Email Writing 101: The Basic Format for Writing and Replying Official Emails

Email still remains the basic means of electronic communication for various official and business deals. As a result, our success in business or our workplace greatly depends on how well we communicate with this 21st-century electronic tool – email.

With excellent emails, you can impress investors, staff, colleagues, and customers in your organization. You can even access places not commonly accessed by people in your level. Many successful leaders in different organizations and businesses use emails more strategically than their unsuccessful counterparts.

However, the first step to achieving this is learning the format for writing official emails

Format for Writing Official Emails

A good and well-written official email should adhere to the rules of formal structure in order to be fit for reading. Some emails are dumped by the recipient because they are not appealing and cloudy.

Official emails are written in a well-defined pattern. The format for writing official emails is highlighted below with sample emails.

Formal Greeting

The first step to take when writing official emails is to formally greet your recipient. Remember, the first approach is very significant in determining if your recipient will read the email or dump it.

Your greeting can be ‘Dear Mrs. Robinson’ if you know the name of the recipient. In cases that you don’t know the recipient’s name, use ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.

This applies to the formal context, for example, email to recruiters, email to your boss, email to a prospective client etc

With the advent of the social media, other greetings are becoming acceptable in the business world, especially in cases where being formal is not a requirement.

You can write “Hi James”, “Hey Asher”, “Hello Simon” etcetera.

This applies to the emails that you write to people you meet in forums, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and so on.

Write out the Subject of Your Official Email

After the formal greeting, clearly write out the subject of your email. The subject of your email must prepare your recipient on what to expect in the main body of the email. Don’t leave the subject blank as it provides a clue to the recipient about the email. Also, your subject should not be too long but briefly stated. For example,

Subject: Application for a Study Grant

Subject:  Request for Your Products Catalogue

Subject:  Visa Processing Documents

Introduce Yourself

This is the first time your recipient will be meeting you, don’t move to the point without formally and briefly introducing yourself to create a sense of familiarity that will motivate them to read your email further.

I am Kate Jonah, the director of Zaret Wood Company.

A simple introduction like this will create an expectation in the recipient’s mind.

State the Purpose

main point of email message

State clearly the purpose for your official emails to the recipient. Go straight to the point. Don’t bore your recipient with old tales that are unnecessary. Don’t forget, your recipient has a lot of work lined up to be done. Boring him or her with old groggy tales will send them off your email.

Dear Mrs. Robinson,

I am writing to apply for a postgraduate study grant in the University of California.

In the official email above, the purpose of the email was first clearly stated.

Write the Main Message

The main message is where your recipient gets clear about the purpose of the official email. Don’t blab unnecessarily in your message. Organize your thoughts and present them in a coherent order. Write in paragraphs.

Give the email a logical arrangement that will make your notions easily understandable by the recipient. Avoid any form of informal usage or statement, and express yourself with simple and correct words.


Thanks for calling our attention to this problem. Please ensure you always inform us about issues like these if they happen again.

Conclude Formally

Official emails are procedural in nature. Therefore, your conclusion should be presented formally. Examples of formal conclusions are:

  • Yours sincerely,
  • Best regards,
  • Your student,
  • Yours cordially,
  • Respectfully,

Olatuniji Ruth,
Marketing Managing
Expert Steel Company

Sign Off With Your Full Name

It is an official email; therefore you need to affirm originality by signing with your full name, followed by other details such as the name of your company, the website or email address.


The sample below is a reply email to the client of Allen Steels Ltd over a complaint received on their late delivery.

Subject: Re: Late Delivery of Goods

Dear Mrs Akpan,
I am Olatunji Ruth, the Communications officer of Allen Steels Ltd.

Thank you for calling our attention to the late delivery of the order 47569-A for aluminum panels from our company. I understand that you made your booking about two months ago.

We are very sorry for the delay in delivery. It was due to a mismanagement issue with a staff who was unexpectedly off-duty on the correct day of delivery for your order. We want you to know we hold all our customers in high esteem and will always do everything possible to provide prompt, quality and satisfactory service.

We appreciate the courage you displayed by informing us about the problem of our service delivery; and we would like to appreciate you for that. When you are ready to make your next order, please inform me by sending a copy of your order to [email protected].

Thanks for your consistent patronage.

Yours sincerely,
Olatunji Ruth
Communications Officer
Allen Steels Ltd

The above sample is the format for replying an official email.


In conclusion, bear in mind that you must always check the working relationship between you and your recipient before you rush through writing an official email. Official emails should reflect your perspective of your recipient. Therefore, it must be well-organized to denote the level of your relationship with the recipient.

5 thoughts on “Email Writing 101: The Basic Format for Writing and Replying Official Emails”

    1. Hi Al mamum hosen,

      You can definitely work on your English. Consider taking one or more of our courses in the link below –

      Most importantly, don’t be deterred by your English. Keep communicating in English and keep a diary where you write in English and also note down the new things you learn in English. You will find that you will improve very fast.

      All the best!

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