Writing a Business Email

business email

Business emails effectively help to coordinate efforts when working on projects and to inform or question employees. In order to make business correspondence through email more efficient, a number of rules should be observed. Abiding by these rules will not only help distinguish your emails from others in the recipient’s mailbox, but it will always leave a positive impression on your business partners.

Steps for Writing a Business Email

  1. Compose a subject line that will reflect the content of the email. For example, if you are asking a subordinate to provide you with a monthly report a week in advance, you can title your email: “Monthly report deadline change.”
  2. Write the main body text. Usually, a business email is no longer than two or three paragraphs. Don’t include any personal information.
  3. Attach all documents you need to send with the email, assign CCs if needed, and insert hyperlinks to important information not included in your email.
  4. Insert the electronic address of your recipient. This is done to avoid situations when the email is sent to a wrong correspondent, or when you accidentally send a draft or an unfinished letter.
  5. Proofread your email. Check to see if the hyperlinks work. Also, scan the attachments with antivirus software and check whether all attached files open.

Topic Selection

A business topic for an email usually refers to an urgent matter, an upcoming meeting, the introduction of new employees, new tasks, a document that needs to be sent, and so on. Each email should refer to only one topic. The topic is often reflected in the subject line. Therefore, it should represent the topic specifically, otherwise the recipient can miss important information due to ignoring an email with a strange title.

Key Points to Consider

  1. A business email is a less formal type of writing compared to a paper letter. You don’t have to observe all the rules that a written letter should comply with. Business emails are also more concise—information contained in them should be straight to the point.
  2. One business email letter should be written on just one topic. Accuracy in such details will make the correspondence easier to maintain, since all the letters in the chain will refer to the same topic.
  3. The address of the mailbox used to send the email to your business partners matters. The email address should be easy to spell and easy to remember. Also, it must be noteworthy. The best option for an email address is to use your first name, initials, and your last name.
  4. When an electronic copy of a document must be sent via email, copying the document’s contents and pasting it into the body of your email is not a sound idea. Reading long expanses of text right from the mailbox is tiring. Instead, attach the document you want to send as a separate file.

Do and Don’t

Do

  • Do start your business email with a greeting. This gesture shows good manners, and besides, it is an integral part of any letter and not necessarily a sign of formality.
  • Do always compose brief but informative subject lines. They should be written like summaries so that the recipient can quickly understand what the letter is going to be about.
  • Do keep your business email brief. Try to make it straight to the point immediately after the greeting.
  • Do consider the possibility that your email can be forwarded to others if the initial recipient finds that your letter might be of use to others.
  • Do choose an ending phrase that you will always use to finish your business emails. Being consistent, even with such small details, will show your correspondents that you are a reliable business partner.
  • Do proofread and edit your emails before pressing the “Send” button.
  • Do enter the recipient’s address after you’ve finished typing the text. This way, you can minimize the risk of sending a letter to the wrong person.
Don’t

  • Don’t use exclamation marks. A business email should be neutral rather than expressive. Also, make sure to avoid overusing capital letters, since it is often associated with shouting.
  • Don’t use Internet-slang acronyms, such as BTW, IMHO, and others.
  • Don’t use any abbreviated verb forms. You should write He is, I would, You should instead of He’s, I’d, You’d, and so on.
  • Don’t compose a new letter each time you need to answer an email on an existing topic. Instead, use the “Reply” button, so that your email will be sent as a response within the same subject.
  • Don’t forget to include your contacts in the signature block of the letter. Also, make sure that your name, position and the name of the company are specified.
  • Don’t use unusual font styles or colors, at least until you are sure that this is acceptable. Don’t use emoticons either.

Common Mistakes When Writing a Business Email

- Self-promoting oneself heavily. If your business partners receive an email with details of how significant your position is and how great the company is that you work for, they will most likely stop reading the entire letter.

- Forgetting to fill in the subject line or making it too vague.

- Sending an email with text that is not divided into parts. If the text of your email is lengthy, it is a sound idea to break it into subsections, each with its own heading, and create bulleted lists so the recipient can navigate through the email more efficiently.

- Forgetting to attach files or copying the content of the to-send document and pasting it into the body of the email.

Check out our business email samples here.

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Samples for Writing a Business Email

Duties and Responsibilities

To: Norman WatesCC: Lucia Saranton, Arnold WeissbergerSubject Line: Duties and ResponsibilitiesHi Norman,I am James Dean, your new project manager. First of all, I am glad you are now working for our company—I've often heard positive comm...

Improvements of Online Survery

To: Ellie PontelCC: Greg RendoSubject Line: Improvement of Online SurveyText:Hello,The online survey, "What can we do to improve your experience on our website?" could be improved in several ways. I was thinking the design is t...

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