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  • 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:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    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

    Many thanks

    I look forward to hearing from you.