This article discusses the important tips you should always follow to begin and close a professional email.
The global workplace forces us to refine our communication skills. Emails are generally used for business communication purposes, communicating with professors, applying for internships, jobs and scholarships, etc. Email writing ensure effective business communication and helps employers make the difference between “good” and “bad” employees.
The email can be drafted in formal as well as informal style.
Formal Email Style
Years ago, all professional business emails were sent using a formal style. You may have been taught to use a formal style to write all your business emails.
The main problem with many formal email greetings is that they sound stiff.
Do pay attention to the conventions in the organization you’re writing to. Today many organizations prefer a casual, informal email style even for professional business emails.
Informal Email Style
While a formal email style works with many businesses, some businesses prefer a less formal tone.
Beginning an email:
Here are the three elements of a good email beginning:
· subject line
· the first sentence
If you want your professional business email to be read, a good email subject line is vital. Most email recipients scan the subject lines in their email inbox to decide which emails are important and which can be dealt with later or deleted.
Good email subject lines are relevant to the audience. Good email subject lines are specific whenever possible. And most importantly, are personalized.
The email subject lines should be easy to understand. That try too hard to grab the reader’s attention, often fail.
Exclamation points don’t equate to higher open rates, hence, avoid it.
An email with a blank subject line often lands to the Spam folder. So, never send an email with a blank subject line.
The salutation of an email is who the email is addressed to. In more formal emails, it’s often preceded by the word “Dear.”
Some example openings of formal business emails include:
- Dear Sir
- Dear Madam
- Dear Mr. Brown
- Dear Ms. Lopez
- To Whom It May Concern
- Dear Dr. Smith
The first sentence of an email determines whether the recipient will continue reading. A good first sentence is how to start a professional email. I can’t begin to tell you how many emails I’ve deleted because the first line told me the person had no business writing to me.
Here are few tips to fix them:
In professional emails, we usually give the reason for writing in the first sentence.
We often start with I’m writing to, and then you use a verb phrase. Some common verb phrases are request, inquire about, inform you about, or inform you of.
Using Formal Verbs:
Here are some examples.
I’m writing to request some information.
I’m writing to inquire about your Internship program.
Using the more neutral verbs ask for, ask about, and tell you about.
I’m writing to ask for some information.
I’m writing to ask about Campus Manager program.
Instead of a verb phrase, we can use a noun phrase.
After ‘I am writing’ + regarding + noun phrase.
For example, I’m writing regarding my certificate.
I’m writing regarding the advertisement.
I’m writing regarding the document you sent me.
In a more neutral style, you can use’ about’ instead of regarding.
I’m writing about my certificate.
I’m writing about the quiz competition.
I’m writing about the document you sent me.
So, if you want to be less formal in the opening sentence, you can start with
I wanted to, instead of I’m writing to.
Here are some examples.
I wanted to ask for some information.
I wanted to let you know about my certificate.
I wanted to ask about the quiz competition.
Remember that using a past form wanted is a way of being indirect.
Tip 8 and 9:
How to reply Query Mails:
At times, you need to answer/reply someone’s email having a question, so how to begin?
You can start like this.
I’m writing in response to your email requesting information.
In a more neutral style, you can write,
Thank you for your email asking about the quiz competition.
Adding I-N-G to the verb gives purpose in the email. Notice that the purpose in the email- I’m writing in response to your email requesting information.
We can also use ‘regarding’.
I’m writing in response to your email regarding the quiz competition.
In a more informal style, about. Thank you for your email about last week’s meeting.
Tip 12: Is it professional to include your name in the opening sentence?
It’s not considered professional. A common mistake is to include your name in the opening sentence.
But you can use your position like this, I’m the new head of marketing for Moonstone and I’m writing.
How you end a formal email is equally important. Since the email closing is the last thing your recipient looks at, your email closing can leave a lasting impression.
A good formal email closing also reminds the reader who you are since it should include your full name, contact information, and title (if appropriate). If you can, use a professional signature template for added impact.
Now that you’ve learned how to begin an email you just need to learn how to close one. If you were talking to someone face to face you wouldn’t just suddenly say bye, you would use a phrase like well it’s been nice talking with you. Or, listen I’d better get going. It’s the same in email.
It’s important to end an email with a closing sentence. Especially when you’re writing to someone you don’t know very well. If you don’t use one, it might sound too abrupt. Meaning that it would sound rude. There are several friendly closing sentences that we commonly use in email, let’s learn a few.
Here we can use the expression, I look forward to.
Notice that after ‘to’ we use a verb and i-n-g.
If the reader has helped you, you can use thank you in the closing sentence. If you’re asking the reader to do something in advance, you can write thank you in advance. In these examples we can use please.
Often in the closing sentence we repeat the main purpose of the email by using the word again.
Finally, let’s talk about layout. The friendly closing sentence is often by itself in a separate paragraph before the closing and name.
Examples of Friendly Closing Sentences
- Thank you in advance.
- Thank you for your help.
- Thank you for your consideration.
- Please let me know if you have any questions.
- Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do.
- Please feel free to contact me if you need any more help.
- I look forward to working with you.
- I look forward to meeting you.
- I look forward to hearing from you soon.
- Again, thank you for all your help.
- Again, I apologize for the late delivery.
- Again, congratulations on the award.
Great, so now you know how to begin and close out an email. Always keep in mind the content of your email must be tailored in a proficient and precise yet informative way. Poorly written emails are difficult to be understood by the recipients which hamper the business relations. The employees who are good at composing clear emails make a good impression on their clients and employer. And Finally, to write effective emails you should always proofread your emails before sending it.
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