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The Ultimate List Of Useful Templates For Your Work Emails

The Ultimate List Of Useful Templates For Your Work Emails

Sending emails can become an enormous time-suck, pulling you away from the important tasks during your work day. Message templates for some common and not-so-common situations can help you trim out the excess minutes you spend hemming and hawing over email correspondences. Browse through some of these email template scenarios and identify the messages you often waste time on. If you’ve had to send a certain type of email more than once, it might be time to create a template for it!

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1. New Marketing Announcements

If you or your company has a significant online following or a mailing list, then you understand just how important it is to send out clear and error-free emails. When you announce new products or services, it’s vital to provide your audience with key points about the launch. Create a basic email template so that you can include minimum necessities, such as:

  •      What the new product or service is
  •      Timeframe (when the new product or service will be available)
  •      Why this product or service is relevant to your audience (the value proposition)
  •      How customers can obtain it
  •      Where customers can find a new service or product, if you have a brick-and-mortar location
  •      Your contact information

Unbounce and Constant Contact have even more tips for creating compelling marketing templates.

2. Asking for Introductions

If someone in your network is connected directly to an influential person in your industry, you might want to ask for an introduction. Having a template for these situations can help you overcome your nerves and just ask for a connection already. Here are some key points to include in your email:

  •      The name and title of the person you’d like to be introduced to
  •      Why you want this introduction
  •      The ideal method of communication (in-person, phone, or email)

You can get more tips on requesting introductions via email at The Muse and Forbes.

3. Upcoming Events

Are you trying to boost attendance at an upcoming open house, conference, or some other work-related event? Or maybe you’re trying to spark interest internally for an optional training session or post-shift happy hour. Instead of crafting a new email from scratch each time something comes up, you can just plug your request into an email template and sent it to the relevant parties. Here are some details to include regarding the event:

  •      Date
  •      Time
  •      Location
  •      What will be covered
  •      Additional incentives
  •      Who will be there

Get inspired while writing email invitations by checking out suggestions at Eventbrite and Constant Contact.

4. Social Media Requests

Most people relegate those annoying “Invitation to Connect” emails from social media companies to the spam folder, especially when they arrive in a work inbox. Some have learned to distrust these social network invites, since they are often automatically sent to everyone in an address book. You can avoid being overlooked by sending a personalized request template directly from your own email, so that the recipient understands who you are and why you’d like to connect on social media. Here are some points to include:

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  •      How you know each other
  •      Mutual contacts
  •      Relevant shared interests
  •      Why you’ want to connect

CareerRealism has a great write-up on how social media invitations can increase your audience.

5. Client Follow Ups

If you haven’t heard from a client in a while, then you might want to touch base to see how they’re doing. You’ll likely want to create a template for follow-ups sent during the purchase decision process and follow-ups for after the transaction is complete. Be sure to consider these points:

  •      Don’t rush clients or be pushy for an update
  •      Recap the last conversation you had
  •      Ask if there’s anything you can do to help

Inc. and emedia have excellent tips on creating great follow up emails for clients.

Looking for Work

1. Inquiry Letters

Not every company posts a clear description of their current openings online. Sometimes it’s better to get in touch with a recruiter directly, so that you can learn more about their positions, company culture, and application processes. If you are sending inquiry letters to learn about available positions, here are a few things to include:

  •      A brief introduction of yourself and your professional background
  •      How you learned about the company
  •      Ask for their application procedures – don’t just include your cover letter and resume with the assumption that this is it

You can learn more about inquiry email etiquette at Business Insider and CareerOneStop.

2. Reference Requests

You should have at least three or four go-to references while you search for jobs, since they might be contacted on short notice during the application review process. If you haven’t secured your references yet, then you’ll need to ask some former supervisors, colleagues, and academic connections. Here’s what to include when you request a reference:

  •      The position and company you’re applying to (or the general field if you’re applying to multiple places)
  •      An update on your professional life (if you haven’t been in touch recently)
  •      Links to your online portfolio or professional social media profile

The Muse and the U.S. News and World Report both offer additional tips on requesting references.

3. A Thank You

After you meet with a recruiter for an interview, it’s important to email them a brief message and thank them for their time. These thank you messages might seem pretty straight forward, but they help recruiters keep you in mind as they interview other prospective applicants. Here are some key points to address:

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  •      Your appreciation of their time
  •      Your contact information
  •      An invitation for recruiters to ask you any additional questions

Business Daily News has posted several Thank You Letter examples.

4. Follow Ups

It’s been two weeks since you’ve applied to a company. Or maybe the notification time period you were given after an interview has lapsed. Of course you’d like to follow up and see how your application review process is doing, but you also don’t want to inconvenience recruiters. Here’s what to include in your single, well-timed follow up so that it’s not awkward:

  •      A reminder of who you are and your last interaction
  •      A request to confirm the receipt of your application or the response time frame after your interview
  •      An invitation for recruiters to ask questions or request additional application documents

Learn more about application follow ups by checking out this U.S. News and World Report resource.

5. Declining Offers

There are many reasons why you might decline a job offer. Perhaps you’ve already accepted employment elsewhere. Or maybe you don’t feel comfortable accepting the pay rate or duties associated with a particular offer. Whatever the reason, you might want to have an email template on hand to decline. Here are some aspects to keep in mind:

  •      Don’t burn bridges. Be careful with what you say, since you might seek out this employer again in the future.
  •      Provide positive feedback and let the employer know if you had a positive experience while applying and being interviewed

Monster and Forbes weigh in with some great offer declining tactics.

Streamlining  Professional Communications

1. Asking for Clarification

While you’re trying to hammer out the details for an upcoming task or project, it’s easy for people to get vague. You might need to ask for further clarification before you can proceed. Create a template that addresses these questions:

  •      The scope and size of the project
  •      Needed resources
  •      Who your main contacts will be

SkillsYouNeed has published a fantastic tutorial on how to ask clarifying questions.

2. Identifying Common Resources

If you become known for your expertise at work, you might receive emails from other employees or professional connections who want to pick your brain about resources. Instead of replying to each one individually, create a template with this vital information. Be sure to include:

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  •      Your personal best practices
  •      Links to internal and external guides
  •      Other company employees who can serve as a resource

3. Asking for Additional Resources

You might begin a task or job, only to find that you don’t have access to enough resources. You’ll need to identify the supervisor or project coordinator that can provide you with these resources. If you have to submit these inquiries frequently, be sure to ask about:

  •      Project specifications
  •      Important points of contact
  •      Budgetary constraints

Learn more about asking your employer for additional support at The Glass Hammer.

4. Apologetic Corrections

Email is a tricky art. At work, you might send dozens of emails a day, and sometimes you cross wires. You might need to issue a correction or inform someone that they weren’t the correct recipients. Here are a few handy templates to keep on hand, in case something goes wrong.

  •      Notifying a recipient to disregard a previous email that wasn’t intended for them
  •      Notifying a recipient of a correction to an email’s content
  •      Apologizing for a belated email correspondence

Instructional Solutions provides businesses with additional ideas on apologizing via email.

5. Going On Vacation

If you’re going to be out of the office, you need to inform your coworkers and clients who their next available point of contact is. Auto-responders that inform people that you’re out of the office are rarely surprising, after all, we all need some time away from work. Here’s what to include in your auto-responder:

  •      The timeframe of your vacation
  •      At least two alternative points of contact
  •      A promise to follow up once you return

Get inspired by vacation auto-responder emails listed by Mashable and BlueLeaf.

The Tough Stuff

1. Declining New Tasks Gracefully

If you’ve got too much work on your plate, you’ll likely need to turn away additional responsibilities. It’s important to do this on a timely basis, so that the other person has the chance to find a replacement. It is possible to say no without being awkward, rushed, or impolite. Here are the main points to address:

  •      Thank them for their confidence in your abilities
  •      Tell them that you either don’t have the necessary time, experience, or resources to complete the said task
  •      Wish them well in finding a different employee for the job

Zenhabits and The Muse provide succinct advice on how to say no without it being awkward.

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2. Questioning Your Supervisor

It’s extremely difficult to challenge your supervisor’s decisions. However, you can do so tactfully and it might not be apparent that you are questioning them at all! Here are some ways to reduce the tension while questioning your supervisor’s methods or decisions.

  •      Provide a summary of what your supervisor wants. You might be misunderstanding their directions, and this gives your supervisor a chance to clarify.
  •      If the decisions go against company policies, mention it. It’s usually better to cover yourself rather than go along with potentially illegal or unauthorized tasks.

Monster provides some great tips on challenging your supervisor without getting into trouble.

3. Submitting Complaints

HR departments exist for many reasons. You might need to submit a complaint about unprofessional behavior in the workplace, which can be an incredibly tough thing to do. If you decide to file a complaint, try to be as objective as possible. Examine your HR complaint procedures and keep the following factors in mind:

  •      Only report the facts. Don’t speculate about an incident. Report relevant times, names of people involved, and locations.
  •      Let them know if you’ve already informed your supervisor of the incident.
  •      Be polite and use professional language. While you might be extremely upset during a work conflict, your credibility can be lost if you’re using vulgar or extremely emotional language.

CBS Money Watch provides some wise advice on when and when not to contact HR.

4. Leaving Your Job

Quitting a job can be uncomfortable, no matter what the circumstances. However, you might want to have a resignation letter template on hand, just in case you find a new job, need to leave for personal reasons, or just want to reassess your professional situation. Here’s what to cover in your resignation letter:

  •      Your preferred last day
  •      A declaration of your resignation
  •      Relevant contacts for shifting responsibilities
  •      A general “thank you” to your colleagues

Take a look at some example resignation letters on Monster and Business Insider.

5. Saying Goodbye to Coworkers and Colleagues

After you submit a resignation letter, you might also want to send goodbye notices to your fellow colleagues and clients. Depending on the nature of your work, these people might need to know that you will no longer be a point of contact at a company. These goodbye letters should cover:

  •      Important contact information for those taking over your duties
  •      Where to find resources you’ve created for the company
  •      Your thanks
  •      An invitation to connect via social media (only if outside communications are permitted by your current employment contract)

CareerBright provides some great advice on saying farewell without cutting important professional ties.

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Larry Alton

Business Consultant

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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  • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
  • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
  • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
  • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

How to Use Visual Learning for Success

Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

4. Add video streaming to meetings.

What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

More About Learning Styles

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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