'd you confined so used? Not utilize say things once don't people emphasis avoid redundancy like I reversed backwards or two PM in the afternoon. He s specific as you can. It's a rock, not a big dog. Avoid using too many. Describing words like this is an amazing, exciting and value. Adding off and give examples. Recent examples are so important is that they add specificity to your writing, so then able to read it to see any mind what you are seeing in yours. And this created mutual understanding, not a major right to easier on the reader's brain. It's time to make it easier on the readers, and that's why it on Expedia, we're gonna look a structure. So please post a comment questions below. But I mean, if you want to see you in the next video. 5. Step 4: Structure emails optimally : Welcome to video five and stick full in watching better business emails and six easy steps . This section is. What about structure specifically structured and emails that more of it gets rid. Why is this so important? Late start. The fact is that most people are not reading every single word of your emails 79% standing . This means that they're picking out individual. He would phrases and paragraphs interest while skimming over the wrist. And the reason that people do this is because they're preoccupied, distrusted and overwhelmed messaging. So you do with much hotter on structure. What are the key things that you need to know about structure? Well, the first issue. But it reduced the brain on your reader. Reducing the brain burden on your reader is make or break. It's the difference between getting your email, read, ignored or delete it. And so, if you want to appeal to the flood of five people that are scanning, there are a couple of things you can do. Do email text stop with the end groups like items together, use generous white space right short paragraph, create short sentences and you told ING and put it government your restaurant find the most important nuggets, Put it at the top. Here's a tip. Never put your most important point lost as a kind of punchline because most readers won't get that far. And if they do, they weren't concentrating. Then ensure that similar things are grouped together. You can also rank things in descending order of importance. Why descending order? Because we want them to get the most important information first, just in case they stopped reading. It's also important to create as much what space is using shorter paragraphs and short, and we can also talk about little known email based practices, not holding. You very seldom see any mill holding it, and that's a pity, because Bolding helps us to create navigation point, so entry points in the text, but they used to used to travel down. We can use bolding to create important keywords, highlight dates, people's names, any relevant information it needs to stand up. Let me caution you against using more than six folded words for every 100 words of text. Now that you got a sense of how to organize a structure text, it's time to focus on clean, so the next section focuses on proof reading. That's because there's no point sending out beautifully structured, well organized, carefully can't purposeful email full of mistakes. I'll see you in the next video in the interest. Help me a message below and share with me the worst type of you've ever made in an email. I'll start with mine just any instead of Tiffany, very embarrassing when you constantly you are. 6. Step 5: Proofread emails carefully : Welcome to Video six and Step five Rotting Better Business Emails 60 z six. This section is about proof reading. Why is that so important? Well, think about the last important email you have to. You checked it multiple times. Redditch ribs again, best its and fourth. You try to be so sure there were no Arizona your first saying, And as soon as that email had gone out, you realized it was a mistake you had written pubic services instead of it happens to all of us. I call this phenomenon your or to correct your brain shows you what you want to see on the page. Not is. Actually they always around it, and these are what we're gonna focus on together in the studio. The reason so important to weed out the little things is because Kennison steaks and typos tend to reach. Often. Grab your reader by the throat. They really do draw attention, even from people who are not great, sentence themselves and wait to make mistakes. In an email it calls into question. The credibility of the rest of your writing is potentially damaging to your reputation because you've gone on record as being articulate. So let's look at some of the techniques will prove your the first thing is time. Even if you're in a mad rush, take every time it's available to check chicken doubled. And then here are the techniques but tricking your brain out of AutoCorrect usually email program spell checker, but never stopped because stopping off to have spell check to the rookie era. Change the funds. So if you'll stand in front of aerial 12 for example, changes to times New Roman. This helps to trick your brain into thinking that someone else has written text change the color sized I normally type in left. But when I put reading a piece of my writing changes to dual green again tricks my brain into thinking that I didn't read through the email ones top to bottom and then read it again. Bottom to talk. The reason we read from bottom to top as proofreaders is because the last third of any documents usually most of the mistakes are but also because your brain can't or to correct invert. And if you're really committed to finding errors, read text aloud. Your ear is much more reliable than your once you've gone to all this effort, your email will be completely wasted if no one reads it. So it's really, really important for us to market in the next video on crafting subject lines. That work. I'm gonna teach about expected subject line writing. I'm gonna give you the magic number of words that an email subject line should contain for based effect. But in the meantime, I would love it if you would give subject line writing a try, pop down below in the comment section and give it a bash. Try writing an email subject line that describes this class. I'll see you in the next video, Um 7. Step 6: Create powerful subject lines: Welcome to Video seven on the sixth and Final stick in Russia. Better Business Emails in 66 we're gonna look in crafting subject lines. This what you know, subject lines are important because they were time piece of real estate. The do 90% of the selling job for you if you think about an email that you send to an audience that subject nine sitting in the inbox before they've even decided to put in the email. So it's a long way further down the relationship Road annual. And that's why we really need to focus on writing subject lines that are meaningful, that specifics and irrelevant and ultimately that so content. Whatever inside, stop and think for a minute about subject lines that are vagal generic life. Hello, hi, meeting training video. Follow none of those already doing ascending job for you. Also, when you have multiple emails in your inbox with that subject line that come very hard to find in a not why, restrict yourself to one word subject line when you can use up to seven. That's right. 77 is the magic number. Woods that an email subject line should contain based effect And the reason for this is that in seven words, you've got enough space to give specifics, names, dates. They used account numbers, reference numbers. But you've also got enough space to add in words that convince the reader toes, new emails, the reason we don't go longer. You could go after 17 words if you want to do. But the reason we don't do that it's obviously because the any bit of subject line will get chopped off, depending on the screen orientation of your reader. So seven is optimal is also the magic number that we're using your. I'm sure that's not so. You're about to seven words to convey the very importance relevance urgency of what it was contained. What do you do next? Roger. Subject nights activity and meaningful. For example, start with use punctuation. Help you Coghlan's dashes. I wouldn't use exclamation marks to creative, but code on. Some dashes were great really nicely, as does initial capital. If our names or account numbers used them, they draw the reader's attention, especially their own name is in the subject. If they are relevant dates and you are not demanding somebody an invitation, I would always use the day. Here's a little tip for you. The reason we don't use dates and invitation mills is because people up and look at the diary and check your availability and then decline if they're not available without reading to invite, which might have convinced them to come to this event in the first place. And finally make sure your subject lines draw the reader in. They shouldn't be too hard. Sell that there should be some implied benefit to reading. Here's an example. Watch my skill shake loss. Better business emails. Don't try to use your subject lines to be quirky or clever, even if you're excited about the content or the content. Genuinely is excited Rod about meaningful, quite generic subject guns that simply conveyed a sense of the and that was a deficit. Six. Creating subject lines itself we're almost done was right. Bit of business emails. We focused on a lot of best practices child summarize for you in the coming video, but I just wanted to remind you that what you have it so far, it's gonna make you more confident till the jewel writing is more compelling and feel more self assured when it comes to those first impressions that you're writing create. So please drop me a comment below any questions that you might have and in the next video, out of your overview of what to expect from your class project if you are following me already me now and I'll see you in the next video. 8. Summary & overview of class project: hello again. Together we've already covered with six sticks to bit of business emails. So what I'd like to do now is a weekend. Let's take a look at what we've covered so far just to refresh your memory, Know your audience, remember that what we want to do is use audience analysis for just 23 minutes before acting any email plan ahead, using my magic ratio of 60% planning to 40% writing. Use plain language choosing the shortest words possible. Saying what you mean and writing always to express enough to impress structure optimally. Remember that 79% of people are scanning won't read every word of your email proof. Read carefully because the last thing you need is an embarrassing era that undermines the power of your business email and create good subject lines, which will entice the reader to open and engaging your email before they even reach. There you have it, but how do you know that you could do it? Do you need a coach and thats why im him? And that's why we have a class project. So what's gonna happen next is I'm gonna talk you through a couple of tips in terms of how to tackle the cost projects that you know. First, take a look at the project, read it through, and when you're ready and done with that, you're gonna upload it and share your completed assignment before you begin. It's a good idea to re watch the audience analysis video that was video to Step one. Go back to email inbox and find a good example of an email. Take a look at the pdf dollar that I've included, which you can print out to help you and then follow my instructions and feel free to share any questions. Comments, concerns as you go. Once you're done, you'll post the project in a project gallery, for it's a really good idea to get started when you're feeling motivated and inside, you've got a bit of momentum, so there's no better time than now to kick off that class project. I'm here Health Conway to hear your comments and feedback, and I loved you Get started really releasing Thanks for being on this email writing journey with me on export to see in your future video untouched