The email is a method of exchanging messages between people using electronic devices. It consists of two major sections, the message header, and the message body.
It includes the following fields:
- From: Your own email address.
- Date: The local time and date when the message was written.
- To: The email address of the recipient.
- Subject: A brief summary of the topic of the message.
- CC: (Carbon Copy): Recipients’ email addresses are visible to all other recipients.
- BCC: (Blind Carbon Copy): Recipients’ email addresses are not visible to anyone.
It includes the content of the message.
Write an Effective Formal Email in 7 Steps
If you want to write an effective formal email that gets a good impression, follow these seven tips.
1. Use a professional email address.
- It should be a variation of your real name, not a user name or a nickname.
- Use periods, hyphens or underscores to secure an email address that’s just your name, without extra numbers or letters if you can.
2. Use a short and accurate subject line.
Use keywords in the subject line that suggest exactly what you are writing about, in just a few words. This helps make sure that readers don’t overlook your email because the subject line is missing, too vague or suggests the email is unimportant.
Subject lines like “quick questions “, “contacting you” or “email of important matter” are too vague or obvious to be not useful.
3. Make your message clear and to the point.
- Start the salutation with “Dear ….” followed by a formal name including the person’s title (Mr., Mrs., Dr.… etc.) with their last name followed by a comma or a colon.
- If you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing to, use a salutation like “Dear Sir /Madam” or “To whom it may concern”.
- Don’t start with “Hello, Hey, Hi, or other informal salutation.
- Introduce yourself in the first paragraph if you are writing to someone you don’t have an existing relationship with, such as a new customer, hiring manager or government official. Tell them how they are and why you are writing. Do this in the first and the second sentence of your email.
- Prioritize the most important information. Put the most important content near the top. If you are writing to a government official, for an instant, you might start with:
“My name is ……. I obtained your email address from ………. I am writing to you about ………. /to tell you …………. “
- For the formal email, it is OK to be direct, as long as you are polite. Beating around the bush will only lose your reader and make it harder to figure out what you want or need from them. If you are writing, for an instant, to your professor, it is preferable to say:
“I am a student in your……. class and I am writing about ……………………………”
- Use formal language. Since formal emails are written for professional contexts, you need to give a good impression by using complete sentences, polite phrases and avoiding things like slang, unnecessary contractions, profanity, jokes, …… etc.
4. Follow expectations for style, tone, and formatting.
- Stick to a professional font: Most email services now allow you the option to write using a variety of fonts like Times New Roman and Arial. Avoid decorative fonts like Comic Sans or Old English.
- Write your email in legible font size, such as 12 point type.
- Avoid special styles like italics, highlighting or multi-colored fonts unless they are warranted by the content and purpose of the email.
- Don’t use all caps. These make it seem like you are shouting at the recipient.
5. Keep it Brief.
There is no set length for how long an email should be but
- If it is long, break it up into short paragraphs.
- Insert a line break between each paragraph instead of indenting.
6. Use a Proper Form of Closing.
There are a variety of closings accepted in formal emails. Make sure to follow up with your full name and job title or other signature under one of the following ending:
- Yours sincerely,
- Yours cordially,
- Your student,
7. Before Sending the Email, Make Sure of:
- Including any necessary attachments mentioning them in the body of the email to let the recipient know that they are included.
- Proofreading your message for any spelling or grammar mistakes. It is a great way to use a checker to correct mistakes and improve phrases.
- Not including any sensitive information in the email keeping in mind that email is not a secure communication system so it is not secure to include things like passwords, account numbers or any other confidential information in the email.
In One Word,
You Should Consider the Following to Write an Effective Formal Email
- Make a good first impression.
- Use a professional email address.
- Include a strong subject line.
- Start with a greeting using the recipient’s title and surname.
- Tell the recipient who you are.
- Stick to the point.
- Write in complete sentences.
- Keep your tone and language very professional.
- Use proper punctuation.
- Make requests politely.
- Avoid spelling mistakes and capitalize words appropriately.