To whom it may concern –
Sending an email in the modern era is more casual and convenient than it has ever been before. Making plans with friends and keeping in touch with loved ones from across the world is only a few button presses away. But there exists a clear line between personal and business emails, a line that needs to be defined.
Writing the perfect business email may seem like a daunting and frightful task, but fear not. Addressing official recipients does not require a pocket-sized thesaurus (although I’d imagine it would certainly help!). One of the most important considerations when sending emails that are more official in nature is the language used. Slang words, colloquialisms and inside-jokes should be avoided at all costs. A note of formality is something that should be foremost. Politeness is key!
Professionalism is something that transcends language. Ensure that mentality is reflected throughout any business email you may send. Address the recipient with their full name and title, ensure you have signed off with your full name and credentials. Be concise, informative. Do not beat around the bush, this email ought to have a clear and defined purpose. This ideal should be reflected in the basic outline of any formal email:
- Main Text
And of course, check thoroughly for any grammatical and spelling errors.
Tonally, it is important to remain neutral. Do not let the subject matter sway you, emotionally. Allowing that to seep into the language you use and the emails you send can be quite problematic. You could potentially come across as hot-headed and extremely unprofessional.
This sort of neutrality and formality is all indicative of the unspoken law of Corporate email. Personal emails have a completely different set of standards and etiquette. Would you speak to the Queen of England in the same way you would speak to a childhood friend?
Sadun Chamira Perera, B.Eng