Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you want to be more confident with your important business emails to a western audience?

Are you often hesitant or lost when composing emails for work?

In today’s episode, Lindsay interviews American author Erin Lebacqz.

Erin is a writing teacher for international professionals. She helps her clients write business emails that allow them to succeed in the global workplace.

She will share three crucial tips for sending a confident and clear business email to help you make a good impression at work and build that connection with colleagues.

American Author and Writing Teacher Erin Lebacqz

Erin is the author of the book “High-Value Writing: How to Write Clearly.”

Erin shares that her book is based on conversations with writers around the world.

It guides you to write confidently and connect well with your reader.

She also gives you ways to empower your voice and lay out your message with clarity through writing.

Lindsay asks Erin what she thinks is the biggest challenge in writing business emails for native English speakers and non-native English speakers

Erin answers that with all the people she has talked to from around the world she has found many similar challenges.

All professionals get nervous when they write important emails.

We find it difficult knowing how to start, what to say, or how to get the right tone.

Your writing represents you and sending an email to someone important at work can be nerve-wracking.

Three Tips to Show Confidence in Business Emails

Erin Lebacqz mentions that knowledge is power and if we understand that there are strategies we can use to feel more confident in composing and sending work emails, we can use that to our advantage.

Lindsay agrees with this because the key to getting over your fear is understanding what to do and taking action.

Below are three tips from Erin to make sure we write confident emails specifically for a western business audience.

This is for our All Ears English listeners that are working in English-speaking countries and sending out emails to colleagues or clients.

  • State a clear main point at the beginning of your email – Westerners expect emails to be direct and clear. The recipient of your email will immediately wonder what the email is about and whether they need to do something. It is very important to be precise in your message when you send out an email. Lindsay asks what the most common mistake is on this point. Erin answers that people often bury the lead which means hiding the main point of your email. When you write an email, you should start with a friendly greeting then the next line should be your main point. An example is to say something like: “This relates to the conversation we had about hiring someone new to our team.” It’s a good way to give context to the recipient right away.
  • Include a call-to-action to your email and loop in all of the people involved – As mentioned in the first point, the recipient of your email would first think about what their part is in your email. So it would be best to mention an action item and be clear about it. It is also recommended by Erin to put this in after the main point. You should also think about the details you need to share such as a deadline or steps they need to take.
  • Get your reader ready to understand your main point by writing a summarized subject line – Erin recommends using a subject line that would set the expectation of the reader before opening your email. It will help them understand better even before reading your entire email. Erin reiterates it’s all about helping you, the reader. She does this in her own work where she places the call-to-action directly in her subject line. For example, when she sends an email to her editor she uses the following subject line: “Brochure Draft: Edits Requested.”


Erin has shared valuable points that you can apply to overcome your fear of sending emails, especially in the business world.

Once you’ve taken action with these tips you’ll sound more confident in your business emails.

Good luck with your next business email at work!

Erin’s Bio:

Erin Lebacqz created the High-Value Writing program to help business writers develop more clarity and confidence in their writing. Her new book, High-Value Writing: Real Strategies for Real-World Writing, is based on conversations with thousands of writers around the world, and provides down-to-earth strategies and examples. Erin has been teaching writing for 25 years, both in the United States and internationally.

What tip from Erin will you implement first in your business email?

Share it in the comments down below on how you implemented the tips and how it has improved your business email writing.

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