How to Write Business Emails

Person Emailing

Emails. We all use them in the business world. Some use is appropriate. Some use is inappropriate. The purpose of a business email should be to convey basic information – no more. Tell your reader the “when, where, and how” of a business matter. Emails should not be sent in times of high emotion. Emails should not be drafted with sarcasm or off-color jokes. Professional emails should not be used as the first step to address a problem or concern with a colleague.

The culture of your organization and the relationship you have with the reader determines how formal your beginning and ending should be. For example, in a formal environment you may begin with the traditional, “Dear Mr./Ms.” and the person’s last name. A more relaxed, but still professional approach might be “Good Morning/Afternoon” and the receiver’s first name. Whatever you do, never resort to texting style language in a business email, such as “Hey U.”  It is helpful to end an email with a call to action, highlighting next steps, or a simple “thank you” for the reader’s attention.

It is also important to use clear and direct language in all business emails. This is especially important if you are communicating with different regions in your country or on the international platform. Different cultures interpret certain word choices differently. For example, if you use the slang “what’s shaking?” to be friendly, this might be misinterpreted by someone with a different background. Use the standard, “how are you?” Whenever you write a business email, keep it simple, to the point, and free of typos.

*Reposted from 9/2019

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