These tips for professional emails are vital in today’s information age. When we were in school, most of us learned how to write formal letters. Now that we are in the information age, many of us struggle to apply those lessons to email. Quite a few of the elements of a formal letter simply aren’t a part of email correspondence, and even professional emails we often receive tend to be somewhat informal in tone.

If you are struggling with feeling confident in your professional emails, there are a few rules to keep in mind. Read on to learn more.

Tips for professional emails

Tips For Professional Emails

When in Doubt, Go Formal

If you are writing an email to someone you have a very friendly relationship with or this person has often written you emails that are informal in tone, it is okay to be more casual in your correspondence. But if you feel any sense of doubt, go formal. Formal is safe and acceptable in any professional situation. This means using an official greeting (Dear Mr. Ms.) and salutation (Sincerely,) as well as reserved language.

Even in Informal Correspondence, Use a Greeting

If your relationship is casual enough that using “Dear” would feel off-putting, opt for a different greeting. A simple “Hello” or and “I hope all is well” is a solid way to start the email without making your tone feel stuffy.

Start with Purpose

Once you have given your greeting, state your purpose. This should be worded in simple, clear language that cannot be misinterpreted. You should also use this to guide the rest of your email. Think of it as your thesis statement.

Keep it Simple

It is tempting to get everything taken care of with one email. The problem with this is that is can be confusing and overwhelming for your audience. Stick to your statement of purpose and keep your focus narrow.

Even in Informal Correspondence, Use a Salutation

Thank you, Sincerely, Regards, Best Wishes—all of these are perfectly acceptable ways to sign off at the end of your email. If you use a signature, you might be tempted to consider that replacement to your salutation, but don’t do it; the two should be kept separate.

About That Signature

Out of all the elements of a professional email, this is the one people struggle with the most, likely because it is something few of us would have received instruction on in school. A professional email signature should be short and simple, including no more information than you would put on a business card. Avoid inspirational quotes, photos, and other extra items.

With these tips for professional emails in mind, creating your next email should be simple and stress-free.

Tips for professional emails

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November 24, 2015

Tips For Professional Emails

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