Writing Business English Emails

business English
made easy

“Make your purpose clear early on in the email, and then move into the main text of your email. Remember, people want to read emails quickly, so keep your sentences short and clear. You’ll also need to pay careful attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation so that you present a professional image of yourself and your company.” – Wil

“Finally, before you hit the send button, review and spell check your email one more time to make sure it’s truly perfect!.” – Wil


Always use "Dear Mr. Jones" or "Dear Ms. Jones" (if you know the name. Don't use the first name but only the surname). If you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing to use "Dear Sir/Madam". Never use "Hello", "Hey" or "Hi" for a formal email.


There are several options for a closing.e.g.
• Thank you,
• Best regards or Kind regards
• Sincerely
• Yours - followed by your full name. Add your job title (if applicable) and phone number.


Remember that an email needs to be concise. The opening sentence could a friendly opening, but for most formal emails it is better to get straight to the reason for the email. Try and stick to a maximum of four paragraphs, each with a single point. Include a prompt for a response.

Your Details

Let us know how to get back to you.

How can we help?

Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.

Choose the best option

Although an email have to be concise and to the point, you may start with an opening sentence that can be used as a friendly greeting. Here are some examples:
• “I trust all is well with you.”
• “Thank you for your prompt reply.”
However, especially in a more formal email it is better to get straight to the reason for the email. Try and restrict the email to a maximum of four paragraphs with each paragraph containing a specific
point. It is also important to ask questions in order to request an answer. You could also add a CTA (call to action) sentence or a “thank you” at the end of your
last paragraph, depending on the type of email.
• “Thank you for your …”
• “Thank you for reading my email. I look forward to hearing from you.”
• “Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions.”
• “It would be appreciated if this could be taken care of promptly.”

Have a look at this PDF from Oxford University Press for more details on formal and informal emails.

Useful phrases and vocabulary

Thank you for your email.”, “In reply to your email, here are …”,  “I am writing to …” (clarify, confirm, inform you, follow up on, let you know, reply to, request, to tell you, thank you, update you)

“I am attaching …”, “I have attached …”, “Please find attached …”, “I am sending you the ……….. as an attachment”.

“I am writing to set up/arrange …”, “Where should we meet?” “Should I pick you up at/from …?”, “Could you collect me at …?”, “I would like to confirm …”, “Please let me know by this evening to confirm this.”, I am sorry but I can not …”, “This is to let you know that I have had to put off the…”, “I am afraid that I can not manage Friday.” 

“We regret to inform you…”, ” I am sorry, but …”, “We are not happy with …” I was disappointed to hear …”, “I am afraid that …”, Unfortunately, ….”, I am writing to complain …”, 

“I do apologise for the delay in replying.”, “Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.”,  “I am afraid that I can not help …”, “We must apologise for …”, We deeply regret …”, “My sincere apologies.”, “We apologise for the inconvenience caused.”, “Please accept our apologies.”

“I look forward to hearing from you.”, “Looking forward to your reply.”, “I would appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience.”, Do not hesitate to contact us should you need any assistance.”, Please let us know if you need anything else.”

people say...

"Email may well be your most productive marketing tool."
Dan Zarrella
"An email without clarity is like an annoying mime: Just say what you want or get out the way!'
Jordie van Rijn
"How to write a good email: 1. Write your email 2. Delete most of it 3. Send.'
Dan Munz
"Email is not going to disappear. Possibly ever. Until the robots kill us all.'
Paul Buchheit

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