Emails have become the pillar of most business communication. It is therefore important that you get it right. Emails need to be proficient to present a good persona of you and your business.
A well-composed email should deliver an approachable, clear, short and actionable message. Consider the following tips and best practices to help you write effective, professional emails.
How to Write a Formal Email
1) Subject Line
The subject line is the mini-summary of your email and entices your reader to open the email or not. A worthy subject line should be a 3- to an 8-word overview of the content. Subject lines that are excessively brief or lengthy cause misunderstandings.
Your greeting should be professional and crisp. Prefer to address the recipient using their name. Below are some suggestions - Good afternoon, Greetings, Dear Ms Jamie, Hi Jetson, etc. You can avoid greetings if you’ve recently or are in everyday communication with each other.
The purpose of your email should be at the start of the email. Recall the acronym B.L.O.T — Bottom Line on Top. The requestor information should be offered evidently and straight after the pleasantry.
Never hide your request or it can easily be overlooked or ignored. For instance,
• Please provide the report ASAP.
• Can you participate for the meet? Do let us know by EOD.
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4) Additional Information or Attachments
Some business emails may necessitate extra information. Include them thoughtfully. Also, put a mention if you have attached any document for the same in your mail.
5) Call to Action
Emails can easily be misinterpreted if there is any ambiguous region. So, near the end of the email, include a specific action and timeline. Do not assume the reader to understand the desired result from prior information. For instance, if you are sending the email to multiple people, clarify task responsibility by directly naming the intended person.
6) Closing Message
A closing message simply indicates that the email is complete. Use a brief, polite phrase to nicely round out your email. For instance - Thank you,’ Looking forward to your response, ’‘Kind regards,’ etc.
7) Sign-off & Signature
Include a sign-off of your name at the end of the email with proper name, email address and contact number.
8) Review or Proofread
Last but not least it is always advised to go through your mail once it is complete. Take a moment to check for grammatical or spelling errors and typos. You can take help of grammar checking tools like Grammarly.
Here are the most common formatting features –
• Use the standard font – Sans Serif
• Select the Font Type – Normal
• Use a uniform font colour. Avoid using multiple text colours
• Use Bold, Italics, Underline to Highlight, emphasize, or draw attention to an area of text
• Bullet points work best for unordered lists and use ordered list for mentioning steps or procedures
Every person receives a great volume of email. Write short emails that are concise yet clearly conveys the information.
Your reader, and their inbox, will appreciate it.