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How to write professional emails?

Email has become an integral part of communication in the business world, and it is essential for business English students to master the art of writing effective emails. Emails are a way of presenting yourself and your organization to potential clients, partners, or colleagues. Therefore, it is crucial to write them appropriately and professionally. In this article, we will discuss some dos and don'ts for writing business emails, highlight the differences between formal and informal emails, and provide examples.

Dos for Writing Business Emails:

  1. Use a Clear and Concise Subject Line: The subject line should give a brief overview of the email's content. A clear and concise subject line can help the recipient prioritise and organise their emails.

  2. Address the Recipient Appropriately: When addressing the recipient, use their name or their title if you are not sure of their name. Using "Dear Sir/Madam" or "To Whom It May Concern" may come across as impersonal or outdated.

  3. Keep the Email Short and Sweet: Business emails should be short and to the point. Avoid using lengthy sentences and complicated vocabulary. Stick to simple, direct language and avoid using jargon or technical terms that the recipient may not understand.

  4. Proofread Your Email: Proofreading is crucial in any business email. It helps you avoid spelling and grammar errors that may give a poor impression of your professionalism.

  5. Use Appropriate Sign-Offs: Choose an appropriate sign-off for your email based on the relationship you have with the recipient. For example, you can use "Best Regards" for formal emails or "Thanks" for informal emails.

Don'ts for Writing Business Emails:

  1. Don't Use Slang or Abbreviations: Slang and abbreviations are not appropriate in business emails. Avoid using them, even in informal emails.

  2. Don't Write in ALL CAPS: Writing in all caps is equivalent to shouting in the online world. It may come across as aggressive and unprofessional.

  3. Don't Use Emoticons: Emoticons or emojis are not appropriate in business emails. They may make the email appear casual or unprofessional.

  4. Don't Use Colloquial Language: Colloquial language is informal language used in everyday conversations. It is not suitable for business emails.

  5. Don't Write Lengthy Emails: Lengthy emails are often ignored or postponed to be read later, and in some cases, they may not be read at all. Therefore, avoid writing lengthy emails and stick to the essential points.

Formal vs. Informal Emails:

In business English, it is crucial to differentiate between formal and informal emails. Formal emails are used when writing to people you don't know or people in higher positions, such as managers or executives. In contrast, informal emails are used when writing to colleagues or people with whom you have a friendly relationship.

Here are some differences between formal and informal emails:

  1. Addressing the Recipient: In formal emails, use "Dear Mr./Ms./Dr." followed by the recipient's surname. In informal emails, you can use the recipient's first name or a casual greeting such as "Hi."

  2. Tone: The tone in formal emails is polite and professional, while the tone in informal emails is more casual and friendly.

  3. Vocabulary: Formal emails use more formal vocabulary and avoid colloquial language or contractions. In contrast, informal emails use simple vocabulary and may use slang or contractions.

  4. Length: Formal emails are typically longer and more detailed than informal emails.


Formal Email:

Subject Line: Inquiry About Job Vacancy

Dear Mr. Johnson,

I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inquire about the job vacancy for the marketing manager position that was advertised on your company's website......

Happy writing!

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