By Alexander Besant, GOOD.is
Grammarly, the useful browser extension that checks grammar and spelling as you go, has some advice on when to write an email. (Hint: It’s not in the morning.)
After analyzing the billions of words the system has corrected, the company noticed that people who write emails very early in the morning and very late at night were significantly more likely to make mistakes.
The company found that, on average, emails written between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. had 11.8 mistakes per 100 words written. Those emails written between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. saw 14.3 mistakes for every 100 words. (Bloggers made fewer mistakes than social media and email writers, but the frequency of mistakes occurred during the same hours.)
The conclusion: Write your emails (and other online correspondence) in the afternoon, when you’re likely to make only 3.7 mistakes per 100 words—a huge difference if you’re trying to look professional.
Nothing beats a good editor, however. As Grammarly says:
“When do you do your best writing? Whether or not you’ve noticed a tendency to be sharper by day or night, one thing’s for certain—good writing depends on proofreading. Take a moment to double-check your blog posts, emails, and social media shares so your writing will shine at every time of day.”
Grammar and spelling aren’t everything when it comes to writing great emails. Here are a few other tips:
Forbes, the business and finance magazine, suggests slowing down and making sure the email has the same structure as our other writing: an intro, a body, and a conclusion.
Monster, a job search website, says what you leave out of an email is just as important as what you put in. Specifically, leave out negativity, abbreviations, slang, and long-winded explanations. (Save your resignation for an in-person talk.)
Finally, if it’s really important, take the time and write a draft. Step away, come back, and reread. Odds are, you’ll want to make a change or two before hitting that send button.