In the business world, email is the preferred communication tool of choice. What makes email great is that you don’t have to be available at the same time as your conversation partner to communicate.
So whenever you are writing a professional email it’s really important to make sure the message is clear and perfect. You should avoid errors which could blow your opportunities when writing and sending a professional email.
Most people send emails that are not effective. Sometimes, you might not get a reply to your email, this is because your email was trashed by the recipient. This is simply because your message is unclear and they don’t know how to reply or act. Don’t let this happen to your business emails. Etiquette, style, and format are essential to writing emails that get results.
How to Write A Professional Email
Below is the ultimate guide on how to write a professional business email.
1. Know Your Audience
The first thing to consider before writing a business email is to know your audience. Once you know and understand your audience, you’ll know how to write your email. A target audience is who you are trying to reach with your email.
Your target audience can either be a group of person or an individual. This will also determine the tone, formality, and content of the email. Your audience might also be your colleague, clients or supervisor. You have to communicate with each and every one of them differently.
2. What’s the Purpose of Your Email
Why are you writing the email? Before you even start writing the email you should have a cogent reason. Every email that you send out must cover a specific item, task or request. Trying to cover multiple actions in one email may cause confusion.
If you don’t have a reason for writing an email, then you shouldn’t send any at first. Sending an email without a clear purpose could be a waste of time to you and the recipient. Ensure you have a clear understanding of why you are sending the email so that you’ll be able to express yourself properly.
3. Is This Email Necessary?
You should ask yourself, is this email even necessary? Maybe you can communicate with just a phone call. While email is efficient and provides an electronic paper-trail, not all communication should occur via email. Whenever you are sending information, always go for the best channel.
4. Use a Meaningful Subject Line
The first thing that a recipient will see when opening a mail is the subject line. Most people often ignore this part when writing a professional email. The recipient could be receiving hundreds of emails daily, so it’s important to coin a clear and captivating subject line.
Sending an email with a blank or vague subject line could easily get your email into the trash bin of the recipient. Many people go directly to the subject line of an email before they can decide whether to proceed reading the entire message or not, so ensure to write a concise subject line that conveys your purpose for the email.
Examples of subject lines to attract your recipient’s attention:
- Great to see you yesterday!
- We appreciate your support!
- Please share your experience with us
- Ways to Make Money Online
- Follow-up about ……
- Request for Recommendation
- Meeting Date Changed
5. Always Start Your Email With Greetings
No matter the length of your email, either short or long, always begin with a greeting. It is a good email etiquette to greet the person you’re writing to. The greeting could be either formal or informal. However, if you’re writing a professional business email, always keep your greeting formal.
If you’re writing to a person that you know, you can start with “Dear Ms. Joyce”, “Dear Matthew” or “Hi, Rose”.
On the other hand, if you are writing to an organization, you will want to research about it so that you get to know the person handling the emails and avoid using the “Whom it may concern” statement.
6. Introduce Yourself
You need to introduce yourself after greeting the recipient, especially if it’s your first time contacting them. You can briefly introduce yourself in one or two sentences. For instance, you could say “I am Boniface. I work as a freelance content writer and I have accomplished several projects on SEO and Product Reviews. Please find my portfolio at ……..”
Introducing yourself and the work you do will help the recipient to know who the email is from and this is imperative when writing to a person you’ve never met. Many people think that including your name in the introduction is like repeating yourself since the name will appear on your email address, but making them know who you are is good.
If you’ve contacted the person before, you can remind them of the introduction part. However, if it’s someone you know and they know you too, you don’t have to introduce yourself.
7. State Your Purpose
This is where you state your purpose of sending the email. Depending on your purpose of writing. It could either for a request, inquiry or pass information.
In whatever case, you need to state the purpose of your email in clear and concise terms. You should make the purpose clear beforehand before you proceed into the main body of the message.
There is no need for verbose words, just go straight to the point. Clearly make them know what you want and concentrate on that part only. If possible you can list the things you want them done or the point of writing the email in bullets to make your email more organized and readable.
8. Keep Your Email Short
You are writing an email and not a novel. Keep your email concise as possible by only including the essential information. Note that professional emails are short and meant to respect the recipient time.
If you make the recipient feel like your email is lengthy, they will likely ignore it. You don’t have to make the recipient read the full paragraphs before finding out what you want.
9. Thank the Recipient
You need to thank the recipient for taking their time to read your email message. This is also another way of stating your aim of writing the email. For example, “Thank you for taking your time to review my application and writing samples”, “ Thank you for taking your time to read my research proposal” or “Thank you for your patience and consideration”
10. The Closing Remarks
You should close your email with a call to action statement that informa the recipient what to do next. 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”
11. Use a Professional Sign-Off
There are many ways of signing off an email. However, for the purpose of remaining professional, you should not be too creative in this part. So choose a sign-off that looks professional such as:
- Best regards,
- Yours truly,
- Kind regards,
12. Don’t Send Your Email Yet
Before you hit the send button, you need to take your time to go through the whole message again. Proofread for grammer and punctuation errors. You wouldn’t want to send an email that is full of sentence error.
Once you send it, you cannot get it back, so it’s important to always proofread before sending a professional email.