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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!

Networking and Broadcast Updates

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 November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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