Five Tips for Writing Your First Business Email in English
Writing emails in a language that is not your native one can be scary. Indeed, when the email is for work purposes the experience can be even more unsettling. Questions on the top of our minds as we sit looking at the computer are: How should I begin? What kind of tone should I use? How long should it be?
However, don’t worry. We are here to help. With these easy tips you are on your way to successful emailing in English.
1. Make use of the Subject Line
Even before you think about how you are going to write the email you need to think about the subject line. A short concise message will grab your contact’s attention.
Here are some examples:
– FAO John Daily Re St. John’s School Project
– Query Re St. John’s School Project
– Response to Job Posting in New York Times 4/01/2010
Note that the abbreviation ‘re’ when used in emails means regarding or about.
2. Don’t be too formal
The advantage of emails over the traditional letter format is that they are much less formal. Whereas in a letter you are required to write:
With an email, you can start with
Hi or Hello or Good Morning/Afternoon
In general, it’s good to keep the tone conversational.
3. Some Opening Lines
When Starting or initiating contact.
First, introduce yourself and your company
– This is ________ at _______
Then, explain the purpose of the email
– I am writing to put forward my application for____
– Just a quick email to ask you/let you know that _______
– I am getting in touch with you to ask you/let you know that _____
– I am writing to inquire about _________
When Answering an email
– In response to your query____
– Just getting back to you regarding _______
4. Keep it Short and To the Point
Emails are short and fast forms of communication used to ask and respond to questions. As a result they should be kept as brief and to the point as possible.
5. Finish as You Start
Given that you started the email in a conversational/informal manner, you should finish it in this way. Some ways to finish up a business email are
Regards or Kind Regards
I look forward to hearing from you.