7 Tips to Draft Better Emails for International Colleagues & Coworkers


Do you work with many people around the world and need to communicate with them regularly by email? It’s important to make sure your emails are clearly understood by the other party and even more so when English is not their first language, or yours. This article will help you writer clearer and draft better emails to an international audience. By following these simple suggestions, you shouldn’t have to be anxious about pressing the send button on your email.

1. Be As Clear As Possible About Your Message

This is the first thing to think about when writing your email, regardless of your role in the organization. It’s likely you’ll be receiving many emails on different topics and from different people. To avoid getting mixed up or overwhelmed, keep your emails short and concise and get to the point right away. You should have only one main subject for each email so you’re not confusing your audience.

2. Pretend You’re Receiving The Email You’ve Drafted

You have to put yourself in the shoes of the person who’s receiving the message so that you can read it as they would. Try to empathize with the recipient before you start writing it. Putting yourself in their frame of mind will help you write a clear, thoughtful email with no risk that they misunderstand the subject or the language you’re using.

3. Write It The Way You Would Say It Out Loud

You don’t want to come across as too formal because it is too stiff or awkward and can cause issues, especially when there is a language barrier. The best approach is to write as though you were having a conversation in person with the recipient. This means using an active voice instead of a passive voice, which sounds more human and relatable. We’ve prepared a list of online tools here which you can use to help you draft and edit your emails to make sure they’re perfect.

4. Send At The Right Time

If you’re writing to international colleagues or employees in a different part of the country, always be aware of the time zones before sending an email. If you send an email too early in the morning, it may end up at the bottom of the recipient’s inbox and they won’t read it until much later. As mentioned in an earlier tip, if you put yourself in the mindset of your recipient, you can try to determine what time of day they would be most receptive to your email. Once you’ve figured that out, you can set a schedule for your email so it’s automatically sent at the right time.

5. Consider What Subject Line To Use

Tammy French, an HR manager at Top Canadian Writers and Student Writing Services, explains the value of the email subject line: “The subject line of the email is perhaps the most important part of the email you’ll write, because it’s the first thing your recipient will see and may determine whether or not they open your email. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should put ‘IMPORTANT’ or ‘URGENT’ as a subject line, but instead be as informative and brief as you can.”

6. Don’t Try To Hide Bad News

If you’re sending bad news by email, you have to be sure not to beat around the bush or hide the information behind a positive message. It’s crucial to get to the point quickly and be honest about what you’re saying. Don’t leave it open-ended as you’ll just create more questions and confusion for the recipient. If there’s too much information for the email, you may have to schedule a meeting.

7. Don’t Be A Wise Guy

Adding a touch of humor to your emails is difficult because it may not be well-received. Something could be lost in translation, or your recipients simply don’t have the same sense of humor as you do. Unless you’re emailing someone that you know well, it’s best not to try to be a comedian as you risk alienating your audience, confusing them, or worse, offending them.

Closing Thoughts: Draft Better Emails

If you write a lot of emails in your day-to-day responsibilities, including to international colleagues, you probably have encountered some difficulties or miscommunications. The important thing to remember is that it all comes down to your mindset when you’re writing the email. If you learn the rules above, you should greatly diminish your chances of confusing or offending someone at the receiving end of your email.



Nora Mork is a business journalist at Big Assignments and OX Essays. She helps brands create better recruitment strategies, and contributes posts to Elite Assignment Help.

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