Have you ever felt stuck writing an email? Most people, including your average office worker, don’t know how to write an email effectively. In some contexts—in professional emails, for instance—emails can be relatively formal in their style. In other contexts, such as in a casual email, it’s preferable to use simple sentences and avoid formal language.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the simple steps of how to write an email. We’ll also provide you with email examples so that the next time you write an email, you can do so with confidence.
What Is an Email?
Email is a form of communication short for “electronic mail.” It is a method of exchanging messages through digital means. Email has largely replaced traditional letters and has become an integral part of our lives. According to Statista, the number of global email users is 4 billion and will grow to 4.5 billion by 2025.
Emails can serve almost any purpose. You can respond to a job posting by sending a hiring manager your job application via email. Or, if you already have a job, you can send a sales email or other professional messages. You can even send a personal email to a friend or a flirty email to a crush.
What Are the 5 Parts of an Email?
- Subject: In the subject line, you state what your email is about. A good subject line concisely sums up the email’s message and intent.
- Greeting: After the subject line, the next part of an email is the salutation or greeting. The greeting is essential when sending an initial email; however, it may be omitted in back-and-forth email messaging. Your greeting should match the tone of your email body. For example, you should use formal greetings in professional or academic emails.
- Body: The email body contains the main content of your message. Typically, the body of your email should be short, concise, and straightforward. However, a personal email would be an exception to this rule.
- Closing: The closing of your email should include a valediction—such as “best” or “cheers”—followed by a comma. Below the valediction, type your name.
- Signature: Your email signature appears at the end of all your messages. The signature for your work email address should usually contain your name, position, and contact information.
How to Write an Email: Beginning and Ending
Knowing how to open and conclude a piece of writing is one of the most important writing skills, regardless of genre. In this section, we fill you in on how to begin and end an email.
How to Begin an Email
Beginning an email well allows you to make a good impression. After all, the introduction of the email is the first thing your recipient sees, and it is often what determines whether they read the entire message.
As you begin your email, ensure you write the full and correct name of the recipient of your message. Maintain a professional tone in the introduction—or, for a casual or “semi-formal” email, adapt your tone accordingly. Include a greeting and state your reason for writing. If you can, come up with a strong attention grabber.
How to End An Email
When ending your email, close with your full name. For a work email, or if you’re contacting someone for the first time, you may want to be formal in your tone while still taking a friendly approach. Include a valediction, your name, and your email signature.
How to Write an Email: 5 More Useful Tips
Keep It Short
You may be tempted to write a lengthy email. However, consider that your recipient may be a busy person who receives overwhelming amounts of emails per day. You can save their time and yours too by keeping your email message short and to the point.
Avoid Including Emojis and the Overuse of Exclamation Points
Except in a personal email to a friend, you should avoid emojis. Work emails call for professionalism, and emojis aren’t professional. Similarly, the overuse of exclamation points can seem overly casual.
Always Include a Subject
Before the recipient reads your email, they see the subject line. For this reason, it is crucial to include a subject line to capture your recipient’s attention and give them an idea of what to expect. The subject that you write should always match the body of your email.
Be Aware of Tone
Here’s some general advice on writing: know your audience. If you know your audience and take the time to consider the context of your message, you can ensure that you strike the right tone in your email.
Read Aloud and Proofread
Before sending an email, read it aloud. Reading aloud is a useful technique for proofreading. You don’t want to have any typos or grammatical errors in your email.
Email Examples to Help You Write an Email
In this section, we give you real-life examples of how to write an email. This is to help you start writing an email as quickly as possible. Read on to see how to craft an email with our examples.
Email Example 1: Personal/Informal Email
Subject: Re: Hey!
Thanks for your last mail. I hope you’re doing well. How are your wife and your mom? Please send them my regards.
Last night, I was on my laptop, and I remembered how much you loved the movie Looking for Nemo. It was on Netflix, so I watched it. I really enjoyed it! You’ve always had great taste in movies.
To answer your question, I’m doing well! I finally finished that project I told you about months ago—I’m so happy to be done with it. How’s your new job going?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Email Example 2: Formal Email
Subject: Invitation to Speak at Our Annual Conference
Dear Dr. Smith:
My name is Hannah Morris, and I’m the event coordinator at Westham Company. Our annual developer conference is taking place in June, and my team and I thought that you’d be perfect as a speaker for the event.
I’d like to invite you to speak at our annual conference, which is scheduled for June 24, 2022. It will be in Los Angeles. I should have more details on the venue for you soon, if you choose to accept.
If you’re interested in participating or if you have any questions, please let me know by April 18. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Event Coordinator, Westham Company
How to Use Email Examples to Write Your Own
Look closely at the structure and tone of these sample letters as you go to write your own. It helps to know what you’re doing—after all, emails are one of the most widely used means of digital communication. Who knows? Maybe you’ll develop ace writing skills and decide to become an email marketer.
How to Write an Email FAQ
Your email should be formatted to look like a physical letter. This means you should use proper punctuation and carefully chosen language. Ensure there are no grammatical errors or typos. Also, your message should consist of short sentences and be straight to the point.
A good email username for professional contexts will include your full name. Try to avoid numbers and special characters. An example of a good email username is email@example.com.
The basic dos and don’ts of writing emails are as follows. Include a subject line, state your purpose in your introduction, and pay attention to your tone. When sending out professional emails, proofread and pay careful attention to your grammar and send a follow-up email after receiving a reply. Don’t neglect email etiquette.
There are three basic types of email: a personal or casual email, a “semi-formal” email, and a formal email. In email marketing, things get more specific: there are newsletter emails, lead nurturing emails, promotional emails, milestone emails, and survey emails.
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