You write many more business emails than you do business letters.
Here’s a tip: think about the response you want.
Indeed, you can try writing a call to action (what you want the person to do — “contact me”, “email the client and remind him”, “send me the report” etc.) first.
When I’m working with clients on communications’ training, I recommend this, and it works. If you can remember the response as you’re writing the rest of the message, it’s much easier to write quickly. You’ll procrastinate less too.
Sometimes, all you need is a quick salutation and the call to action.
Viz this informal message:
Hope you’re having a good week.
Haven’t heard how you’re getting on with XYZ Corp.
Please email Tommy there and remind him about the sales meeting next Tuesday.
When you’re writing email, shorter is usually better. However, give the recipient sufficient context so that he knows exactly what you’re talking about. In the above message, “XYZ Corp” provides the context.
Additional tip: leave lots of white space. Your recipients should be able to scan your messages, and read what you want them to do, without puzzling over it.
I like to keep paragraphs in email messages short; no more than three sentences maximum — often each paragraph will be a single short sentence. Chances are your recipients will read your messages on their phone; make it easy for them to see what you need, and to respond.