How to write professional emails
If you’re not sure how to start an email, these six steps can help you craft a professional message.
- Identify your goal
Before you write an email, ask yourself what you want the recipient to do after they’ve read it. Once you’ve determined the purpose of your email, you can ensure everything you include in your message supports this action. For example, if you want the recipient to review a report you’ve attached, let them know what the report is, why you need them to review it, what sort of feedback you need and when you need the task completed.
- Consider your audience
When you compose an email message, make sure your tone matches your audience. For example, if you’re emailing a business executive you’ve never met, keep the email polished and free of any jokes or informalities. On the other hand, if you’re emailing a colleague with whom you have a good relationship, you might use a less formal, more friendly approach.
- Keep it concise
Your audience might have little time to read through your email, so make it as brief as possible without leaving out key information. Try not to address too many subjects at once as this can make your message lengthy, challenging to read and difficult to take action on. When editing your email, take out any information that’s irrelevant to the topic you’re addressing. Use short, simple sentences by removing filler words and extraneous information. This will make your note shorter and easier to read.
- Proofread your email
An error-free email demonstrates diligence and professionalism. Before you send an email, take a moment to check for any spelling, grammar or syntax errors. Also, double-check to ensure you’ve included any attachments you may have referenced in your message. If it is an important email to critical stakeholders, you might ask your direct supervisor or a trusted colleague to read over it before you send it.
- Use proper etiquette
Include a courteous greeting and closing to sound friendly and polite. Additionally, be considerate of the recipient and their time. For example, unless it’s an emergency, avoid emailing a contact asking for something after-hours or while they’re on leave.
- Remember to follow up
Most people receive several emails per day, so they might miss or forget to respond to your message. If the recipient hasn’t replied within two working days, consider reaching back out with a friendly follow-up email.
Proper email formatting
There are five elements to consider when formatting your email. Here is a breakdown of each.
- Subject line
This is a short phrase that summarizes the reason for your message or the goal of your communication. It is important to include a subject line when sending a professional email so your audience knows exactly what to expect and is able to locate the message easily if needed. For example:
“Follow Up: Product Presentation”
This is the first line of your email and generally acts as the greeting. For example:
“Hello Sir/ Madam,”
Just like the body of a letter, this is where you’ll share your full message. For example:
“Thank you for attending the new product presentation this afternoon. I’ve attached a video file of the full recording so you can share it with your team. Please let me know if you have any questions.”
This is the last line of your email before your signature and should wrap up your message. This is also where you may reiterate any requests you’ve made in the body of your message. For example:
“I look forward to speaking with you on Wednesday. Thanks again!”
The signature is where you identify yourself by name, title and any other information relevant to your communications. Most email programs allow you to set a fixed signature that’s automatically added to the end of every email you send.
Roll No. 123456
Mobile No. 123456
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org