Writing an e-mail: 9 tips for formal e-mails

All the best email writing practices you should know – summarized in one guide.

Email revolutionized personal and business communication. In the private sphere, it has largely been superseded by text messages and instant messengers, but in business it continues to be omnipresent – and for good reason. Nevertheless, many people make mistakes when Writing e-mails some mistakes, especially when it is a very formal communication.

How to write good Writing e-mails, Avoiding mistakes and following formal guidelines is shown in this post.

The right way to handle business e-mails

Emails are the main means of communication for many professionals. When it comes to non-urgent matters, where reaching for the phone is the first choice, e-mail is flexible and convenient. Especially when making first contact with previously unknown people and when sending messages to several addressees, the skillful handling of e-mails is required.

A non-professional Writing an e-mail, but leaves a bad impression and reduces the chance of a reply. In the worst case scenario, the sender can really embarrass themselves.

A professional e-mail The body of the e-mail, on the other hand, appears trustworthy, contains the most important information, and makes the recipient feel appreciated and in good hands.

Writing the perfect email: 9 tips

For professional success – especially when there is a lot of customer contact – the skillful use of e-mail is an important element. Some companies have realized this and even offer courses specifically for the writing of e-mails to. Below, we provide the most important information and tips on how to write the perfect email.

1) Subject line

The subject line serves to classify the message before the actual content is read. It should not be empty under any circumstances, is the highest with good friends, and even then an unfilled subject line is irritating.

This is where you write the content of the mail, summarized in as few and accurate bullet points as possible. In the best case only one to three words Present. For example, if you want the slides for a presentation for a meeting tomorrow from a colleague, suitable as a subject:

"Slides for tomorrow’s meeting"

2) Salutation and introduction

After formulating a salutation, a short introductory sentence is recommended. If you contact someone who is not known to you personally, ask yourself briefly in front of. That is on the one hand politely, on the other hand, the addressee can better interpret the rest of the mail by the information about you.

Also, the introduction can have a Context for the rest of the email provide, if the reader can not otherwise properly classify the content.

3) main part

Get to the point in the body. What exactly it’s about, of course, depends largely on the subject of the email and doesn’t follow any particular pattern. An e-mail should be short, after all, the other person does not want to read a novel and you also want to save time when typing.

A meaningful outline of the text by line breaks and New paragraphs is also offered to make reading easier for the recipient.

4) Conclusion

If you hope for something from the recipient of the e-mail, formulate at the end of the main part still a short call to action or one small summary of the main part in one sentence, for example:

"So please send me the slides by 20:00 this evening at the latest."

5) Greetings

Add a greeting at the end, followed by your name. This is also part of good form and behaves in the same way as the classic letter.

The greeting is certainly partly a matter of taste. Almost always can be used "Sincerely." or "Best regards".

When an higher placed is written to (z. B. professor, CEO of a large company) can also use the "Yours sincerely" offer, although this is now no longer very common. At friends and Colleagues an informal "Greeting" – or a more personal note – completely off.

6) E-mail signature

Many email programs offer a feature that automatically staples your email signature to the end of every email you send.

Into such belong apart from your Names and your Phone number another professional title, that makes your role and responsibility in the company clear to the reader.

7) Attachment

If the e-mail is to have an attachment, it should not be too large, otherwise problems may arise when sending it. Naming you the files in the appendix likewise in such a way that the names reflect the contents.

8) These are the mistakes to avoid

Of course Typos a quick way to make yourself unpopular with the recipient. These are often caused by too cursory writing. It is best to read through your sentences at your leisure before sending them.

The automatic spell check of many programs is a great help. But never completely rely on the software to find all errors.

In formal mails have Smileys do nothing, so refrain from doing so. Also the use of Irony usually has an irritating effect rather than convincing your counterpart of your boundless competence. The same goes for cynicism, by the way.

9) As a bonus tip

If you are writing a very short e-mail to a colleague with whom you have a good relationship, you can also use the exception "The e-mail will probably be with us for a long time" the entire content of the mail in the subject line pack. This way your colleague does not have to open the mail to read the message.

Writing formal e-mails is something every professional should be able to do

The email will probably stay with us for a very long time. So it’s worth investing some time to learn how to use it securely. Thereby the Writing a formal e-mail no trick and requires at most some practice and a pinch of empathy and social skills. For those who are interested in the technical intricacies and all the other tricks, it is worth attending a seminar on the subject of e-mails.

Header image: Olga Kurbatova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Originally published on 21. April 2020, updated October 27 2021

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