How To Send an Effective Email in 7 Steps (With Tips)

Updated April 11, 2023

Email is a common communication method you can use for personal and professional interactions. It uses the internet to transmit information and facilitate conversations. If you want to send emails, learning more about what they are and the basic steps to do so can be helpful. In this article, we explain what email is, detail the benefits of using email and provide a step-by-step guide for sending one.

Related: 17 Smart Ways to Manage Your Email Effectively

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What is email?

Email is a method of communication that transmits information using the internet. It's a common part of education, business and commerce interactions. Depending on your occupation, you may use email as a frequent part of your work. If not, you can also use email for personal interactions. This can include contacting companies or communicating with friends and family.

Related: When To Send a Thank You Email After a Phone Interview (With Examples)

Benefits of sending emails

There are many forms of online communication to choose from, including email. These are some benefits of using email:

  • Cost-effective: Email is often a free method of communication you can use for personal or business purposes. It may cost more to obtain higher function or security, but email is usually a very cost-effective choice for communication.

  • Simple: Once you have an email account and program for sending and receiving emails, it can be very simple to communicate with others. Many email programs offer pre-made responses you can use to save time when composing replies.

  • Flexible: Because email is a tool you use with the internet, you can often access it from many places. This includes computers, laptops, tablets and phones.

  • Paperless: Unlike other forms of communication, email is a paperless way to send information to others. This can help it be cost-effective and ecologically friendly.

Related: Tips for Writing a Great Subject Line for a Post-Interview Thank You Email (With Examples)

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How to send an email

Depending on the purpose of your email and the program you use to send and receive them, you may follow different steps. These are some steps you can follow to send an email:

1. Choose a program for sending emails

The first step to sending an email is choosing a program to use. There are many email services and applications you can use to send and organize emails. Many computers and devices come with pre-installed email management systems. Consider reviewing your operating system or researching options online to determine which email program is best for you.

Related: Organizing Email Inboxes in the Workplace (With Steps and Benefits)

2. Type out emails in the recipient box

The recipient box is the place in the composition box where you can detail who receives your message. Email addresses follow the format "", so it's important to ensure your input the addresses correctly so they can deliver properly. For example, your recipients may be "", "" and "".

3. Use "Cc" or "Bcc" to include others

"Cc" means carbon copy, and "Bcc" means blind carbon copy. These are parts of the composition window where you can include other people without sending the email to them directly. This can communicate to them that you want them to know about the interaction, but you may not expect a response. A blind carbon copy doesn't inform the other people in the email that you shared it with others. "Bcc" can be helpful for sharing emails discretely.

4. Write a subject for your email

After listing your recipients and using "Cc" and "Bcc", you can write the subject for the email. A subject line is a brief explanation for what the email is. This helps the recipient quickly identify the purpose of the communication and can help them prioritize it. Effective subjects prompt the recipient to open and read, so it's important to write one that properly communicates the purpose of the email. For example, if you're sending an email at work, you may use the subject line "Marketing ideas for quarter 3".

5. Compose the body of your message

The body of your email is the part in which you write out a letter or communicate information. Depending on the purpose of the email, it can be as long or as short as you want. For example, if you email with a colleague multiple times throughout the day to communicate about a project, the emails you send may only be a few lines or paragraphs.

How you format and edit the body of your email can depend on the purpose. If you're sending an email to apply for a job, you may include your cover letter in the body, which can be several paragraphs long and formatted formally. If you're sending a personal email to catch up with an old friend, you may type a long message to include lots of information.

6. Include any necessary attachments

You can include elements in your email other than text, including images and documents. Many email management programs include an option for attaching these elements. It's usually a button with a paperclip icon, and when you select it you can choose the image or document you want to include. Some email programs also allow you to place images in the text. You may also embed links so the recipient can access them easily.

Related: What To Do When You Send an Email to the Wrong Person

7. Send the email and check for replies

To send the email, there's usually a button that reads "send" or has an arrow icon. Depending on the email management system you use, the send button can look different. After sending the email, you can navigate to your inbox to check for responses. Depending on the system you use, you may use your phone or other devices to check you inbox as well. These mobile apps can usually provide push notifications that inform you of the email.

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