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  • Anna Zänkert

Business English: How to write an email

You would like to write a professional email to a colleague, your boss or a company? We’ve got you covered.

As with all things we do a lot, there are “standards” in business emails. Before we get into common phrases, think about the person you are writing to.

How formal or informal are you with this person?

This will determine not only the salutation and the way you sign your email off but also the general tone and word choice.

After the salutation, it is always nice to enquire about people’s well-being. You can do this directly if you are quite informal (How are you?) or indirectly if you are formal (I hope this finds you well.)

Reason for contact

Continue then with giving your reason for writing. E.g., Further to our correspondence from 14.05.2021, … or for enquiries, We would be grateful if you could send us sales literature including full specifications.

When you are writing your body, make sure to make it reader-friendly.

• One paragraph for one aspect.

• Standard capitalisation rules and orthography.

• Try to limit the length of your email – short and concise is the way to go. It's an email and not a novel.

Before you sign off, include a phrase on how people can contact you in case of questions. E.g., Please do not hesitate to call in case of questions.

Make sure to include a signature. This can and should be your company’s standard. However, you can extend this. For example, if you always finish off putting Best regards [name] then you could put this into your signature as well. This will be a time-saver and you do not need to think about it anymore.

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