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How to Write a Formal eMail Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Follow these five simple steps to make sure your English emails are perfectly profes­sional.
1. Begin with a greeting
2. Thank the recipient
3. State your purpose
4. Add your closing remarks
5. End with a closing

Begin with a greeting

Always open your email with a greeting, such as “Dear Lillian”. If your relati­onship with the reader is formal, use their family name (eg. “Dear Mrs. Price”). If the relati­onship is more casual, you can simply say, “Hi Kelly”. If you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, use: “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.

Thank the recipient

If you are replying to a client’s inquiry, you should begin with a line of thanks. For example, if someone has a question about your company, you can say, “Thank you for contacting ABC Company”. If someone has replied to one of your emails, be sure to say, “Thank you for your prompt reply” or “Thanks for getting back to me”. Thanking the reader puts him or her at ease, and it will make you appear more polite.

State your purpose

If you are starting the email commun­ica­tion, it may be impossible to include a line of thanks. Instead, begin by stating your purpose. For example, “I am writing to enquire about …” or “I am writing in reference to …”.

Make your purpose clear early on in the email, and then move into the main text of your email. Remember, people want to read emails quickly, so keep your sentences short and clear. You’ll also need to pay careful attention to grammar, spelling and punctu­ation so that you present a profes­sional image of yourself and your company.

Writing eMails

Add your closing remarks

Before you end your email, it’s polite to thank your reader one more time and add some polite closing remarks. You might start with “Thank you for your patience and cooper­ation” or “Thank you for your consid­era­tion” and then follow up with, “If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know” and “I look forward to hearing from you."

End with a closing

The last step is to include an approp­riate closing with your name. “Best regards”, “Since­rely”, and “Thank you” are all profes­sional. Avoid closings such as “Best wishes” or “Cheers” unless you are good friends with the reader. Finally, before you hit the send button, review and spell check your email one more time to make sure it’s truly perfect!

Ten Tips

1. Write a meaningful subject line.
2. Keep the message focused.
3. Avoid attach­ments.
4. Identify yourself clearly.
5. Be kind — don’t flame.
6. Proofread.
7. Don’t assume privacy.
8. Distin­guish between formal and informal situat­ions.
9. Respond Promptly.
10. Show Respect and Restraint.