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Your Complete Guide to Writing A Professional Email

Moustafa Ahmed August 2, 2022 3 min
how to write a professional email

Sending a professional email has different purposes that include exchanging information, putting an appointment for a meeting, asking for a salary raise, or even applying for a job. Being proficient at writing emails is a quality that will be needed whether you’re a candidate, employee, or entrepreneur. Let’s know how to write a professional email to achieve your goals.


What Are the Major Elements of a Professional Email Structure?

An email is like any other message, it has a sender, a recipient, and a reason for sending. A professional email has a fixed structure, and each element in it has its role, and they’re as follows:


1- Email Address

It’s the source that the sender uses to send an email to a recipient. To make it more relevant in business emails, the email address is usually in that form [email protected]. This section appears to the recipient before opening the email, which makes them feel safe to display.


2- Subject Line

Why you’re sending this email? A single email could be part of deal negotiation, follow-up, inquiry, or request. It’s another section that the recipient can see before viewing your message. 


It should clearly represent the body of the email. According to the subject line, the recipient has to expect relatable content to the subject line. Any kind of misleading subject line prevents the recipient from reading the email to the end. 


3- Salutation

How do you start a professional email greeting? Good question! After opening the email, the recipient should find the salutation at the beginning. Is there one recipient or many? Is the recipient a coworker or a manager? Do you personally know the recipients and their marital status? 


The answers to these questions are factors that guide you to a suitable salutation. Using “Dear” is the perfect choice for a formal salutation, this could be beside the position title only, or  First Name/ Full Name/ Last Name, or you could even add Mr./Ms./Mrs. between dear and the name. 


According to the identity of the recipient, you will choose your greeting. In case you don’t know who actually receive this professional email, you could just use “To whom it may concern”, but even if you don’t know the recipient’s name or title, “Dear all” would be better.


4- Body

It’s the content of the message. It consists of 3 main parts, the start, which is an introduction to the topic you’re discussing that should hook the recipient’s attention, and the middle, which is the core of the email that illustrates what you clearly want to discuss using your presentation and negotiation skills, and the end, which is a smooth closing encourages the recipient to reply, do the request included in the email, or other actions. 


5- Signature

After finishing the email, the recipients should find your name, occupation, and other contact information they could need in the future. You can also embed your personal picture to be part of the signature. Adding links that access LinkedIn profiles and portfolios will surely be a plus. 


4 Steps to Consider Before Writing Your Professional Email

An email is one of the most efficient and widely used forms of communication and documentation in the work environment, not fully mastering this tool could make you behind,  here are 4 steps to care about before writing a professional email:


1- Use a formal email address

Check the email address you’re using to send the email, is it empty of nicknames, slang words, or many numbers? Then it’s good to go.


2- Choose an attractive subject line your recipient can understand

A subject line is the title of your email that drives the recipient to open or ignore it. Write a subject line that grabs the recipient’s attention considering 4 main points:

  1. It represents the objective of your email and its body.
  2. It coincides with the recipient’s occupation or role.
  3. It is clear and creates an urge to make the recipient open the email.
  4. It should be in the form of a Call to Action (CTA) if the event is suitable.


3- Make your font a strength point

Using a suitable font helps the recipients to read the professional email to the last word comfortably. The best fonts to use in this case are Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri.


4- Determine the attachments the email should include

Sending an empty email, that should have included attachments, puts you in an embarrassing situation. Before start writing your email, attach the files you need to send. Check the files out before sending by clicking on them and finding out how they appear and if there is anything wrong with them. 


5 Points to Cover on Writing a Professional Email

Here we discuss general principal points you should consider before, during, and after writing a professional email. They are crucial pieces of advice, and taking them into consideration makes writing any future professional email an easy task.


1- Before you start, determine your major objective! 

Like any other message, it has a purpose, which asks for action or waiting for a reaction from the recipient; Therefore, the professional email will prove its success when the recipient does what is necessary to the sender.


2- Indicate the right tone your email should encompass

Adopt a suitable official attitude in every email; however, the recipient is the main factor that controls your tone. Sending an email to a hiring manager differs from your direct manager, and they both differ from the way you email a coworker.


3- Keep the body clear and short

In writing your professional email, you should consider that the recipients have so many emails and messages that they should read and reply to. Try to keep your copy direct, comfortable to read, and easy to understand.


4- Don’t Double check, triple it if you can!

Proofread every single word in your email, and check grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Any accidental fault could change your recipient’s impression of your message. 


5- Your mission doesn’t end with pressing “Send”, follow-up!

Give your recipient a 48-hour period, then send a follow-up email that reminds them of the previous email’s main objective through a polite summary. Here, you show your recipient how determined you are in the topic discussed.


How to Reply to an Email Professionally 

A reply has the same structure as any other email. One of the major characteristics of a reply is being part of a thread, it’s not a starter of a conversation, it’s part of an ongoing conversation that could include different parties from different departments or businesses.


The important thing to remember with a reply is that the sender should use confirm receiving the recipient’s last email, even if it’s obvious you have received it. So,  you’ll write at the beginning expressions, like “I’ve received your email”, “I confirm receiving your email”, “Thank you for reaching out to me” or “In reply to the last email you sent”. 


How Do You Apologize Professionally in an Email

There are many reasons you can send an apology for. You might have missed a meeting, made accidental mistakes in a task, missed a deadline, or even fallen into a behavioural mistake due to work pressure. Everybody can do a mistake at work. But the way of apology is what makes it authentic and honest.


First of all, the subject line should represent that it’s an apology. Choose lines like “Please accept my apologies” or “An apology from [your name].”


Any apology has 3 parts that should be well illustrated to be an effective one. Each part has its role and can’t skip the other part’s roles, and they include:


  • Confession

It begins with the confession, where the one who made the mistake informs the other party that an action he has made was wrong and harmed them in a way. 


  • Empathy

This takes us to the second part, where the apologizing person shows empathy and mentions how this action might have harmed the other party’s time, work, or feelings


  • Solution

The third part discusses a practical solution that cancels the effect of the mistake made. It rebuilds a new connection with the recipient to reinforce the relationship that could be affected.


In the body of the email, you should use the first person “I” in an active voice clarifying the actual reason for this mistake like “I was under work stress.” 


Now, you can write a professional email with no faults or accidental errors. So, getting what you need from the recipient will be easier!

Need Extra Help?

Check our blogs you’ll find more about how to achieve supremacy in making a good impression, and writing cover letters will be a simple task by following Whitecollars guidance. If you need any help with your career, choose the best package we’re offering through the career counselling service

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