Writing an email in English is challenging in itself: you have to make sure you’re using the right format, vocabulary, and grammar. Using business English makes this even harder, particularly if you’re not a native English speaker.
Not only do you have to make sure the format of the email is formal and professional, but you have to use appropriate business English vocabulary. The English that you studied in school probably did not include business English words; thus, you may have to learn a whole new set of vocabulary.
You can, of course, take a business English course and learn how to properly craft a professional email in English; however, here are three important tips now to get you started.
How to Write Business English Emails
1. Use Greetings and Closings
There are common ways to open and close business emails in English. Learning these will make your emails more professional and also make you more confident in your writing skills and enable you to compose business emails more easily in the future.
Always begin your email with a greeting. Greetings vary depending on your relationship with the person you’re contacting. If you don’t know the person well, begin with Dear followed by the person’s family (last) name and a comma. You should use a colon in very formal situations.
Dear Mr. Smith,
If you don’t know the person’s name, start the email by saying To Whom It May Concern.
To Whom It May Concern:
If you’ve met before and are familiar with each other, you can use Dear and the person’s first name.
If you’ve met several times and use first names when speaking, then it is acceptable to use their first name. It’s common to use Hi, Hello, or just the person’s name.
To end an email, write an appropriate closing and then your name. Common ways to close an email include the phrases Best regards, Thank you, and Sincerely, followed by a comma.
2. State Your Purpose
After you greet the recipient, you should thank him or her for contacting you or answering your question (if necessary).
Then, tell the person the purpose of your communication.
I’m writing to enquire/ask about…
I’d like to…
I’m writing in reference to…
Make your reason for contacting him or her clear. People read emails quickly, so you want your point to be quickly understood. Ensure that your spelling, grammar, and vocabulary is correct so you appear professional and reflect well on your company.
3. Add Closing Remarks
After using a greeting and stating the reason you are contacting the person, it’s polite to thank the person one more time and possibly reference future contact.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Thank you for your consideration.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you.
After these remarks, you can end the email with an appropriate closing (i.e., Best regards), followed by your name.
To write a professional business email, ensure that you use an appropriate opening and closing, state your purpose clearly, and write some brief closing remarks.
If your job requires you to use English often, it may be worth taking a business English course. In the business world, it’s vital to understand how to communicate professionally by email and in person.