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Korrespondenz auf Englisch - Die wohltemperierte E-Mail

Schlagwörter: Korrespondenz auf Englisch, E-Mail schreiben auf Englisch, E-Mail verfassen auf Englisch, E-Mail Englisch, e-Mail schreiben auf Englisch, e-Mail verfassen auf Englisch, e-Mail Englisch, e-mail schreiben auf Englisch, e-mail verfassen auf Englisch, e-mail Englisch, mailen auf Englisch, Englisch Mailen

The golden rule of email is \"Keep It Short and Simple\", otherwise known as the KISS Principle ( in informal circles, this acronym stands for \"Keep It Simple, Stupid\" ). Following the KISS Principle doesn\'t mean your correspondence should be devoid of human emotion and sound like a step being performed by an automaton. When communicating with international colleagues, it\'s important to form and groom relationships using a tone of cordiality. But adding small talk into emails is going too far.

Just how do you achieve a tone of cordiality without violating the golden rule? Here\'s how:


The structure of a KISS email

The KISS email has the following structure:

Greeting
Opening
Content
Closing
Goodbye
Contact information
Legal information


Your content section is where you get down to business. What you write here should be as short, clear and businesslike as possible.

The last two sections, containing your contact information and legal information, should always be present in your first email to someone or in your first reply. Whether you include them in each subsequent email is either dictated by corporate procedure or is left up to you.


Achieving a cordial tone

A tone that enables you to appear as a friendly, positive business person is something you need to achieve without significantly extending the length of your email and without diluting the directness of your content. With this in mind, it should be obvious that you only have your greeting, opening, closing and goodbye sections to help you do it.

That may sound like a lot, but it\'s not. For most business email, it\'s not a good idea to vary from the standard greetings and goodbyes. The best you can do is choose the right ones for your message. This is a matter of selecting the right level of formality.

This leaves only your openings and closings as places where you can create a personalised feeling of cordiality. Following the KISS Principle, anything you write here must also be short -usually one line - or your email risks being too long.


Levels of formality in email greetings

Because the email medium is so new, the rules for addressing others are not so cut and dried as they are for corresponding on paper.

The following list will help you select the right greeting and goodbye for most contexts. This list assumes you are writing to someone in a country where English is the native language. For all other regions of the world, it\'s best to use formal greetings and goodbyes unless you\'ve been asked to \"relax\".


  1. Content
    • Email to an important person in another business who has a significantly higher position than you, or
      to a company as a group with the intent of sounding legal


    Formal Greetings

    Gentlemen:
    Ladies:
    Ladies and Gentlemen:
    Dear Mrs/Ms/Mr Jaxton
    To whom it may concern:


    Goodbyes

    Best regards
    Best Regards



  2. Content
    • Email to a customer or supplier, or to someone in another company who is at the same level or lower than you


    • Email to a subordinate with whom you wish to maintain a strict management relationship


    Informal Greetings

    Hello
    Good Morning/Afternoon
    Hello Mrs/Ms/Mr Benders
    Good Morning/Afternoon Mrs/Ms/Mr Johnson


    Goodbyes

    Kind regards
    Kind Regards



  3. Content
    • Email to a subordinate with whom you wish to maintain a relaxed management relationship


    • Email to a peer or a colleague


    Personal Greetings

    Hi Barry
    Jonathan
    Good Morning Mary


    Goodbyes

    All the best
    As always
    Cheers

The importance of using a consistent tone

Be sure to use a goodbye that agrees in formality with your greeting. If the tone of these elements does not match, your correspondence will feel awkward to the reader and your intentions will appear to be confused.

Showing you\'re human

The problem with following the KISS Principle closely is that your message will consist only of the business content delivered with the proper tone. You may wish to do more as a way to:

  • Establish or maintain a
    friendlier relationship


  • Be recognised as a friendly,
    rational individual worth helping
    ( when complaining )


  • Soften the impact of news or
    announcements
Adding additional material to help you achieve these and other goals is acceptable as long as you still manage to keep things short.

One way to sound friendlier is to use contracted verb forms, for example I\'ve, we\'ve, we\'d, he\'d. The \"uncontracted\" forms sound very formal.

Another powerful way to sound friendlier is to construct your sentences as if you were speaking to your recipient over a cup of coffee in your office using simple words. Complex \"business-speak\" words and \"formula\" sentences sound unpleasantly formal.


Example openings/closings

Using one-line openings and closings is a direct way to sound friendlier without having to think much about how your content sounds from an English perspective. Here are a few examples (that can be used as openings and/or closings) that will help you get started in many common situations.

I hope you enjoyed your holiday in Bora Bora.

You\'ll have to tell me about your holiday sometime. Maybe next week at lunch?

I hope you had a pleasant, relaxing holiday!

It\'s nice to hear you\'re back in the saddle!

We haven\'t been in contact for quite some time. I hope you\'re doing well!

I hope this letter finds you well!

I hope you had a pleasant trip back!

It was nice meeting you last week at the BTX event! I\'m still laughing about that real estate joke you told.

We missed you at the training session last week! Is everything OK?

I heard you just bought a new house. Congratulations!

I\'m sorry to hear you haven\'t been well and hope you are feeling much better now.

See you next month at the PA T conference!

I\'d enjoy having lunch with you again sometime. How about next week?

I hear you\'ve been away on holiday for awhile. Did you do anything interesting?

Please give my regards to your wife/ husband.

Glad to hear you\'re feeling better.

Did you see the match last night?


Getting it right

A successful opening or closing is personal in nature. Personal means:

  • Asking about the recipient\'s health,
    holidays, interests and opinions


  • Flattering the recipient or otherwise
    making him or her feel good in some way
A really powerful opening or closing is one that gives the recipient the opportunity to respond to or comment on what you wrote when he replies. This creates friendly dialogue.


Example emails

Exercise:
For each of the following examples, try to imagine the impact the email would have on its reader:

  • Without the opening/closing


  • If the greeting had the format
    Dear Mr Jenson

  1. Good Morning James,

    It\'s nice to hear you\'re back in the saddle!

    Could you please call me tomorrow at 2 to discuss the work plan for the upcoming quarter?

    Kind regards,

    Ludwig Grimm



  2. Hi Mary,

    I\'ve attached the inventory report from last month for your review.

    We missed you at the awards dinner last night! Is everything alright?

    All the best,

    Kai Sailer



  3. Dear Mr Sanderson,

    My CEO, April Meryton, asked me to contact you to hash out the details of the partnership you and she recently discussed. I\'ve attached the information you requested and will call you on Friday to follow up and determine next steps.

    I hear you live in Castleton. My husband grew up there. Maybe you know each other?

    Best regards,

    Kerstin Witte
  4. Schlagwörter: Korrespondenz auf Englisch, E-Mail schreiben auf Englisch, E-Mail verfassen auf Englisch, E-Mail Englisch, e-Mail schreiben auf Englisch, e-Mail verfassen auf Englisch, e-Mail Englisch, e-mail schreiben auf Englisch, e-mail verfassen auf Englisch, e-mail Englisch, mailen auf Englisch, Englisch Mailen

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