Email is one of the most common means of contact both within and outside of the office. You would almost certainly use email in any way, regardless of your profession or sector, due to its pace and reliability. Professional emails can be written for a number of purposes. For example, you may need to summarize an important meeting, share information, communicate an important update, or submit an introduction letter.
A formal email is usually sent to someone you don’t know too well or to someone of authority. Your professor, a public official, or even a firm in that you do business are all examples of people to which you would send a formal email.
If the office is formal, use formal emails with your supervisor and coworkers unless otherwise instructed. Many offices are becoming more informal, and this frequently extends to email messages. If you’re unsure of what’s best for the workplace, ask.
Now, let’s see how to write a formal email in 7 steps & at the end combine all the steps & voilà you will have a complete formal email. So, let’s just dive right in –
STEP – 1 : Subject Line
The subject line is what the reader sees in their inbox. If the subject line is misleading or missing information, your email may not get read. The message may even be sent to spam. The more formal your email is, the more detailed your subject line should be. But beware of making your subject line too long.
Here’s an example of a formal email subject line:
- Required Student Meeting: December 5th, 9:30 a.m.
STEP – 2 : Begin with a greeting
It may seem odd to address a stranger on the Internet as Dear, but it’s standard in formal correspondence.
When possible, it’s best to put the recipient’s name. Follow it with a comma or colon, as in these examples:
- Dear Chad,
- Dear Mr. Oswald:
- Dear Ms. Picard-Mimms:
- Dear Professor McGonagall,
If you’re not sure whether a woman you’re writing to is Ms. or Mrs., then Ms. is usually the safer option. Another solid, gender-neutral approach is to simply put the recipient’s full name:
- Dear Alex Lee:
By contrast, the generic Dear Sir or Madam seems impersonal and should be avoided.
If you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, use:
- To whom it may concern,
STEP – 3 : Thank the recipient
If you have something to be thankful for, you can do so at the beginning, so it doesn’t sound like an afterthought. Some examples:
- Thank you for your kind contribution to Red Panda Conservation International.
- Thanks for your interest; my client would be more than happy to chat at the time you suggested.
The goal here is to get right to the point; you don’t want to leave a busy reader guessing. Thanking the reader makes him or her more at ease and makes you look more friendly.
If you’re writing to a stranger with whom you’ve never spoken before, start the body of your email with Step 4, which is mentioned below.
STEP – 4 : 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 your research on “XYZ”.
- I am writing to inform you about my leave of absence from 14-16th of May.
Make your intention clear early in the email, and then proceed to the main body of the email. Bear in mind that people like to read emails fast, so keep your sentences brief and to the point.
STEP – 5 : 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.
- Thank you for your consideration.
And then follow up with :
- If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to let me know.
- I look forward to hearing from you.
STEP – 6 : End with a closing
The last step is to include an appropriate closing with your name. For instance :
- Best regards
- Thank you
Avoid closings such as “Best wishes” or “Cheers” unless you are good friends with the reader.
STEP – 7 : Take a moment to proofread
Looking at what you wrote before sending it shouldn’t be a time-consuming task: Remember that the perfect email is brief. Make sure your salutation is correct (there’s nothing worse than learning the name of the person you just emailed was misspelled) and that you say thank you when it’s appropriate. Check that any proposal you make is concise and simple to grasp, but not sudden or arrogant. Maintain a professional impression of yourself and your business by paying close attention to pronunciation, spelling, and punctuation.
So, this is all the ins & outs of a formal email. Be sure to follow all the steps properly.
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Aqib Adnan Shafin
Content Writing Intern