What is the first thing we do when we get to work (or sometimes as soon as we wake up)? – Check email, right? Sometimes we don’t know what our day is going to be like until we read right through each email in the inbox.
In many of our earlier articles, we have highlighted the importance of good Communication Skills to effectively convey your message to your intended audience – one of the important Soft skills for testers.
In this article, we will focus on one specific section of written communication – Email.
We are sharing some tips and tricks to make email communication smoother and more effective. This is applicable to all teams and not just the QA team.
Say you received this Email:
To: Testing Team
Subject: QA Update
There has been an unexpected delay in the deployment of code to the staging environment. For some reason, the code got mixed up and we don’t know when these issues will be sorted out. We are going to have to postpone our activities, don’t know until when. So engage yourselves in other testing activities.
The change request CR0100H68 is planned to hit production by the end of this month. Please go over the document from the share point and give me an estimate.
X, QA team.
Do you think that email is effective? Compare it with the following:
To: Testing Team
Subject: Staging environment code deployment delayed- indefinitely & CR0100H68- need analysis
Today, I’ve two updates for the team.
#1) The staging environment Deployment issues:
- Due to unexpected reasons, the Staging environment code deployment is delayed – no ETA yet. We have to postpone our staging activities until we have further updates.
- Please work on creating the templates for the quality audit until it is resolved.
#2) New update and tasks for change request CR0100H68:
- Expected to go live by the end of the month.
- Please go over the documents and let me know the following details by EOD tomorrow.
– How many test scenarios do we need?
– How much of the existing documentation will we have to change?
– How much time to write the new documentation?
– Test data requirements?
– Test execution time?
X, QA team.
If I were a recipient of Email #1 this is what would happen:
- I might not even open it right away because the subject line does nothing to convey the importance of the content of the email.
- Even if I did open it – let’s face it, it is just one big chunk of words; tedious, to say the least.
- The tasks to be done or the expectations of me are pretty vague so I really have no idea what to do.
But if I get Email #2:
- I know what the email is about – the subject line helps me correctly guess the tone of what’s being communicated.
- The content is clearly organized in bulleted points to make grasping things easy.
- All the tasks to be done and the ETA are clearly defined so you know what to do.
Ideally, I would split the message and send 2 separate emails about the two topics I am providing updates about.
But that is your choice.
As you can see, taking simple measures have improved the quality of communication.
Guidelines That Makes Email Communication Smoother And More Effective
#1) Organize your thoughts before you start composing the email.
#2) Use the subject line to your benefit – Set the tone of what the email is going to contain. Give the recipients a sneak peek, if you will, into what’s inside.
#3) Use the Email program’s ‘Important’ flag to signal a critical communication- but again, be judicious in your decision as to what constitutes important. For Example, if the testing cannot continue due to some error and all the teams need to know about it – mark the Email as being important.
#4) Define the intent of the Email clearly. There are 3 basic reasons for an Email
- You are providing information – Be crisp about what you write. Keep it clear, keep it simple. Keep it concise.
- You are requesting information – What do you want, when do you want, how do you want it.
For Example, I would like a copy of the Test plan document by the EOD. Please place the same in the common project folder and let me know. – A statement like this will tell you “What- the test plan, when – EOD and how –place it in the common folder.
- Acknowledgment – These are one-liners and don’t have much to them. Typically “Thank you” or “Done”.
#5) Try to spellcheck. Most email applications come with an option to perform this check mandatorily every time an email is sent.
#6) When you are included in the CC list, it means it’s an FYI. So you just need to know what’s going on but action from you is not expected.
#7) Do not use ‘Reply all’ when not necessary.
#8) To avoid an email that you sent to multiple recipients be ‘replied to all’, BCC all the email addresses.
#9) Be sensitive. When you are delivering critical or negative feedback about a person or product, try to do it by talking to the person directly or send an email to just that one person.
Suggested reading =>> Email Subject Line Tester Tools
Some More Tips To Avoid ‘Oops’ Moments
#1) Add the Email addresses in the To, CC or BCC fields at the end once you have composed the Email and are satisfied with the content you wrote. This is because, sometimes, you might accidentally hit “send” before you are ready and end up being the sender of an incomplete or incorrect email.
#2) When it does happen that you did send a half complete (or half incomplete, depending on your philosophical bent) email accidentally, there is a recall option available to make amends.
#3) If you are new at writing official emails- try to get a peer to read it for you before you send it and get his/her opinion.
#4) Do not use a colloquial expression or an idiom unless you know what it means. You might end up saying something embarrassing and an Email once sent, is pretty much set in stone.
I really hope this helps you write better emails. Share your experiences with us.
Further reading =>> How to write a Cold Email
Do you have any more tips? Please provide your feedback and feel free to comment below.
45 thoughts on “How to Write Effective Emails to QA (or any) Team [Sample Email Included]”
I was searching for testing related help at internet and I found your blog quite impressive. your shared information is full practical based. If some one has problem related to email communication, he can rectify it by just read your blog.
Thanks a lot for such a great sharing.
thanks for covering this also. as a tester we are learning almost all parts of our career. thanks to STH.
Thanks for sharing the business communication guidelines.It was really helpful.I would just like to add one more point to this and it is:
Whenever we have much content to be addressed in email then we should probably make it in bullet points ( as you said ) or else if possible we should prepare an excel covering complete status.This will help recepients to quickly get the gist out of the email and also it looks good.Many email tools contains the feature of excel we can use this feature as per our convenience to make the email communication more effective.
Thanks for sharing this.Its quite impressive and helpful :)
Please keep on sharing more on ‘Communication skills’ required for software testers.
Thanks alot for sharing this…
Thanks for sharing this articles.
I want to know what is Staging environment and production environment
and also whats the difference.
Please reply and help me out
@ Rahul : Production environment is the real environment where end user uses this and staging environment is the replication of production environment..where release team use this and ensure everything is in order to go for production deployment and test team should perform minimum testing in this.
Thank U sir..
I want to know the real time environment in the organisation for a Manual Tester.
Thanks for sharing.. Your Posts keep my notes updated as reference.
Thanks a lot for sharing this
The information provided is realy useful.
Can anyone tel me, what is the best way to send dialy status to PM
@Niran: please check out newest article https://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/test-execution-report/
I hope this will answer you questions.
Very useful information, Thanks for these tips.
Thanks to ‘Softwaretestinghelp’. Information provided is soo practical and realistic .It is very much helpful .I read allmost all your articles,thanks for sharding all your experiences.
Writing email is one of the important role as a part of testing and responsibility of a test engineer. Utmost care should be taken while writing email.It is like showcasing our daily work that is done in a good way.
Thanks for providing tips on that.
Thanks for sharing. I am going to bookmark this website as this provides good notes.
It will help to all QA Lovers. Nice explanation with Email examples.
I will take care of following main points.
> Check email right
> Highlighted the importance point
> Write Straightforward
Thanks for providing tips on that.
Thanks a lots for this tips.
thank you very much to posting wonderful tips like this. keep posting bro.
you really made my testing career easy by sharing your experiences thank you so much for this
This site is excellent, I don’t have any email knowledge all the time my husband use to say email and documentation is very important after I browse this page I got lot of information. Thanks.
The information provided is really awesome. While reading I am able remember each and every scenario I faced during my real time. Almost all are covered.
I want add one more to it…
Sometimes we will send incomplete or improper email in a sudden. After sometime we will check that something went wrong in sent email. In this situation, we can reply to the same email which we have sent incorrectly – with a starting sentence “Please ignore previous email.” along with the right content – to correct our mistake. I used to follow this. I think this is better option when recall option is not available.
First of all thanks for sharing tips to write an effective email communication within the team.
I am seeking some tips on to gather and organize all what we want to write.
Hi, I’m working as quality analyst in bpo sector.. i need some help in framing an email for my agents for feedback acknowledgement.. if possible, please post a draft email for me..
i am facing one problem in my interview time.
ask me write list of positive or negative test scenario of “TO” field in Email composer……….
So, give me Answer i am waiting for your replay../
i wanted to have a mail drafting when we are not able to furnish the required material
Can you please let me know regarding how Data Request email is drafted?
This is janardhan I need to frame the words in body of the mail. Could you please help me to improve. Please find the below details to contact me.
Thanks a lots for this tips.
thanks for sharing valuable information with us
when this demo (HCM Demo) activity is to be completed
Pls give me some suggestions, how to write a email to our manager for issue’s
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Hello can any one help me.
I need to write an email on below for 150 word. can any one tell me how to write.
Your team is still trying to solve a major problem. Your co-worker submitted an idea, but you have concerns about it. You need to write an email which explains your concerns and doubts to your team manager.
Your client has assigned some work to you. You are unable to start off with the work because some critical information was not provided by the client. Write a mail to your client requesting for this information.
How do i respond to this email
You had requested Cassandra Woods, a client to send you some information. You need this information to complete a task. It has ben one business day and Cassandra Woods has not replied to your mail.
Write an email asking her to snd you the information.
A deadline that you have not met has in turn affected the team’s deliverables. Your manager is disappointed with what has happened because of you and has written to you about it. You were unable to meet the deadline because of personal reasons.
Respond to the email from your manager
Your client has asked for an update about a project you are working on which is due in 2 days. Your project is on schedule. Reply to your client with the update.
Your client has asked for an update about a project/ assignment you are working on which is due in 2 days. Your project/assignment will be delayed by 3 days. Reply to your client with the update.
please help me how do i respond
I want to send an email to the projects department asking and requesting them for support to prepare a technical written exam or test to the new joinee as a Project Engineer.
very effective teaching about testing thanks for the information
I need help with writing an email to company employees talking about the security impact on the overall servers and system. What do you leave in and what do you leave out?
Hi, thanx a lot for sharing such information to improve our communication skills and also for testing purpose by which we can do successful emailing.
that is very attractive
we really appreciate your contents,
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