Email is a necessary tool in today’s digital age. It isn’t going anywhere, and office workers will probably have to use it for the rest of their lives, as long as they are working in the corporate world. To save time, corporate professionals probably need quick and easy email formats for fast communication between colleagues and clients. Read on to find out what are some of the email styles and formats that can be used when composing a professional email.
1. Formal Emails
A formal email is used when conducting business with a new associate, executive, or when sending a professional inquiry, or corresponding about a job. As a rule of thumb, formal emails should not be improvised, and its format includes a clear introduction, body and conclusion.
Be sure to include a clear subject line as it is the first piece of information your reader sees even before opening the email. A clear subject line is succinct and accurate, it indicates the content of your email in a few simple words.
Basic formal email etiquette includes salutation such as “Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms”, followed by the surname of your recipient. For example, “Dear Mr Tan”. In the event where you do not know the surname of your recipient, use “Dear Sir/Madam”. For a more general greeting, you can use “To whom it may concern”.
Style wise, language used in a formal email should be concise and short, with simple structure. Break up important information into several paragraphs to avoid confusion. Before you send your email, make sure to include your name and signature along with your job title and company name. Sign off as “Yours faithfully” if you began your email with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “Yours sincerely” if you began the email with “Dear Mr Tan”.
A Semi-formal email is used when you have to communicate through email with someone you do not know well or who are outside your regular working relations. Semi-formal emails can be written for a colleague, teammate or a subordinate as well. When you begin a semi-formal email, you can address the recipient by name – for example, “Dear Sam”. The writing style is slightly less formal than a formal email, but politeness is still necessary. Modesty and dignity should still be maintained with a proper greeting, introduction and a call for action. Suitable sign-offs include “Best regards”, “Always”, “Best wishes” and “Cheers”. Feel free to sign off with your first name as well!
An informal email is written to any relatives, family or friends. There are no particular rules for informal email writing. You can use any language of your choice and write any content you prefer. When you open with a greeting, you can address your recipient by name or even their nickname. Exclamation marks are permissible and language is generally friendly, casual and relaxed. Contractions and colloquialism are also widely used in informal emails. Common sign-offs include “Love”, “Lots of love” and “With love”.
Learn How to Craft Professional Emails at School of Language International (SLI)
Are you having trouble differentiating between formal, semi-formal and informal emails? Or maybe you need help crafting professional emails for work. Why not sign up for SLI’s business English classes to learn how to communicate effectively in English for your business?
Too busy to attend classes in person? Fret not as we have online English classes available for busy working adults in Singapore as well! Visit our website to find out more about our range of English lessons today.