How to Write a Professional Email

Welcome to this blog on how to write a professional email!

No matter where you are in life right now, you most likely use Email. Whether you are in middle school, high school, college, or already have a job, Email is a widely used form of communication. We use it to communicate with our teachers in school, send content to our friends, exchange information with fellow colleagues at work, and so much more.

At the beginning of my 8th grade school year, more than half my teachers spent the first two lessons complaining about how students don’t know how to write proper emails. They would spend the whole class time showing a presentation about the parts of an email. Now, if you’re one of those students who the teachers complained about because of your emails, no judgment as well. In fact, you’ve come to the right place!

This blog is about the steps to take to write a professional email. After this blog, the next time you email someone, they will be super impressed with the level of professionalism you have. You could even be an example for the next the teacher has a lesson writing an email (lol!)

An email can tell you a lot about yourself and your personality. One wrongly-worded email could leave a bad impression of you in someone else’s head. In order to ensure that that sort of thing doesn’t happen, here are 10 steps to writing a professional email:

1. Identify your goals

Before you write an email, ask yourself what you want the recipient to do after they’ve read it. Once you’ve determined the purpose of your email, you can ensure everything you include in your message supports this action. For example, if you want the recipient to review a report you’ve attached, let them know what the report is, why you need them to review it, what sort of feedback you need and when you need the task completed.  

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-write-a-professional-email

2. Consider your audience

When writing an email, you should always know who is on the receiving end of it. If it’s a group of friends, then it doesn’t have to be that professional. However, if it’s going to a teacher, principal, or boss, you would obviously write in a different way than if you were emailing your friends.

If you’re emailing someone you never met before, you’re probably not going to want to include any jokes or informalities. On the other hand, if you’re emailing a person with whom you have a good relationship with, you can write in a more friendly tone.

In total, knowing your audience can help you write a more appropriately worded email.

3. Keep it concise

how to write a professional email

No one, including myself, would want to receive a really long email with many paragraphs and tons of words. The person who you are writing to could be in a time crunch and not have that much time to go over what you have to say. Try not to address too many subjects at once as this can make your message lengthy, challenging to read and difficult to take action on. You should take out any irrelevant information that is not going to add any value to the message.

Use short and simple sentences by removing filler words and extraneous information. Along with this, as teenagers, we believe that using complex and long words makes us sound smarter (I’m guilty of this too), but I realized that it only does the exact opposite.

By following these things, you can make your note shorter and easier to read.

4. Use proper etiquette

Communicating via email or text doesn’t display our tone accurately. Sometimes, when we want to say something nice, we could come off as rude and demanding. For example, telling someone to do their work and finish their task.

In order to prevent the confusion of whether you are mad, happy, frustrated, or something else, just try to be as kind as possible and use proper etiquette. Include a courteous greeting and closing to sound polite. And, be considerate of the recipient and their time. For example, don’t ask someone to do something when they are on vacation or a holiday.

5. Use the right subject line

The subject line of an email has a lot more importance than we give it. The purpose of the subject line is so that the audience knows exactly what to expect when reading it and is able to locate the message easily if needed.

I try to make my subject lines short and lowercase. For example, “Meeting Update,” or “Quick Question.” Make sure that it accurately reflects the intention of the email!

6. Start with a greeting

how to write a professional email

“Always open your email with a greeting, such as ‘Dear Lillian’. If your relationship with the reader is formal, use their family name (eg. ‘Dear Mrs. Price’). If the relationship is more casual, you can simply say, ‘Hi Kelly’. If you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, use: ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.” (englishlive.ef.com)

Beginning your email with a greeting is a nice way to set a friendly tone for the rest of the message.

7. State your purpose

People always want to read their emails quickly, so state your purpose and say exactly what you want/need. After your greeting, you could say, “I am writing to enquire about …” or “I am writing in reference to …”. This will help the reader to understand exactly what you want/need and be able to communicate with you clearly.

8. Remember to follow up

A lot of times, people forget to reply back to emails because they get tons of them every day or maybe they are on vacation. Whatever the reason is, you can follow up within a couple of days to a week after the initial email has been sent.

9. End with a closing

Your closing is the last section/sentence of your email before the signature and should wrap up the message. You can summarize the main text of your email or reiterate anything you’ve said before that is important. Here is an example:

“I look forward to speaking with you on Wednesday. Thanks again!”

10. Proofread your email

7 Brilliant Tips on How to Proofread Emails | Grammarly

Always, always proofread your email! A single grammatical error may hurt your professionalism so be sure to read it over again yourself, ask someone to look over it, or use Grammarly!

Look for any spelling, grammar or syntax errors. Along with this, double-check to make sure that you’ve included any attachments you have referenced in the text.

The Takeaway

With professional emails, you can go far in your education and career. All it takes is these 10 tips:

  1. Identify your goals
  2. Consider your audience
  3. Keep it concise
  4. Use proper etiquette
  5. Use the right subject line
  6. . Start with a greeting
  7. State your purpose
  8. Remember to follow up
  9. End with a closing
  10. Proofread your email

For more tips on how to write a professional email, check out this video.

Here is one example of an effective and professional email from indeed.

Subject Line: Re: Availability for Introductory Meeting

Hi Elizabeth,

I just wanted to check back in regarding the date for your meeting with Mr. Al-Jamil. Just let me know whether June 5 or June 6 works better for your schedule.

Thank you!

Adam Moore
Executive Assistant
123 Company

Along with this, be sure to read my blog on the importance of writing in 2021! It may not relate to emails, but it will definitely help you start writing and potentially gain a new skill!

All forms of communication are important, and email is one digital way of doing so. Writing emails may not be the most fun thing to do with your time, but this skill is incredibly crucial for all your endeavors in life, whether it be for education, your 9-5 job, or a business!

I hope this blog taught you something new, and even if you already knew all these tips, kudos for you on writing professional emails. Whenever you have to write an email, keep these 10 tips in mind and you’ll be composing effective emails in no time!

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