9 principles of writing business e-mails

April 11 2019

9 principles of writing business e-mails

Today electronic correspondence constitutes the base of every business. We exchange hundreds of e-mails with clients, contractors, and employees. It’s one of the most important work tools. And despite that, we sometimes make extreme mistakes. The lack of knowledge in the field of netiquette has a negative impact on the company’s image. Discover the basic principles of writing business e-mails.

Hit the subject

Did you know that e-mails without a subject go to the SPAM folder? Determine, in detail, what your message is about. Most mail boxes display 60 characters in the message subject field although smartphone users will see only half of them. What does this mean? The subject should include a maximum of 6 words. Some good advice: Don’t write that the message is an offer. Little chance anyone will open it.

Start politely

If you are sending an e-mail to a person for the first time, use of the following phrase: “Dear Madam/Sir”. Although, if you are corresponding for some time now then you may want to change the tone into a less formal one, meaning: “Mrs. Anna/Mr. John”. Addressing a person only with his or her name is permissible only when you know the person and have a friendly relation.


Avoid using “greetings” at the beginning of e-mails. It means the superiority of the sending party and may be used only by a person with a higher position. Some linguists state that it should only be used in reference to physical space (for example greeting a guest at home).

See: 5 tips on how to work in open space

Introduce yourself

Introduce yourself at the beginning of a message or remind the person about yourself. Let the recipient understand who is writing. If you’ve met during a business meeting, conference, workshop – inform about it. Do the same if any of your friends recommend that you contact precisely that person.

Be precise

At the beginning of a private message you should explain why you are writing. Do this precisely and in a simple manner. Don’t beat around the bush. The recipient wants to know why you are writing the message. Think what you really want to say even before you start writing.

CTA like in an ad

Do you want the recipient to react in a specific manner? Write about it. Believe us that the sentence “If you are interested in working together, please contact us by phone” may help you in establishing business relations. Also, at the beginning of the message indicate precisely that you expect an answer.

This may interest you: How successful people work?

Time to say goodbye

End a business e-mail with a polite phrase such as “Sincerely/Best Regards/Yours faithfully”. In the company footer include all contact information. Name, surname, company name and address, but also the website address. Don’t forget about the phone number and e-mail address. After all, you want the recipient to contact you right?

Pay attention to attachments

If you intend to send an attachment to the message then inform the recipient about it and describe in short what it includes. Make sure that the attachment is as mall as possible not to fill up the recipient’s mail box. Use such document formats which can easily be opened on any computer.

Take care of the aesthetics

An e-mail should be concise. There isn’t enough time to waste it on browsing through the mail box. Writing precise messages will save your time and the time of your recipient. Make sure that the message is nice to look at. Divide the text into paragraphs and use points. If your company uses a specific font, don’t be afraid to use it in emails.


The manner in which you write your e-mail determines the way you treat your recipient. Don’t use ready templates. Write precisely and show respect to the other person. Focus on formatting the contents so that the message is not only logical but also coherent in terms of graphic design.


Digital messages also follow the principles of correct grammar. Correct any grammar, stylistic, and punctuation errors. Read the message before sending it – this will allow to avoid misspellings. You’re not sure how to write something? Fortunately most mail software include a spell-check option.

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