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The Best Way To Write Business Emails

One of the quintessential dilemmas that one faces whilst writing a business English email is what to write and how to write. We have a variety of English languages today, ranging from British English to American English, from Australian English to Canadian English, and from Indian English to Singapore English etc. However, American English and British English are generally considered the yardsticks, although Australian and Canadian English seem to be catching up!

Rather than procrastinating on the account of which variety of English to use, one must ensure that the email is to the point, addresses the issues or concerns at hand in a lucid and meaningful way, and uses correct grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. One of the most overlooked features of an email is its tone. It must not be overtly polite nor too casual to risk being easily dismissible. The tone of an email determines or sets the pace for future communication. Therefore, an email must be logically structured, contain a few polite phrases, have the correct tone, and be of appropriate length. No one wants to read a story!

As a rule of thumb an email for business purposes should have the following five points:

1. Address: An email should begin with a greeting. A ‘Hi’ is fitting in American or Canadian English, however, ‘Dear’ is applicable in British or Indian English. An appropriate greeting is determined by the the person receiving the email and the business culture followed by them.

2. Reference: An email needs to be referenced by thanking the recipient or sender. For example, phrases like “Thank you for your prompt reply” or “Thanks for getting back to me” are considered professional.

3. Reason for writing: The third most logical step is to state the purpose for writing the email. It must always be referenced, for example, “I am writing in reference to …”. Ensure that the reason for writing is kept to the point and clear.

4. Closing remarks: Polite remarks at the end like, “Thank you for your time and consideration” or “I look forward to hearing from you” are not only respectful but courteous as well. Avoid using phrases like “Please revert back to me” as they may be considered non-standard and only understood in the context of Indian English email writing.

5. Closing: Depending on the level of formality there should be a fitting closing address. For example, “Sincerely” for formal emails, “Best regards” for semi-formal emails or “Thank you” for either type. “Cheers” is informal British English, therefore, must be used appropriately.

Always make sure to review, edit and spell check before hitting the Send button!

For further help on Email writing, Presentation Skills, and learning more about Business English feel free to contact us at EAPTeachers.com.

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