Little did we know that a big part of being a corporate employee consists of sending and replying to professional emails. But what makes the difference between a “normal” email and a professional one? Most of us have no clue and only act on instinct. We try to use proper language and go straight to the point. Which is not bad. Since writing a professional email does require being concise and appropriate. But there are a few more techniques, tips, and some mistakes you must avoid that we would like to be sharing with you.
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Want to learn how to write a professional email? Continue reading.
Use a neutral e-mail address.
Your professional email must include your full name only. Use dots and hyphens to separate between your first and last name. Do not use numbers or pseudonyms. Leave those in the first email you created in middle school.
Examples: firstname-lastname, lastname.firstname, firstname.lastname@example.org…etc.
Do not skip the mail’s subject while writing a professional email.
Your recipient may have tons of emails in their inbox. Which makes it confusing and hard to answer each one of them. E-mails that have no subject are the ones that tend to be ignored. While writing a professional email, do not skip the subject section. This will assure you a quick and pertinent answer and make the content of your text clearer and easier to grasp.
Tips for formulating an effective mail subject:
- Keep it short: If your text is too long, it may not be visible to your recipient (the visible length depends on the type of the mailbox). Also, the shorter the subject the more simple and understandable the content of the mail is.
- Put the important points first: Since you can’t know if the entire subject line of your professional email will be readable on your recipient’s device, start with what you want them to see first.
- Introduce the subject of the e-mail: This is very obvious since the section describes its function –the subject-. Use the right keywords.
- If you are expecting a response. Do not forget to mention it.
Greet your recipient using the appropriate expression.
It is best to address the recipient by their last name. Use the person’s title/ status. For example Mr, Mrs, Miss, Doctor,… etc. Followed by their name and a comma.
Now, this could be quite confusing if your recipient’s gender or status is unknown to you. To avoid any possible misunderstanding and embarrassment, address them by their full name putting the last name first.
If you want to be more courteous, you may also precede the name and title with “Dear”. Hello Mr or Mrs. X” is also an option.
Examples of greetings in a professional email: Dear Mr. Jones, Hello Branch Juliette, Dr. Smith…etc.
Introduce yourself and why you are writing to them.
If this is your first exchange with your recipient you might want to tell them who you are, how did you get their e-mail address, and why you are writing them. This makes a good first paragraph in a formal email.
Example of a professional email introduction:
“This is Angelica Hester. I got your email address from the company’s database. I am writing you to suggest a partnership…etc.“
Now write the body of your formal email.
The body of your text is the most important part of your email. Go straight to the point and avoid useless detail. It may confuse the reader and drive them away from the main goal of the email.
Divide your text into paragraphs and skip a line in between each one. Splitting your professional email into small bits helps your recipient absorb and process the content better and faster.
Make sure you avoid informal language and stick to using use relatively formal language.
Close your formal email with an appropriate greeting expression.
Examples of greetings to close your professional email with:
- Best regards
- Thanks in advance
- Warmest regards
- Kind regards
- Yours sincerely
End your e-mail with a signature and your contact information.
If you have a professional title (manager, director, etc.), specify it under your name and add the name and/or website of the company you work for.
You may add your phone number and an additional email address too if you have any so that you’ll be easier to reach afterward.
Proofread the entirety of your text.
Last but not least, re-read your e-mail before pressing the send button. Make sure you didn’t skip any important information and that your text is grammatically correct. You can also get a shortcut of a spelling-check app to help you spot any missed spelling.