In the old days, the letters were a good way to communicate between people, and therefore have a vast and interesting history. With the changing times and the proliferation of email and texting, the art of letter writing is somewhere lost.
In this era, you don’t write anymore; well, hardly anyone does. In this e-mail age, where every mode of business communication has been conquered by e-mail, learning the art of How to Write a Formal Email, quintessentially becomes important.
People are drowning in e-mails today. One of the main reasons for their increasing trend is the flexibility it comes with. One doesn’t need to be available at the same time of the conversation. Following are the tips one can kingpin upon to write a formal e-mail:
Professional E-Mail Address
The first point in How to write a professional email, is to never use an unprofessional e-mail address.
- Avoid using nicknames and make use of periods, hyphens, or underscores to secure an e-mail address that consists of just your name.
- The main point is that when people see the email address they should associate it with you.
- Pick an address that you can stick with.
- Nobody wants to do business with a person who keeps on sending out messages with a new address every time.
Greet with a Proper Salutation
Always open your email with a greeting, such as “Dear Riya”. Addressing the recipient by name is suggested. Use “Dear Sir/Madam” in case you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing to.
In case the relationship is more casual, you can simply say, “Hi Tom”.
Know Your Purpose while How to Write a Formal Email
Clear and concise emails always have a clear purpose. It is always suggested to begin your mail with the purpose. Keep your sentences short and clear, as people want to read e-mails quickly.
- Send only those mails that are necessary.
- Writing e-mails without knowing the purpose wastes your time and the recipient’s time too.
- While drafting a formal e-mail, pay careful attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation marks. These small mistakes can spoil the purpose of whole e-mail.
“One Thing” Rule Is the Key
E-mails work on ‘one thing’ rule. Make each email you send about one thing only. To communicate about another project, write another email. How to Write Clear and Professional Emails works on the key of conciseness.
- Do not ramble and fluff all the points in a single e-mail.
- The email should be no more than 5 paragraphs long and each paragraph should be no more than 5 sentences long.
- Keep your e-mails short and intact. The less you include in your emails, the better.
Always follow the five sentences discipline, and you’ll find yourself writing emails more quickly. There is also a possibility to get more replies.
Use Active Voice
In writing, there are two kinds of voices, active and passive. It is preferable to use active voice while writing an e-mail. The sentences with active voice are easier to read and depict things only when people take action.
Example- I throw the pencil (Active)
The pencil is thrown by me (Passive)
Add a Closing Remark
How to end a professional email is altogether a new topic and upholds an important part while writing a formal e-mail. It is always preferred to add some closing remarks before you sign off your email. A closing line makes the recipient feel good.
Examples of good closing lines include:
- “Thank you for all your help with this.”
- “Thank you for your patience and cooperation”
- I am looking forward to hearing what you think.”
- “Let me know if you have any questions.”
Follow the standard structure
Following a standard structure helps one to draft an e-mail that is short and up to the point. Usually this structure is adopted in most of the e-mails:
- The purpose of the email
- A call to action
- A closing remark
Following a defined structure even helps to write fast. The key to write short and concise mails is to follow a standard structure.
Proofread the E-Mail
Whether it is writing an article or an essay or a formal e-mail, proofreading is the key. Careful proofreading helps to correct errors and helps in writing short e-mails. It even lends a different perspective on what you have written.
- Read your email aloud to yourself.
- Checking for spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Avoid using any emoticons or chat abbreviations.
- Delete any unnecessary words, sentences, and paragraphs as you proofread.
They are an information that is included in every e-mail. It not only looks presentable but also helps to keep the body of the e-mail short. A strong email signature should be professional and must grab the attention of the recipient.
Usually a signature should include:
- Your name.
- Your job title.
- A link to your website.
- Link to social media accounts can even be included
Create an email signature that appears at the end of your Outlook messages automatically, or that can be added to individual messages. Personalized signatures can also be created for the email messages that include text, images, your electronic business card or a logo of your business.
End with a Closing Note
Ending the note with an appropriate closing is one other important factor. The use of closing words simply depends on how close you are to the recipient.
Words like “Best regards”, “Sincerely” and “Thank you” are used while writing professional e-mails. The closings such as “Best wishes” or “Cheers” should be used only when you are good friends with the reader.
As email is the most common form of business communication these days, thus, it is important to get it right. Writing short and up to the point e-mails is a skill in itself. How to Write a Formal Email is an art that needs to be mastered with time and practice.
A professional e-mail presents a good image of the company and hence it is very important that you master the art of how to write a business email. In simple words, it is making a first impression on the recipient. Limit yourself to five sentences and enjoy the communication via e-mail way!