Writing and receiving emails has become an inevitable part of everyday life, both in private and business correspondence. When writing an email to your family.
How many business emails do you write in a day?
A lot? If so, you’re not alone.
Email is incredibly important in the business world.
92% of people in a 2013 study thought email was a valuable tool for working with others.
But 64% of people also found that email can cause accidental confusion or anger in the workplace.
Oh my! How can you make sure your own emails aren’t misunderstood?
Maybe even more importantly, how can you make sure your emails get read?
That’s right. I said, “Read.”
These days, just pressing “send” doesn’t mean your email is going to be read right away.
In order to be noticed, you need to know how to get people’s attention.
In order to use email to communicate well, you need to write good emails.
Luckily, writing a good email isn’t hard. It may even be much easier than you think.
“That was an awesome email.”
Who wouldn’t want to hear that? Well, you can! All you have to do is follow these simple rules.
You already have the knowledge to start writing clear emails today. All it takes is using the following:
How much does it cost to send two emails instead of one? Nothing.
So, why write about a bunch of topics in one email? Keep your emails brief by focusing on only one topic.
Explain your main reason for writing in the first paragraph. Be specific about what it is you want.
Kara Blackburn, a lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, said this about email writing: “Start by asking yourself what you want the person to do as a result of this email.”
Just asking that question will help focus your email.
That’s about how many emails business people receive a day, according to the Radicati Group.
Imagine your email sitting in a long list of other emails.
You don’t have to even imagine that. Just look at your own inbox.
What makes you want to open an email? Maybe the name of the person sending it. But if you’re like most people, you’ll open an email that has a strong subject line.
Your subject line is like a headline in a newspaper. The subject line needs to attract attention and make someone want to read your email.
You can write strong headlines by using the “4 U’s” approach taught by American Writers & Artists trainers.
The 4 U’s of writing headlines are:
Your email subject lines should definitely be useful and ultra-specific.
Apply the other two U’s only when it makes sense to do so.
For example, if you try to make every email you send seem urgent, then none of them will really seem urgent. Also, being too unique could make your email look like spam. Oops! We don’t want that to happen.
Would you use exclamation points and all caps in a formal letter? I don’t think so. But some people think that it’s okay to be overly emotional in emails. It’s not.
Calm down. To readers, too many exclamation points will seem like yelling. The same is true for words written in all caps.
Keep your emails polite and formal. Remember, your emails may not be only for the person you send them to. Someone may press “forward.”
A good email is clear and brief, but not curt (rudely brief). Use sentence length, punctuation and polite language to create the right tone.
You also need to use the right language for each part of the email.
Business emails are like letters. They have a format. This includes:
The language you use in each part adds to the email’s clarity and tone.
The salutation you choose changes depending on who your audience is. It helps set your email’s tone. Would you use “Hey” in the salutation of a formal email? Definitely not. Instead, you would start with “Dear” and the name of the person you’re writing to.
Save “Hello,”“Hi” and “Hey” for when you want to create an informal tone.
What do you write when your email is going to a group of people? Some common salutations for groups are:
Your opening sentence is the key to writing a clear email. A good opening sentence tells the reader what the email is about.
For example, if you’re writing to follow up on something, you could start with any of these:
What other words can you use to write a good opening sentence? Try these, followed with your reason for writing:
In business, people tend to write emails to:
One of the above will most likely be your reason for writing.
If you’ve attached a file to your email, make sure you tell the person you’re writing to that you have attached it. The more specific you are, the better. Being specific adds to the clarity of the email. Here’s an example:
“I’m sending you this week’s schedule as an attachment.”
You can also start your sentence with:
When ending an email, ask yourself what you want the reader to do.
If you want them to reply to you, you can write:
If you want them to contact you if they need more information, you can write:
If you don’t want them to do anything:
Just like your salutation, your closing will depend on how well you know the reader. Common closings include:
You may have received emails with closings like these:
These closings help create a closer relationship when you already know your reader.
Below, you’ll find a guide that includes some specific language you can put in emails. For more ideas, check out the video “Writing a Business Email” on FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world English videos—like movie trailers, instructional videos, interviews and clips—and turns them into personalized language lessons. It’s a great resource for looking up specific subjects like email writing and learning how native English speakers talk about them.
You’ll find hundreds of videos in the “Business” section of FluentU’s English library—and we’re adding new ones all the time.
Business emails all tend to deal with one of two subjects:
Within those two subjects, there are more specific situations that will come up over and over again. Here are some tips and examples of language you can use for some of the most common situations.
If you’re writing to reply to an inquiry (a request for information) you need to use the first sentence to let your reader know this is what you’re doing.
You’re also going to want to create goodwill (friendly and good feelings) with this person who may be your client or customer. Including the following sentences in your email helps do this:
In this situation, you’re probably going to be sending some type of attachment to provide information. You can use the language for sending attachments and follow it up with:
Here’s an example of how you might respond to an inquiry about the cost to install windows in a house:
“I’m writing to respond to your inquiry about the cost of installing windows in your house (opening sentence). Please find our price list attached (file attachment). Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance. Thank you for your interest in Acme Enterprises (building goodwill/friendly ending).”
While what you want to inform the reader of will change from email to email, certain key phrases can help you get your message across clearly.
Here are some opening sentence phrases you can use:
Depending on your relationship with the reader, you can get a bit more creative. If you have a more informal relationship and know each other well, you can try using phrases like these:
Toward the end of the email, you may want to add:
“Hope this helps.”
You may also want to offer to give additional information if needed:
Writing to confirm arrangements? Let your reader(s) know this in the opening sentence:
Or you could set a more informal tone by writing:
“Tuesday is good for me.” (Especially if they have already suggested Tuesday.)
A nice way to end is to write:
“Looking forward to seeing/meeting…”
Oh no! You’ve made arrangements and now you have to change them. How do you politely let someone know this?
Any of these sentences and phrases should work:
You don’t have to go into detail about why you need to change arrangements. The point of your email is simply to change arrangements. Keep it clear and brief.
When you reach out by email to someone you don’t know and they write back, the polite thing to do is thank them for their time. Here’s how you can do that:
“Thanks/Thank you for your email…”
If someone has sent you an email and you write back, you can use one of these phrases at the beginning:
What else can be in your reply? Well, you might have to send attachments. If so, you’ll find the sentence, “You’ll find ___ attached,” valuable.
There are times, however, when you might not have all of the necessary information available. Then you might have to make a promise to get back to the sender by writing:
“I’ll get back to you ASAP.” (ASAP stands for “As Soon As Possible.”)
Who doesn’t want to hear good news? Set the tone for your email right away by telling your reader you’re writing with good news. The words “pleased,” “happy” and “delighted” work well. Include them in sentences like these:
Certain words let people know that bad news is coming. I’m talking about words like “regret,” “sorry,” “afraid” and “unfortunately.”
Unfortunately (you see I just used one), you’ll have to give bad news about business issues from time to time. Here are some sentence openings you can write to tell bad news as nicely as possible:
Complaining can be tough. But it’s easier to get what you want if you complain in a way that doesn’t offend your reader. The way to do that in an email is to not be too emotionaland to make your complaint clear and specific.
The following phrases can help you get started:
How can you ask someone to give you information? Start by using polite language to request what you want.
Are you sure that the person you are writing to can help you? Don’t worry if you aren’t. Just ask by writing:
If you need an answer quickly, don’t assume the person you’re writing to understands this. Let them know by writing it:
“I’d appreciate a reply ASAP.”
There are times when you want someone to do something for you. Here are useful phrases you can use to make your request:
Note that the word “please” can keep your request from sounding like an order.
Have you ever seen “ASAP”“BTW,” or “FYI” in emails? Probably so. They’re acronyms, meaning they’re made up of the first letters of phrases or words. Often, they’re made up of the first letters of words in a particular phrase. We’ve already looked at a couple of these, but here’s a quick review:
You’ve followed the rules and used the language guide. Now it’s time to see if you’ve written a good email. Use this list to check before you send it:
Did you answer, “Yes” to everything?
You’ve written a good email.
Want to sound like a native English speaker, from your emails to your presentations? Then you’ll love FluentU. FluentU takes real-world videos—like inspiring talks, movie trailers, news and more—and turns them into personalized and fun English learning lessons.
It’s got a huge collection of authentic English videos that people in the English-speaking world actually watch on the regular.
More to the point, FluentU has an entire business category filled with authentic business-related videos covering six language levels.
To show the variety of videos even inside this single category, real-world business videos on FluentU include “Introducing Business Colleagues,” “Business Buzzwords,” “Control Your Inbox!” and “What Warren Buffet Thinks About Cash.”
An added bonus is that if you want to work on other topics later, simply use the same, familiar FluentU platform to learn with videos from other categories, such as “Science and Tech,” “Politics and Society” or mix it up with “Arts and Entertainment” or “Health and Lifestyle.”
Every spoken word is subtitled, complete with an in-context definition, image and multiple example sentences.
All you have to do is tap or click on one of the words in those subtitles to get more information. For example, if you tap on the word “brought,” you will see this:
Plus, these great videos are all accompanied by interactive features and active learning tools, like multimedia flashcards and fun games like “fill in the blank.”
If you are interested in watching fun, relevant videos and practicing language actively in the process, be sure to create a FluentU account and try out this one-of-a-kind language learning program!
Tracy Bowens is a TEFL Certified Trainer and a Visiting Professor at DeVry University in Orlando, Florida. She has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Continuous emails flow out of her computer daily.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.
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Writing and receiving emails has become an inevitable part of everyday life, both in private and business correspondence. When writing an email to your family.
In the professional world, you will often need to write a business letter. From applying to a new job, to writing a thank you note, sending a note of apology, or sending a farewell email when you depart, there are many circumstances that will require an appropriately formatted letter.
What should you include in a professional letter written for business purposes? A business letter is a formal document, with a set structure. As you can see from the examples in the links below, a business letter has a very defined format. A business letter includes contact information, a salutation, the body of the letter, a complimentary close, and a signature.
There are rules for everything, from how wide the letter's margins should be to what size font to use.
Below, you'll find a list of business letter examples for a variety of employment and business-related correspondence, as well as tips for how to write an appropriate and effective business letter. Use these samples as a starting point when you have to write your own letter.
This is a business letter example. Download the business letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
7 Half Moon Drive
Bayberry Heights, Massachusetts 02630
November 14, 2018
The Yarn Company
324 Central Ave
Bayberry Heights, Massachusetts 02630
Dear Ms. Price:
Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me to discuss selling my handmade sweaters in your wonderful shop.
As I mentioned in our conversation, I’ve been a customer of your store since I used my third-grade allowance to buy my very first pair of knitting needles. I’m honored that you’d consider selling one of my original creations at The Yarn Company alongside your own work.
We discussed a trial consignment arrangement in which a portion of the sales would go to the store. This is more than agreeable to me.
Let me know how you want to proceed. I’m available most afternoons at 555-555-5555, or you can email me at email@example.com, and I’ll respond to your message ASAP.
Thanks, and best,
Business Letter Template
This template includes all the information that should be included in a business letter. There are examples of each section of the letter, and tips on how to choose a style for your correspondence.
Format for Writing a Business Letter
This letter format includes information on choosing an appropriate layout, font, salutation, spacing, closing, and signature for business correspondence.
Very often, feedback at work is dominated by the negative. If someone you work with closely does a great job, don't miss the opportunity to give praise and positive feedback. Sending a letter is a nice way to let employees, co-workers, colleagues, clients, and others know how much you appreciate them.
Business Thank You Letters
If someone does you a favor or helps you out in any way, always remember to send a thank you note. Browse this link for business thank you letter samples for a variety of business- and employment-related scenarios.
Candidate Rejection Letter
When you are in charge of hiring, you will need to inform job applicants when they do not receive the position. Here is an example of a candidate rejection letter to send to an individual who was not selected for a job.
Email Message Examples
While it's often nice to send a handwritten or printed out note in the mail, it's more common these days to email. Here you’ll find business- and employment-related email message examples.
Review sample employee letters and letters for job applicants for employment including employee reference letters, job offer letters, appreciation and congratulation letters, and more letter examples.
Employment Verification Letter
Employment verification letters are often requested by landlords to confirm that a person is employed at a company. See information on what should be included in the letter and a sample employment verification letter.
Farewell message examples to let colleagues, clients, and your connections know that you are moving on. Sending a farewell letter is a good way to update people with new contact information so you can keep in touch in the future.
Use inquiry letters to request meetings and to inquire about job opportunities that haven't been advertised. These letters are a way to get your foot in the door at a prospective employer who hasn't publicly listed available jobs.
Job Promotion Letter
A job promotion letter gives information on the promotion, including the employee's new title, salary, and the date the employee is transitioning into the new role.
New Employee Letter
Sample welcome letter to send to a new employee, as well as details on the information to include in this type of letter.
See examples of reference letters, recommendation letters, personal references, professional references, character references, and academic references.
Referral letter examples including letters and email messages requesting a referral, letters referring employees, a colleague, or an acquaintance for a job, and examples of referral cover letters and thank you letters.
If you are planning on quitting a job, review these resignation letter and email examples. They can be used in a variety of situations, including resigning with notice, resigning over email, and resigning effective immediately.
See letter examples for retirement announcements when you're retiring, and congratulation letters and emails for connections who have retired.
Welcome Back Letters
Examples of welcome back letters for new employees and employees returning to work after a leave.
Microsoft Word Letter Templates
When you need to write an employment letter, it can be helpful to start from a template. Microsoft Word templates are available for resumes, cover letters, resignation letters, reference letters, and interview letters.
Do you know what I just spent way too long doing? Scrolling through all of my sent messages.
I realized two very important (and slightly embarrassing) things:
One: I send way too many emails. I mean way too many.
Two: I start nearly every single one with "I hope you're doing well!" Seriously. Every. Single. One.
Has anyone ever been full of more hope than me?
Jokes aside, You wouldn't think that your email greeting would be that complicated to write.
But, I've learned that landing on that perfect sentence that seamlessly segues into the rest of my note is an art form in and of itself.
Do you find yourself as stumped as I do? You're in luck. I've rounded up 40 different email greetings you can use to kick start your message. Because, let's face it--nobody actually means "Happy Monday!"
It's important to keep in mind that not all of these opening lines will be appropriate for every email you send. An important client or your boss, for example, will probably require something from the "formal" category. But, a close colleague or long-time friend? Well, he or she might get a kick out of a funny greeting that strays from the tried and true standards.
At any rate, there's no need to follow in my footsteps and begin every single one of your messages with the same greeting. Now that I have this list pulled together, you can bet I'll be using it as inspiration for all of my emails--and, I think you should too.
Have another opening line that you love to use? Let me know on Twitter what I missed.
Published on: Jan 30, 2018
Emails are important. They can notify us about the things and the deals we don't want to miss. They allow us to communicate without staying glued to our.
Business communication has been around for as long as humans have been selling goods and services to each other. And over those millennia, we have developed official templates for writing business letters, but we have yet to establish an official template for how to format a business email. (Granted, email only became widely available to the general public about twenty years ago.)
However, we do have a commonly used email format, which is shown in the image below.
Use this format with the following five guidelines to write a business email that can be easily modified for nearly any business purpose.
(Click on the image for a larger view.)
Instead of using a generic subject like “Proposal,” create a short but informative subject such as “Product XYZ Case Study Proposal” so the recipient knows what to expect.
(And knowing what to expect may entice the recipient to open the email in the first place. Mystery is not always a good thing!)
Begin with the salutation “Dear [Recipient’s Name]:” if your message is particularly formal.
In most cases, “Hello, [Recipient’s Name].” is the better option because dear may sound too reserved for the email format, which is decidedly more relaxed than a letter.
If your message is a bit more casual, you can also customize your salutation to the time of day, such as “Good morning, [Recipient’s Name].”
Visit my post “How to Punctuate Salutations in Emails and Letters” for more information on—you guessed it—how to punctuate salutations.
Skip one line after the salutation and begin your message.
Skip one line between each paragraph rather than indenting paragraphs because email-based text formats, including indentations, are notoriously unreliable.
Remember that your recipient may read your email on a small-screen device, so keep your message as brief as possible—without sacrificing clarity, of course.
Although signing off with just your first name is common in casual emails, conclude formal emails with a traditional complimentary closing (e.g., “Sincerely,”) or an elliptical clause (e.g., “Thank you.”) placed one line below the message.
Less formal email can conclude with a sentence that implies closure (e.g., “Please call me if you have any questions.”) instead. Type your name below the closing or closing sentence.
If you would like to learn more about complimentary closings, elliptical clause closings, and closing sentences, visit my posts “How to Close Emails and Letters, Part 1” and “How to Close Emails and Letters, Part 2.”
A signature block is basically an electronic business card under your closing. It typically includes your name, company name, telephone number, email address, and website. It may also include your business address, social media links, and a picture or logo.
Just like a real business card, your recipient will assume that he or she can use any information provided, so make sure your signature block is up to date before hitting the Send button.
Further Reading:Three Things to Include and Three Things to Exclude in Formal Business Emails
Leave a CommentFiled Under: WritingTagged With: business writing
Aug 5, When writing a professional e-mail, there are certain formats and guidelines that you should follow to avoid making basic mistakes.