In today's digital world, emails are the most common medium for formal business communication. Although emails usually aren’t as formal as letters, they still need to be professional to present a good image of you and your company. And, most importantly, you save time and stress in your day by knowing that you use the right phrases for English - language emails. There are some business email etiquette rules and that everyone is required to follow, even if you are a non-native English speaker.
Subject line is the first thing that your email recipient reads. So, make sure that the header of your email is clearly displayed in the subject area, as it will help the reader to refer you to your email later. Use key words that briefly summarise the content of your message.
Begin With A Greeting
There are many variations of greetings that you can start your email with, but the most standard ones are: Dear Firstname Lastname Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname Dear Mr./Ms. Firstname Lastname Dear Dr. Lastname To whom it may concer
It is a good practice to greet your email recipient with their first name and/or last name if you personally know them. If your relationship with the recipient is format use the family name (e.g; Dear Mr. Lim). Some people use informal salutations like Good Morning, Hi or Hey. It totally depends on how formal or informal your relationships are.
Say Thank You
If a replied to your email, you should always thank them by saying "Thank you for your prompt reply "or "Thank you for reaching out". Starting an email with a positive note creates a good impression on the reader.
Your Email Body Should Be Clear And Precise
You should always write e - mails with the same care as when writing a formal letter. Here are few do's and dont's :
1. When writing e - mails, think of your words from the reader's point of view.
2. Avoid writing large blocks of text if you want your email to be clear and understandable. Your reader will also find a short e - mail, which will be easier to understand and refer to.
3. If your emails have many breaks in paragraphs and a lot of white space, your content will be easier to read.
4. Don't let your email appear crowded by trying to use too many technical terms or words.
5. Since most e - mails are written for professional purposes, spelling and grammar errors and incompetent writing can make you look unprofessional. If English is not your first language, you can ask a native speaker to check your email. It is also a good idea to look for templates or examples of the type of email you write.
6. Keep your emails at a maximum of 200 - 250 words, unless you write to your colleagues or friends on a topic that requires editing. Writing short and punctual e - mails reduces the time you spend on e - mails and makes you more productive. Also, by keeping your emails short, you will probably spend less time on emails and more time on other jobs.
7. Bullets are avoided in formal writing, such as essays, but emails have a goal to achieve, so use bullet points to have a clear and concise body.
8. If you write to someone for the first time, it's really important to tell them how you got their email address.
9. If you send photos or documents via email, make sure that they are of a reasonable size ( less than 5mb ) because large files can cause problems for the person who receives them. Zipping larger files or a link to dropbox or google drive for bigger files is a better idea.
10. No matter how complex your email appears to be, try to define its purpose clearly at the very beginning of the email by writing “I am contacting you as…” or “I am writing to you in reference to/regarding…”. It helps the reader understand the purpose of your email.
11. Avoid including product slogans or links to websites that are not relevant to the content of your email, and do not include "significant quotes" such as "search and you will find" when writing business e - mails.
End Your Email On A Positive Note
Okay, you are almost there, but here is another thing to do: As you have already constructed your email beautifully, it requires a beautiful closing too. There are many ways to do so, and again, it depends on the formality of relationships between you and the reader.
Choose the most suitable phrase before typing your name. – Yours sincerely, (when you know the name of the recipient, Formal) – Best regards, or Kind regards, (Formal, Most common) – Take care, Thank you, or Have a nice day (Less Formal)
While formal phrases such as "your Dear Professor Sneedledow" and "your sincere friend" are not necessary in an email, you should write a signature line with your full name and at least a link to your blog or profile page when you contact someone outside your own organisation.
Proofread Your Email
Wait! Don't send it yet. It is very important to proofread you email before clicking the send button. It is always good to ask someone to proofread for you. Remember that you cannot get the email back once you send it!
Those are basic tips on writing a business email. Some of you might feel that there are too many rules to follow, but we assure you that you’ll get used to them with practice. So why don’t you try to write a formal email to your friends or colleagues?
Happy emailing everyone!