Long gone are the days of carrier pigeons and telegrams, even printed forms of communication are becoming increasingly rare.

Today, nearly everyone shares ideas via email, especially when it comes to business transactions that require a written record. Email is a perfect medium for business communication of all kinds, but not all business people know that how they write their emails matter as much as what they write.

Before you write your next all company memo, be sure your business emails are the best they can be by checking these items:

Subject Line. Your subject lines should be both detailed enough to convey the overall theme of the email at a glance and concise enough to be quickly understood. One line subjects are rarely helpful to readers and imperatives without explanation are completely useless. Instead of “Urgent Message!” in your subject line, try “Important: August 1 Meeting — Third Street Deli Acquisition.”

Message Content. It’s unlikely that your email is the only one in your recipient’s email box, so treat them like you believe their time is valuable. Keep the message short and on point, less than three paragraphs is ideal for most subjects. The question of using emoticons is up in the air, with business experts split. Those on the pro-emoticon side argue that these little bits of modern punctuation help clarify statements, while the anti-emoticon side simply assert that they’re unprofessional.

Contact Information. Don’t assume that your message recipients know how to contact you, instead attach a block of contact information at the end of your message. Many people use their signature file for this purpose — it certainly helps to prevent forgetting to pass along your phone number or business address.

Spell Check and Proofread. You’re not too busy to spell check and proofread your message. In fact, if you are too busy to read your email over for errors, you’re too busy to send an email. Check the facts, check the spelling and make sure your email makes sense. You’ll waste a lot more time issuing corrections to everyone in your email chain than doing a final read-through.

Better emails mean more efficient business communications. Start implementing this short checklist into each and every message you send and you’ll quickly see exactly how perfect of a match email is to the business world.