Email Writing 102: Seven Tips for Writing and Replying Official Emails

    Official emails are not like the emails you send to your friends to tell them how much you’ve missed their company. They are emails uniquely designed to disseminate vital information on official issues. Such emails are business-based and strategic in nature. You can’t just write them from emotional feelings; you need to consciously create them to suit an official situation.

    Seven Tips for Writing and Replying Official Emails

    The seven tips highlighted below will help you become better in writing and replying official emails:

    1 – Choose Your Words

    Words are powerful tools to administer knowledge. What you know can only be fully presented as ‘adequate knowledge’ if words are knotted together in a meaningful way.

    You can’t wake on a morning with an illusion of a ghost telling you to inform the whole world that the sky will fall on the sand. I’m sure your listeners will nod their heads in pity to indicate how unprepared you are for the challenges and chances of the day. This applies to our choice of words when writing.

    When you choose words that send wrong signals to your readers, it shows you are not prepared.  What you say is important as the way you say it. Choose the right words such as formal terms that portray your email as official whenever you are writing or replying an official email.

    Instead of “I write to inform…” say “I hereby write to inform…” Choose words that are formal and suitable for official situations.

    2 – Study Your Sender’s Thoughts

    Prepare before you reply an official email. Don’t be the character that reads an email sleeping, and wakes to give an illusory answer. Study an email with preparedness to respond appropriately.

    Replying official emails is not a ‘ding-dong’ job; it requires adequate study of what the sender expects as a response. If you can get your sender’s thoughts, you can be sure of giving a good response in your emails. The right response to official emails will make the results strong and lasting.

    3 – Avoid Grammatical Errors

    It is fun to write to your friends breaking the rules of grammar nonchalantly but such alterations can send your recipients (in official emails) many miles away from your business.

    Grammatical errors drain your official emails of their formal taste and aura. Wrong use of language, punctuation marks, spelling errors, make your ideas sink into the pit of inconsistency and produce a wrong understanding.

    4 – Respond Quickly

    Besides writing and replying official emails with the right words, there is a need to actualize the effectiveness of promptness.

    Don’t keep the email of your sender aside, respond fast. This will create a good impression about your company and what you stand for. It is a sign of laxity to keep an email that requires a response on the ‘awaiting list’ instead of giving a quick and well-presented response.

    5 – Respond with Reference

    In the business field, a reference to the sender’s email makes your customers aware that you really took time to study their complaints or questions before responding.  Reference makes your response to official emails reliable.

    Here are ways to use references in replying to official emails:

    1. Refer to the email that prompted your response to show the value you place on your sender.
    2. Draw out answers to all the questions of your sender.
    3. Highlight your response to all the issues identified in the sender’s email.
    4. Be brief about your response but ensure you don’t leave it out of your email.

    6 – Go Straight To the Point

    When replying official emails, there is no need to provide unnecessary information that could lead to superfluity.  Rather, go straight to the point of reference.

    1. Make your point laudable.
    2. Avoid unrelated points as they create disjointed contents.
    3. Be straight to the point.
    4. Save your recipient some relevant time and energy that could be maximally employed to perform other tasks.

    Remember, time runs on tasks and your recipient has series of tasks running with time. Save the recipient time by minimizing fallacies and maximizing facts.

    7 – Start Formal and Finish Formal

    Begin in a formal way and end in an official manner. Don’t start your official email as if you are responding to your friend or someone you are on familiar terms with. This will be absurd for a formal setting.

    Start with ‘Dear’ followed by the receiver’s name and a comma.

    For example, say

    ‘Dear Mr John’ but don’t say ‘Dear Friend’.

    Be specific about the receiver you are referring to. The most formal way to start is using ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Madam’. Don’t use ‘Dear Ma’.

    To end an official email, you can use ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Best regards’ followed by your full name. However, the most formal way to end is by using ‘Yours faithfully’, followed by a signature line to affirm the formality of your email and then your full name.

    The seven tips above will help you replying official emails professionally and in the long run, you will have well-presented official emails.

    Dr. Ayoade Oyedotun
    Dr. Ayoade Oyedotun
    Dr. Ayoade Oyedotun is the co-founder of Afrimash - An Online Shopping Site for Agricultural Items. His daily work encompasses customer service, sales and marketing, human capital management, and business operations management. He is passionate about working smarter using the Internet technology.

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