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How to Write a Business Email - With Examples

Business emails are used as a medium to conduct professional conversations and are a relevant means of relaying information to hiring managers, colleagues, supervisors, department heads, etc. 

 “Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity.” – Nat Turner.

In every aspect of your professional life, knowing how to write a business email is mandatory if you wish to convey clear information to the recipient. However, even if people are able to comprehend the requirement to write a business letter, many are still unaware of the structure and construct of professional emails. 

In this article, you'll learn everything about writing a professional business email and make a great impression. Here's what we'll be covering:

- What is a business email?

- How to write business email by keeping these four questions in mind?

- Tips on how to write a business email

- Tips on the format of business emails

- How to write a business email sample

- Etiquettes for how to write a business email

What is a business email?

There is a difference between emails and business emails. The tonality in business emails is quite formal as you will need to maintain a certain construct when. 

Business emails also enable you to maintain a professional relationship with your recipient without getting too familiar. In situations where you need to send a business email to your interviewer, thanking them for their time, you cannot simply behave as though you have known them for ages. 

How to write business emails by keeping these four questions in mind?

Mathew just finished his interview and decided to write a professional follow-up email. However, unenlightened about how to send a professional email, he had thrown himself in a pit of endless confusion.”

When structuring a business email, you cannot blindly proceed towards writing a half-hearted message that lacks formality. Its construct, tonality, writing style, and format will determine if your recipient will be impressed by your professionalism. 

To make things simpler, try asking yourself questions regarding the purpose behind framing a business email in the first place. 

  • Who is my audience?

Business emails facilitate communication between two people who wish to maintain a professional relationship. That is why knowing your audience is a mandatory lesson on how to write business email

The reason is that when addressing an email to your department head, superior, or chief officer, you surely don’t plan to address them with a tone that lacks respect. Similarly, when communicating with teammates, acting too formal may scare them away. So, before you decide to draft your email, find out who your recipient is. 

  • What is the purpose?

Understanding the purpose of writing business emails is important. Whether it is relaying information, declaring company principles, or simply reminding hiring managers of a review, every business email comes with a purpose. 

Try structuring your email address for one subject. This will allow your recipient to avoid confusion in comprehending what is it exactly that you are trying to say. 

Example

To: Emma McAdams <emma.m@xyz.com></emma.m@xyz.com>

Cc: Project team 

From: James Brown

Subject: New Information

Dear team members, 

This is to inform you about the recent change in the deadline for the application development project that you are working on. The deadline, which was previously, 12.16.2020, has now been shifted to 12.20.2020. Also, there are certain alterations in the client requirements for this application, information for which will be provided in another separate email. 

Regards,

James

  • Is this email necessary?

Every email is drafted to fulfill a purpose. However, over-communicating can reduce the efficiency of this medium of communication. 

Instead of opting to regularly flood your recipient with emails, try asking yourself the question of whether sending an email is an absolute must. If the information can be conveyed through a phone call, then avoid sending the mail. 

  • Is email appropriate?

You know who your recipient is, you know why you are sending this email, and you are aware of how to write business email, but there is one more question that remains unanswered. Is this email appropriate? The reason for this question is simple. Often many seasoned professionals make the mistake of appearing too familiar in their emails with clients. This style of writing may be engaging; however, certain recipients do not prefer familiarity. 

So, try writing emails that are appropriate as per your recipient’s experience and relation with you. An email with an engaging tone is entertained for a colleague but not when you are writing to your superiors or clients. In such cases, frame an email that portrays a formal tonality. 

Tips on how to write a business email

Know your goal, make a plan and pull the trigger.” – Phil McGraw.

Are you struggling to write a professional email? Don’t worry! You’re not the only one. Business emails tend to follow a certain format, and unless you are accustomed to using this structure, constructing one may be difficult. Not to mention, business emails tend to help you build your professional image, so not knowing how to write business email can really impact your impression before your recipient. 

Include a subject for your email: Whenever you try sending emails to a particular recipient, you will notice the option of including a subject line. This segment of your email is more like a heading that will offer recipients a clear idea of what the email is about. It is necessary that when framing a professional email, try including a subject line at all times. It is like introducing the recipient to the point of discussion. It is a key lesson under how to write business email that you will need to cover. 

Purpose of subject line

Why is it that newspaper publishing houses prefer flashy headings at the top of their articles? They can proceed to list details on any event from the beginning. The reason for this approach is to intrigue your readers while informing them about the subject of the article. 

The phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” isn’t adhered to by many in this case. That is why a subject is often necessary to intrigue recipients regarding the information present in the email. It alerts them beforehand on the kind of details that they will be receiving by reading this mail. 

  • What to expect?

The subject line of an email offers recipients an idea of what they can expect to read from an email. For example, if the subject line specifies “Offer Letter for your application,” it means the email will detail how the company you had interviewed for has accepted your application. Keep reading to learn more about how to write business email.

  • Intrigue the recipient

You know why newspapers write engaging headings that make us want to purchase the paper. Similarly, your subject line should intrigue recipients into wanting to read your email. For example, instead of opting to write “Follow up” in the subject line for a telephonic interview follow up email, choose something in the lines of “Thank you for the phone call, hope to hear from you soon.” 

  • Help them prioritize your email.

Knowing how to write business email is necessary for relaying important information to your recipient. That is why your subject line must follow the same principle. For example, if you wish to alert your team members about change in client requirements, instead of a lax subject line such as “Alteration in plans,” try using subject lines such as “Incorporate these changes now.”

Trivia

What NOT to do when writing emails to superiors

  • Including, “Hi!” “Heya!” “What’s up!”
  • Sarcasm 
  • Lame Jokes 
  • Grammatical errors 
  • Expressing anger or frustration

Tips for writing email subject lines

Short yet simple: Don’t write long sentences or an entire story when writing an email subject line. It should convey the basic idea and not all the information.

Example: An email on change in company principles 

Don’ts: “Alterations in company principles that you need to know and adhere to from now on.”

Do’s: “There have been some changes.”

Fluff isn’t welcome: Although subject lines need to be intriguing, it doesn’t mean you should start your career on an informal note. Try keeping subject lines as formal as possible.

Example: Rejecting an application

Don’ts: “There is always a next time.”

Do’s: “Feedback on your interview.”

Too much punctuation is unrequired: Your subject line is supposed to be simple and less complicated. So, including punctuations within such short sentences is simply unnecessary. 

Example: Follow-up for an interview

Don’ts: “Had a great discussion with you; would like to converse more”

Do’s: “Thank you for your time”

Avoid spam filters at all costs: When writing email subject lines, avoid using a call-to-action tonality. Business emails fulfill the purpose of communication, not an advertisement. 

Example: Inform employees of the change in project plans

Don’ts: “Change in plans, act now.”

Do’s: “Alteration in plans.”

Begin with a greeting: With your recipients being flooded by the piling pressure of emails, they don’t need one that comes with a dull, dry subject line. Try including greetings and appreciation to ease your tonality while conveying information. 

Example: Follow-up email for a telephonic interview

Don’ts: “Follow-up email for interview”

Do’s: “Thank you for making time for our discussion.”

Always make your purpose evident: The reason for including an email subject line is to state your purpose for sending an online mail in the first place. 

Example: Shift in project deadlines

Don’ts: “Get ready; there have been some changes.”

Do’s: “Extension of project deadline”

  • Keep it clear and precise.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary can speak” – Hans Hofmann

Construct a business email that relays information without narrating a story. Your recipient will prefer to hear more about the main agenda than “Once upon a time.” That is why instead of elaborating about why you are writing this email; skip to what is the main purpose. Also, when learning how to write business email, ensure that your language isn’t too complex for confusing your recipients is not what you intend to do.  

  • An essay isn’t required.

Ensure that when constructing a formal email, try keeping it short. Usually, the information conveyed via this medium isn’t too complicated that it takes up an entire page to draft. Short paragraphs will help retain the recipient’s attention while reading your message. If you need to convey too much information in too little time, try using bullet points to increase engagement. 

  • Avoid being negative

No matter how grim or discouraging your message may be, avoid portraying so through your email construct. People who will be receiving your email probably already have matters to worry about. So adding negativity in an email isn’t going to be that helpful. Keep reading to know more about how to write business email.

  • Remember to follow-up

Every business email that you send, be it to colleagues, superiors, or even clients, you need to follow-through. Often, piling emails may cause a recipient to miss out on your online mail, which is why following up becomes mandatory. Follow-up emails are like a reminder to the person on the other side about prioritizing and replying back in case of any queries. 


Tips on the format of business emails

  • Tonality:  One of the main aspects that you will need to be wary of when writing professional emails is the tonality you are inclining towards. Business emails aren’t supposed to portray familiarity so maintain a formal tone.
  • Format: When sending any professional email to recipients, ensure that you follow the correct format. Problems with email structure may cause the person receiving your mail to question your conduct. 
  • Font: Selecting fonts for emails should be one of the easiest tasks as you will need to keep it neat. Avoid using stylish fonts and incline towards more simple ones such as “Calibri.”
  • Bold: When learning how to compose a business email, to put special emphasis on any particular point or term within your business mail, try using bold. This enables you to highlight the term, making it visible to the recipient. 
  • Italics: In case you include any titles or project names, then try using italics. It helps in making these particular texts stand out from the rest while also bringing attention to their importance.  
  • Text Color: At times, in order to place special emphasis or to denote the things the recipient should avoid, you can choose to change color. For example, to depict mistakes or don’ts, you can use the color red.
  • Alignment: Uniform alignment is another aspect that you will need to consider when learning how to compose a business email. It is preferable that you keep your alignment setting as justified. 
  • Numbers/ bullet points: When listing information within any professional email, instead of opting for long essay-like paragraphs, choose to incorporate bullets or numbers. This makes your email more engaging yet informative at the same time.
  • Quote Text: Another method of placing emphasis or recording dialogues by company superiors would be using an inverted comma within the text. For example, when incorporating client names, type it as “XYZ Ltd.”
  • Call to Action: Business emails fulfill the purpose of communicating information to the recipient. Therefore a formal conversation tone is necessary for ensuring you convey your message. That is why; to know how to compose a business email, try incorporating a call to action tone. Usage of sentences, such as “For more queries, let us know” or “In case you have any questions, contact your project manager” may help make email more engaging yet informative.

How to write a business email sample 

  • Business email to colleague example

To: Frank Dukes <frank.d#2@gmail.com></frank.d#2@gmail.com>

Cc: Elijah Woods, James McAdams 

From: Maria Brown

Subject: Project Deadline for December 2020

Good Morning, 

This is to inform you that the deadline for the application launch has been shifted from November 16th, 2020 to 21st, December 2020.

In case of any query, please get in touch with me. 

Sincerely, 

Maria

  • Business email to customer example

To: Frank Dukes <frank.d#2@gmail.com></frank.d#2@gmail.com>

Cc: 

From: James Brown

Subject: Delay in product delivery

Dear Frank, 

We apologize for the delay in delivery of your product that was scheduled to reach you on November 21st, 2020, will now be reaching you on November 30th, 2020. 

Thank you for your patience. We will ensure to prevent any further delay in the shipment of this product. 

Regards, 

James

Etiquettes for writing business emails

When communicating with clients, colleagues, or superiors, it is always mandatory that you maintain certain professional conduct. They don’t expect an overly-familiar, engaging email that looks more like a blog page. Keep reading to learn how to write a business email while maintaining etiquettes. 

  • To maintain email etiquette subject line should be clear and crisp. 
  • Always use a professional salutation
  • Every email that you receive requires a follow-up.
  • Maintain confidentiality in case of sensitive information.

Be it to portraying professional conduct or to simply communicating without being overly amicable, knowing how to write a business email is expected from any existing or potential employee of an organization.

While being overly sociable isn’t necessary, you can’t just be plain rude either. A piece of ideal career advice is that you will need to maintain a certain balance where you are able to communicate information with ease. 

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