Writing and receiving emails has become an inevitable part of everyday life, both in private and business correspondence. when writing an email to your family or friends, you can be as informal as you like. But wait, are you sure you can write a proper business letter to your boss or a client? There are a few rules of business email etiquette that everyone should follow, even if you’re not a native English speaker.
don’t be scared! In this article you will find 10 tips on how to be professional in writing business letters.
1. the subject says a lot
No doubt, a subject line is the first thing a recipient reads. The decision of whether or not to open an email depends highly on how the subject line looks. Make sure the subject line is simple, specific, but catchy. Use key words that briefly summarize the content of your message. “FYI” in the subject line is a commonly used abbreviation of “for your information“.
2. start your email with greetings
There are many variations of greetings you can start your email with, but the most standard ones are: dear first name last name dear sir/madam. last name dear mr./mrs. first name surname dear dr. surname to whom it corresponds
It is always important to have a contact name, unless the recipient is unknown (in the case of “to whom it may concern”). if necessary, feel free to call and ask for the person’s name. Some people use informal greetings, such as “good morning” or “hello.” It totally depends on how formal your relationships are.
3. say thank you
If a person has responded to your email, you should thank them by writing “thank you for your (prompt) response”. It is important to start an email on a positive note as it creates a good first impression of you.
4. be clear and precise
No matter how complex your email seems to be, try to clearly define your purpose at the beginning of the email by writing “I am contacting you as…” or “I am writing in reference to/regarding…” . helps the reader understand the purpose of your email.
It’s important to be clear and precise, as most entrepreneurs don’t have time to read every email they receive. Being specific about the purpose of your email will save time and will be greatly appreciated.
5. save someone’s time
according to the mckinsey global institute survey, we spend 13 hours a week or 28% of the workweek managing email. apparently, this is not a pleasant fact! So, to save everyone’s precious time, keep your emails specific and concise. It’s also a good idea to divide the body of the email into multiple paragraphs, depending on the issues you raise. you can also use bullet points, which makes it easier to read.
6. informal vs formal
The way you talk depends on who you’re talking to. it usually comes naturally and is based on your relationship with a partner.
also applies to emails. here are some examples showing different ways of writing the same thing:
informal: can you…? formal: I was wondering if you could… informal: I’m sorry, I can’t see you. I am busy that day. formal: I’m afraid I won’t be available to do it that day.
7. everyone likes snacks or don’t avoid the negative
It’s never easy to deliver bad news! but it’s something you have to do sometimes, when you work in a business environment.
A good way to do this is to first provide the reader with neutral or positive information. only then move on to the negative part, explaining what caused it and why it’s important. the final part of the message should provide a possible solution to the problem or an optimistic note. it’s like making a sandwich!
Your goal here is not to hide or minimize the scope of the problem, but rather to leave the reader with the impression that you care or are taking steps to fix it.
8. the last vote
Before ending your email, thank the recipient one more time by saying “thank you for your consideration.” It’s also very common to add “if you have any questions, feel free to contact me” or “I look forward to hearing from you”.
9. write a closing to your email
Okay, you’re almost there, but here’s another thing to do:
Because you’ve already created your email beautifully, it also requires a beautiful closing. there are many ways to do this, and again it depends on the formality of the relationship between you and the reader.
Choose the most suitable phrase before writing your name. – yours sincerely, (when you know the recipient’s name, formal) – best regards or cordial greetings (formal, more common) – take care, thank you or have a nice day (less formal)
10. check your email
wait! don’t send it yet! it is very important to re-read the email carefully before hitting the send button. check for typos, grammar, punctuation, or inappropriate use of words.
It’s always good to ask someone else to proofread it for you. Remember that you cannot retrieve the email once you have sent it! Those are basic tips for writing a business email. Some of you may feel that there are too many rules to follow, but we assure you that you will get used to them with practice. So why not try writing a formal email to your teacher or classmates? happy to email everyone!
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