Business emails are like a representation of ourselves and reflect our personalities to the reader. This is because, most of the time, the people you are sending these emails to have never met you; and they don’t know what you look like or how you conduct your business. In fact, they may not even be convinced that they can trust your integrity. However, your e-mails can tell a whole lot of things about you and the way you do business.
How Your Business Emails Can Help in Accepting Invitations
Your e-mail can communicate two things to a prospective client; it can either say-
Hey, here at XXX Limited, we take our business and our clients very seriously.
Hey, here at XYZ Limited, we really don’t care about our clients, what we want is their money.
If you were a potential client who has to make a choice, I bet you would go for the former company for obvious reasons.
It is highly essential to commit as much energy and time as is necessary for communicating with business associates via e-mail. It doesn't necessarily have to be your clients; as long as it’s not a personal mail, write as professionally as you can.
I can remember a situation where I sent a proposal to a company via e-mail and after a review at the board meeting; my proposal was rejected due to financial constraints at the time. Some years later, I got a mail from one of the board members of that company; he was looking for someone who could write grant proposals for a company he had just floated. According to him, he was very impressed with the way the proposal I submitted to the aforementioned company was written and when he discovered that he needed someone to write grant proposals for him, he immediately remembered that proposal and made up his mind that he was going to look for, and hire the same person that wrote it.
Upon informing him that I wrote the proposal myself, he immediately hired me and has referred more people to me after then.
You never can tell who would be behind the computer reading those emails. Mails get forwarded, they get reviewed and discussed and that is why you cannot afford to send a carelessly written e-mail, ever. If it’s got your name written beneath it, then it’s got to be perfect!
Sometimes, you get emails inviting you for events, sponsorship, meetings and a host of other things; and it is important that you respond as professionally as you can.
It doesn't matter if your response is going to be positive or negative; it has to be well-crafted, showing appreciation and confirmation of attendance or apologies/rejection of offer/regret for absence as the case may be.
Your refusal or acceptance e-mail should be structured in this order:
- Acceptance /Rejection of offer
Now, let’s examine each point one after the other:
I’m pretty certain that if you've read this article up to this point, you’ll know what a salutation is but just in case you don’t, salutation means greeting- you know, like “Dear Sir” or “Dear Ma”.
Every business e-mail has to start with a salutation. You can decide to make it more personal and say something like “Dear Friend” or if you like, address the person by their first names; something like “Dear John”- it all depends on the level of your relationship with the person.
However, it’s always safe to keep it at “Dear Sir/Ma”, especially with clients.
Next, you have to show appreciation to let the person inviting you to know that you indeed appreciate the gesture. It doesn't matter whether you’ll be attending or not.
This is where you want to chip in a thing or two. If you've been invited to a charity luncheon, for instance, you would do well to commend the effort of the organizers of the event. Although, this may not be necessary if the person inviting you is not the organizer of the event.
Acceptance/Rejection of Offer
At this stage, you have to confirm your attendance; and if you won’t be attending, apologize and state the reasons for your inevitable absence. You may also want to add that you wouldn’t mind attending a similar event in the future. Don’t forget to confirm the venue, time and date.
Now, let’s a look at a few samples of emails on accepting invitations:
Accepting Invitations Sample 1
Re: Invitation to Lunch
I’m indeed honored by your lunch invitation. I believe it would be a great time to exchange ideas and further discuss our proposed business relationship.
I have checked my schedule and the time is just perfect. Le Château Hotel is a very great place with excellent food and wine and I would be meeting you at the restaurant by 2 PM on Thursday, 29th August, 2014.
I look forward to seeing you.
CEO, Whitestone Ltd
You see, simple, short and straight to the point; in few words, you would have succeeded in appreciating the invitation and confirming your attendance. You would have also succeeded in ‘breaking the ice’ such that when you eventually meet up for the lunch, you would have an introductory topic of discussion- most likely, how cool the venue is and then you can build your conversation from that point.
Accepting Invitations Sample 2
Re: Invitation to the Launching of the Red Ball Foundation
I received with pleasure, your invitation to the Red Ball Foundation launching party. I feel honored to have been chosen to be a part of this spectacular event.
I am indeed impressed by your efforts to set up a foundation to increase awareness and support women suffering from cervical cancer; a disease that has snatched away so many of our precious mothers and sisters. I believe that the Red Ball Foundation would help with fighting this monstrous disease.
Thankfully, my calendar is clear for that date so I have saved the date and would be attending the event.
I wish you a successful launching event.
CEO, Whitestone Ltd.
In conclusion, professional e-mails are very easy and fun to write. You just need to learn the basic skills and formats, and then tweak them to suit specific needs.