How To Write A Professional Email: A Complete Guide
Are you one person who thinks twice before sending an email and wonders if there are ways to structure your formal email? Then this is the best place as we have curated this article that will help you to write a professional email with just a few simple tips!
But, why is it important to write professional emails? A professional email can come in handy when you are applying for a job, sending across a cover letter, typing a thank you or a resignation letter to an employer, etc. Who would want to write and read a lousy email anyway?
So, let’s get started straight away!
How To Write A Formal Email? The Top 14 Best Ways On How To Write A Professional Email!
Here are the ways to help write a professional email that includes good communication and structure:
1. Be Mindful
It’s best to give it a thought before you get started with typing down your email as it could both, negatively and positively impact your personality.
The best way to go about it is to keep the person you are writing to in mind, is it a busy person? If yes, writing a short message and to the point, email is the best option here. Plus, keep the related intention of the email intact, have a clear focus, and the points you wish to cover, all in one short email.
2. Know The Purpose Of Writing The Email
It is a good idea to know the person if you’ve contacted them before. In case you haven’t, it’s best to ensure you give them a more comprehensive email. Writing an email without having a clear purpose could only be a waste of time to both you and the reader as you’ll only be spending a lot of time expressing yourself.
So, make sure you know the purpose of the email and the need for it, all in a concise manner.
3. Know The Reader
The name of the person is important to know as it’s the initial step to begin and sign off your email. This indicates how you respect the person and know if the format needs to follow a formal or an informal tone, as per the relationship with the person.
4. The One Thing Rule
It’s best to write an email that is to the point, unlike the business meetings, in other words, the mantra that is followed throughout emails is – less is more. The limited and accurate the details, the better the reader will understand.
If not, you might not receive the response you had hoped for. So, you need to write keeping in mind that the recipient needs to understand the email in the best possible way. Ensure each email to comprise of one thing only and avoid too many elements in the email structure.
5. Meaningful And To-The-Point Subject Line
A very important part of a professional email is the use of the subject to avoid it getting ignored. This is the foremost thing the recipient will view and know if they would want to read or pass through, so, it’s best to make the subject line clear and brief to grab the attention of the recipient.
Here are a few examples of attractive subject lines:
- Great to see you yesterday!
- We appreciate your support!
- Request for Recommendation
- Meeting Date Changed
- Please share your experience with us
- Ways to Make Money Online
- Follow-up about_______
On the other hand, here are a few that you must make sure to avoid:
- Please reply immediately
- Read before you reply
- Leaving it blank
Note – If unsure of the subject make sure to crosscheck the purpose of the email in few words.
6. Greet First!
Irrespective of the length of the email, it’s best to greet, first thing in an email. It not only shows your good email etiquette but is professional. For example; ‘Dear Sir’ or anything as per the person you are writing to.
Note – This depends on how formal or informal the person you are writing to is, nevertheless, make sure to greet in a formal tone in a professional email. If writing to an organization, you probably need to research to avoid using the “Whom it may concern” statement. Here, another way to greet the recipient is by using titles such as “Dear Hiring Manager,” for the person handling emails.
Pro Tip – The use of punctuation in both the greeting and signature depends on the language you are writing in. For instance; in English, the most formal way of ending a salutation is by a colon, like – “Dear Mr. Johnson:”
On the other hand, there are a few cases where the 2utmost formality of using a colon is not necessary. Here you can use a comma instead. For instance; “Hi Jeremy,” and Thanks, – for the salutation, or leave both without any punctuation, and/or use a complete sentence by formatting your salutation as “Hi, Jeremy.”
7. Introduce Yourself To The Audience
Now that y0u’ve greeted the reader, the next step is to introduce yourself, especially if it’s your first time contacting them. This must be crisp and brief, remember emails are best short. This will help the recipient to the basic details as to whom the email is from and is imperative when writing to a person you’ve never met.
8. Get Straight To The Purpose Of Your Email
Two basic things need to be clear when writing an email, (1) if you want to inquire about something, and (2) if you want to make the recipient know what to do next. Therefore, you could choose to begin with, “I am writing to inquire about the interview we had about your writing project.”Note – In case you fear sounding rude concerning the email, try to make the purpose clear beforehand before proceeding into the main body of the message.
9. Keep The Meaning Enacted
This simply means keeping your email clear, concise, and free of spelling and grammar mistakes. Once the subject line is created and you’ve briefly introduced yourself, you must now maintain the same flow throughout your email and get straight to the point. If necessary, make use of bullet points to help make your email more organized and readable.
10. Keep The Message Short
Given the fact that people are busy, no one would have the patience to sit and read long essays. This is why you must make sure to cut the context short, crisp, and to the point with all essential information. This not only helps you put your point across in the right manner but also shows that you respect the recipient’s time.
11. Keep The Email Clean And Appropriate
Writing a professional email means, you must look professional even in the way you write. Avoid being messy when replying to a thread and/or when sending an email. In this case, you can clear the carets by pressing Ctrl+F to locate or just do away with all the emails and send a new one.
12. Always Thank The Recipient
Even if not thankful, it’s a good practice to thank the recipient for their time to read the email and show that you appreciate it. For example; “Thank you for taking your time to review my application and writing samples,” “Thank you for your patience and consideration,” etc.
13. Closing The Email
It is always nice to close your email using a statement, making the message clear, and informing the recipient what to do next, or nudging them to take action.
For example – “Please find attached the research proposal. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon” or “I look forward to meeting you in person so that we can discuss your project”
14. Professional Sign-Off
There are multiple ways to sign-off or end a professional email, just before you mention the contact information. However, when doing it professionally, it’s best to not be too creative. Here are a few sign-off that would be used best in professional emails:
- Best regards,
- Yours truly,
- Kind regards,
To Conclude: 8 Things To Avoid When Writing A Professional Email
Listed below are 10 things that you must make sure to never include in a professional email:
1. Avoid Any Typo In The Name Of Your Recipient
This is one mistake you must avoid making in a professional email and committing such a mistake will never get back to you completely. Therefore, it’s best to make sure to double-check the recipient’s name through their website or social media platforms like LinkedIn.
2. Include Unwanted Personal Details
As it is, emails are meant to be short, and adding unnecessary personal details could just make it email unasked for. So, try to stick to your introduction alone with respect to your business only.
3. Using “To Whom it May Concern”
This is best to avoid since most companies have all their information on the virtual platform, and using this could only indicate that you haven’t done your research before writing the email. However, if you are unable to find a name to address to, then address the person by his/her title, like “Dear hiring manager” or “To the Head of the Finance Department.”
4. A Casual Tone
It’s best to write a professional message in a formal manner. Avoid capitalization of words, use abbreviations such as Lol, thx, plz, etc, and any spelling mistakes.
5. Missing Subject Line
This is true especially in cases where the emails are typed in a hurry. This could cause your recipient to ignore the email altogether since it shows that you didn’t take time to write, which makes the email lose its worth.
6. Forgetting To Attach A File If Mentioned In The Body of Your Email
This is a very common and careless mistake that one is highly prone to make. So, make sure you cross-check your email every time you are about to hit ‘Send.’
7. Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation Mistakes
It’s best to prevent spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes from appearing in your professional emails. This could indicate an unprofessional approach and that you haven’t proofread your emails before sending them.
8. Attaching Big Files In Professional Emails
This could cost a lot of time to not only send but also download, resulting in your email being ignored. Practically speaking, no one has the patience to wait for a huge file to download. So ensure to check the size of the file that you want to attach before sending the email.