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.
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.
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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
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
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 keep informing us about issues like this when they occur in subsequent times.
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,
A SAMPLE CONCLUSION
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your consistent patronage.
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.
Deciding the right phrase to handle different situations can be very tasking. As a correspondent, you are directly involved in critical day-to-day interactions via email. This makes your ability to craft good email messages, using the perfect phrases and clauses, tangential to your business success.
There is a book by Meryl Runion that will help you to a great extent:
Perfect Phrases for Office Professionals: Hundreds of ready-to-use phrases for getting respect, recognition, and results in today’s workplace
Overall, this book will greatly improve your communication skills. It will also help you easily clarify assignments with your manager or projects with your clients as well as guide you in handling the inevitable complaints that sometimes follow sales of products or services.