Online teacher 6

Write to impress: 9 tips to crafting a formal email + examples

Is anyone else fed up with having to read and write emails constantly?

But like it or not, emails are here to stay!

And email is especially important in the professional world – especially with so many people now working from home!

So, if you want to do well in your career, you need to know how to write a formal email!

You’d think this is a pretty basic skill to have, but no! I have received my fair share of horrendously written emails in my day! 

So, without further ado, I am going to walk you through step by step to write a polite and professional sounding email, starting with step one… 

Ace your formal emails: key tips

1. Use a clear subject line 

So simple, yet so enormously important! 

Here’s the thing: the subject line is the first thing your recipient sees, and it can determine whether they’ll open the email or not! 

When writing the subject line for your email, remember 3 things: make it clear, make it concise, and make it relevant to your email content.

A clear subject line also helps your recipients when they need to search the email again in later days. 

Here are some templates that you can use to write your email subject line:

  • Follow up [topic of a previous conversation, email, or meeting]
  • Reminder [upcoming deadline or event]
  • Meeting request [date, time, and meeting purpose]
  • Urgent [brief description of the urgent matter]
  • [Your name] – Job application for [job title] (if you are applying for a job)

So, before you send your email, be sure to read your subject line once again and consider yourself as the person on the other end. If they saw your subject line, would they open it?

2. Use a formal greeting 

Your greeting sets the tone for your entire email. A formal greeting shows that you are taking the email seriously and demonstrates respect for the recipient of your email. 

Using a formal greeting on your emails is considered an unwritten rule within the corporate world anyway, so you should master this skill! 

Here are a few examples of formal greetings to get you started:

  • Dear hiring manager, [if you are applying for a job] 
  • Dear [recipient’s name], 
  • To whom it may concern,
  • Dear Sir/Madam, 

Remember to use the appropriate greeting – consider the context of the email and your relationship with the recipient. “Dear [recipient’s name]” is usually pretty safe to use for anyone, whereas “To whom it may concern” is better suited for emails sent to recipients whose name is unknown, or the email is sent to several people.. 

3. Make your content clear and concise

If you are writing a formal email, it is pretty safe to assume that this email is used within a professional context, which means…. 


So it’s important to keep your content clear and concise. That way, your email can be easily understood even with a quick glance, and there’s fewer chances of misinterpretations and misunderstandings. 

With a clear message, you will also be more likely to persuade the recipient to take the desired action, such as replying to your email in a timely manner or setting up your requested meeting straight away. 

4. Be polite and courteous 

Another unwritten rule when it comes to professional correspondence – be polite and courteous! 

Being polite and courteous in your email demonstrates respect for your recipient and sets a positive tone for your communication. 

This can also help you build rapport – especially important for client correspondence and when you send an email to someone who you would be working closely with in the future! 

The reality is, sometimes written communication just doesn’t translate as well as oral communication. The same sentence can have different meanings and tones depending on how it is punctuated or emphasized.

So, always remember to write your courteously to minimize the chances of misinterpretation – both in meaning and tones. 

5. Use a professional closing

Think of it this way – the closing of your email is the final impression that your recipient is going to be left with. 

So, make sure to leave them with a positive impression! 

Here are some examples of professional closing that you can use for your email:

  • Sincerely 
  • Kind regards, 
  • Respectfully, 
  • Warmest regards,
  • Thank you for your attention,
  • Looking forward to hearing from you (typically used for job applications)

Many professional email closings also include contact information, such as email, phone number and a link to your website or linkedin. You might want to consider adding that to your closing if you think it’s necessary. 

6. Attach documents appropriately 

Now, let’s talk attachments – those handy files that often accompany our emails. If you’re including any documents, it’s super important to give your recipient a heads-up in the email body. A quick note like “Please find attached…” can save both you and your reader from the all-too-common attachment oversight.

But don’t just mention the attachment; take a moment to explain what’s inside. Is it the report from last month’s meeting? The proposal for the upcoming project? A brief description not only shows thoughtfulness but also helps your recipient understand the context without having to open the file right away.

Remember, attachments are like companions to your email – make sure they’re introduced properly and they’ll do their part in conveying your message effectively!

7. Use translation tools wisely 

Relying on translation software can be a real time-saver in our diverse, global work environment. However, it’s crucial to remember that these tools aren’t foolproof. Sometimes, they can get things a bit mixed up, leading to confusing or even incorrect translations.

If you’re using  tools like google translate to help craft your email, it’s wise to double-check the results. If possible, have someone fluent in English to review your translated text. This small step can prevent potential mix-ups and ensure your message remains professional and clear!

8. Edit and proofread

NEVER skip this step! 

Before you hit that send button, always read your email at least once more (or two or three times for good measure) to make sure that it is free of errors and is easy to read and understand. 

One thing that people often do is send an email without an attachment, even though the email is clearly meant to be sent with an attached file. So, make sure you avoid this mistake! 

Of course, you also need to ensure that there are no grammatical or spelling mistakes and any factual errors as well. 

Remember, one bad email can cost you your entire professional image. So, always be careful when sending emails!

9. Use email templates and examples

Facing the blank page every time you need to send a formal email can be overwhelming. That’s where templates and examples come into play! We’ve included some right here for your convenience. Use them as a starting point, and then customize to match the tone and content of your message. It’s a great way to ensure professionalism with every email you send!

Job application email 

Subject: Application for Marketing Manager Position – [Your Full Name]

Email Body:

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. My name is [Your Full Name], and I am writing to express my keen interest in the Marketing Manager position listed on [where you found the job posting, e.g., your company’s careers page, a job board]. With a [brief mention of your degree or most relevant qualification] and over [X years] of experience in the marketing field, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to [Company Name]’s success.

In my previous role at [Your Last Company], I successfully [mention a significant achievement or project that is relevant to the job, e.g., “led a team to develop and launch a digital marketing campaign that resulted in a 30% increase in lead generation within six months”]. This experience honed my skills in [mention a couple of key skills relevant to the job, e.g., “strategic planning, content creation, and data analysis”], making me well-equipped to tackle the challenges that come with the Marketing Manager role at [Company Name].

I am particularly drawn to this opportunity at [Company Name] because [mention something you admire about the company, its products/services, or its culture, e.g., “I admire your commitment to innovation and excellence in the tech industry, and I share your passion for delivering impactful marketing strategies that resonate with diverse audiences”].

Enclosed is my resume, which provides further detail about my professional accomplishments and skills. I am eager to bring my background in [mention a key area of expertise, e.g., “digital marketing and brand management”] to your team, and I am convinced that my proactive approach would make a significant contribution to the continued growth and success of [Company Name].

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my skills and experiences align with [Company Name]’s goals and how I can contribute to your team’s success. I am available for an interview at your earliest convenience and can be reached at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address].

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of contributing to your esteemed team at [Company Name].

Warm regards,

[Your Full Name]

[Your LinkedIn Profile (optional)]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email Address]

Email to schedule a meeting

Subject: Request to Schedule Meeting: [Meeting Topic/Project Name]

Email Body:

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I am reaching out to propose a meeting to discuss [briefly state the purpose of the meeting, e.g., “our upcoming project collaboration”, “the quarterly sales strategy”, or “feedback on the recent report I submitted”].

Given the importance of [mention the reason for the meeting, e.g., “aligning our strategies”, “ensuring we meet our project deadlines”, or “incorporating your valuable feedback”], I believe a dedicated discussion would be the most effective way for us to [mention the desired outcome of the meeting, e.g., “outline our next steps”, “address any potential challenges”, or “finalize the project details”].

I suggest the following potential time slots for our meeting, hoping one aligns with your availability:

[Date] at [Time]

[Date] at [Time]

[Date] at [Time]

Please let me know if any of these options work for you or if there are other times you’d prefer. I am flexible and willing to adjust to accommodate your schedule. The meeting can be held via [mention the platform, e.g., “Zoom”, “Microsoft Teams”, “Google Meet”] or in person at [location, if applicable].

I anticipate that our discussion will take approximately [mention the estimated duration of the meeting, e.g., “30 minutes”, “one hour”].

Thank you for considering this request. I look forward to your response and to a productive meeting.

Best regards,

[Your Full Name]

[Your Position/Department]

[Your Contact Information]

Email to ask more information regarding an assignment 

Subject: Inquiry about [Assignment Name] Requirements

Email Body:

Dear Professor [Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am [Your Full Name], a student in your [Course Name].

I am writing to seek clarification on the [specific aspect of the assignment you’re inquiring about, e.g., “upcoming research paper on historical events of the 20th century”, “group project on renewable energy sources”, or “case study analysis due next week”]. I have reviewed the assignment instructions provided during the lecture and on the course syllabus, but I find myself needing further guidance on [mention the specific information or aspect you are unclear about, e.g., “the expected structure and format of the paper”, “the criteria for selecting a suitable topic”, “the scope of analysis required for the case study”].

[If applicable, mention any specific points of confusion or options you are considering, e.g., “I am particularly uncertain about whether to focus my research on a single event or cover multiple events that share a common theme. Additionally, I would like to confirm if there are any specific formatting guidelines, beyond the general APA style, that I should adhere to.”]

I would appreciate it if you could provide additional guidance on these points or suggest any resources or examples that might help me better understand the assignment’s requirements. I am committed to delivering my best work and ensuring it meets your expectations and the course objectives.

Would it be possible to discuss this in more detail during your office hours, or would you prefer addressing my questions via email? I am available to meet at your convenience and can adjust my schedule to fit yours.

Thank you very much for your time and assistance. I look forward to your guidance and feedback.

Best regards,

[Your Full Name]

[Your Student ID]

Letter of complaint email

Subject: Concern Regarding [Issue] on [Date/Event]

Email Body:

Dear [Recipient’s Name or Customer Service Department],

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to express my concerns regarding an issue I recently encountered with [your product/service/experience], which I purchased/experienced on [date and location, if applicable].

Despite my initial satisfaction with [mention the product, service, or experience], I was disappointed to discover [describe the issue in clear, concise terms]. For instance, [provide a specific example of the problem, if possible, such as “the item arrived damaged,” “the service was not delivered as promised,” or “there was a discrepancy in billing”].

I had expected [mention your initial expectations based on the product descriptions, service promises, or past experiences], but unfortunately, [reiterate the issue and its impact on you, e.g., “this issue has significantly inconvenienced me/made it impossible to use the product/affected my plans”].

I have already attempted to address this issue by [mention any steps you’ve taken to resolve the problem, such as contacting customer service, returning to the store, or following any provided troubleshooting guides], but [explain any responses received or lack thereof].

Given the circumstances, I kindly request [state your desired resolution, such as a refund, exchange, repair, or other forms of compensation]. I believe this resolution would be fair and would greatly appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.

I have attached/enclosed [mention any relevant documents or evidence you are including, such as receipts, photos of the issue, correspondence with the company, etc.] to support my claim.

Thank you for considering my complaint. I look forward to your prompt response and a satisfactory resolution to this issue. Please let me know if you require any further information or details from my side.

Best regards,

[Your Full Name]

[Your Contact Information]

[Order Number/Account Details, if applicable]

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