How to Write a Professional Email | A Step-by-Step Guide

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Emails are an important part of business communication. Did you know the average American worker receives 120 emails per day? That is 28% of your working day and approximately 2.6 hours receiving and sending emails. That’s a lot of correspondence to sort through in a day!

One way to cut back on missed productivity is to take time each day to schedule emails. If you take 15 minutes a day to write and respond to emails, you will save yourself a lot of backpedaling. Each time you are distracted by an email, it derails your productivity.

Time is an essential aspect of the business world. You must respect the time of the recipients of your email as much as you do your own time. This means creating an effective business email.

When you compose an email, you want the recipient to open and read your email. Not only that, but you should also want the recipient to act on the call to action (CTA) you requested.

It may be more difficult than you realize, but this article will go over the steps on how to write an email; plus, we’ll cover the top email tips that will help you create a professional email, including the setup of an email address and email signature.

Step One – Identify the Purpose of Your Email

Stating your purpose will help you with the CTA (call to action) in your perfect, professional email. After all, your goal should be to get the reader to want to open, read, and follow the action requested in the email message.

Be Clear About Your Purpose.

  1. Tell the recipient why you have sent them an email.
  2. Explain what you need the reader to do upon receipt of the email.
  3. Indicate when you need this action to take place.

Step Two – Consider Your Tone

Consider who your intended audience is. If you are reading this post, you are probably looking to create a professional business email, but to whom?

  • Informal – This tone can be appropriate if writing to a friend, colleague, or coworker. You can use casual language in these emails.
  • Formal – This tone is most appropriate with business professionals like clients, managers, or business associations. It’s also very relevant when cold emailing or writing cover letters.

Step Three – Set Up a Professional Email Format

Subject Line

This is the real clincher – one of the most important parts of the email. You need to summarize the reason for the email; why should the recipient open your email?

Greeting

Here’s where you will want to address the sender. You may just want to include their name or place, “Hello” in front of their first name if you are on a more informal basis.

Body of the Email

Include the information you are trying to convey in as few words as possible; be concise with your message. Ask yourself why you are writing the email; clearly explain your purpose here. What information do you need them to have before taking action?

Closing

If you haven’t already, now is the time to give the reader your call to action. What do you want them to do next? You may need them to review something, reply with certain information, make a decision, provide you with feedback, or pay an invoice.

Treat the closing as you would a conclusion. Summarize your message and add your CTA.

Signature

Setting up a professional email signature can be a real time saver. Once you have it set up properly, you won’t have to include your name, company name, and contact details. Instead, they will already be in place. All you will be responsible for is the content of the email.

Here’s what you may want to include in your professional email signature.

  • Your full name
  • Your business title
  • Your company’s name
  • Your company’s address
  • Your work phone number
  • Your business website
  • Your email address
  • A professional image of you (optional)
  • Your company logo (optional)
  • Social media contact information (optional)

Step Four – Proofread Your Email

It’s always a good idea to double-check the message of the email. Try using Grammarly or ProWritingAid. Find a tool that will check your spelling and grammar. Read over your email before you hit send.

Step Five – Follow Up

If you haven’t heard from the recipient within a specified time, you may want to send them another email reminding them of the purpose of your previous email. If you suspect they have not received the email, you may wish to give them a call. You never know; your emails could have gone directly into a spam or junk folder without the recipient knowing about it.

Top Professional Email Tips

  1. Be concise.

    Don’t include fluff language. Eliminate unnecessary words, phrases, and/or sentences.

  2. Use a professional font.

    The clearest fonts are Arial, Cambria, Calibri, Verdana, Courier, and Times New Roman. Avoid a font size over 12, as this can appear too elementary for a business email.

  3. Be careful with formatting.

    Avoid using CAPS LOCK. It makes the text look like you’re yelling at the recipient. Watch your use of bold text, italics, and underlining; too much of that can make the content hard to read.

  4. Watch out for emojis.

    These are best reserved for informal contacts. Avoid using emojis in professional emails.

  5. Keep your paragraphs short.

    I think paragraphs are easiest to read when they are less than 4 lines altogether – not 4 sentences, but 4 lines. Shorter paragraphs are easier to digest, so keep the information as concise as possible.

  6. Don’t send repeat emails.

    Avoid “bugging” recipients after sending an email. If something needs urgent action, it’s best to call the recipient and let them know that you have sent them an email that you need them to act on right away.

  7. Use the bcc field.

    I read that it’s a smart idea to bcc yourself on emails. This way, if you want, you can print and file your sent emails in an organized manner. Also, it’s proof that the email was successfully sent, but you should be able to obtain this in your “sent” folder, as well.

  8. Be appropriate with your language.

    Avoid using slang or foul language in your professional emails. They don’t have a purpose there.

  9. Note the timing of when you send emails.

    What is the time zone where you are sending the email? If you are on the other side of the world, you may want to take the recipient’s time zone into consideration. Many people have alerts set up with their phones. The last thing you want to do is to wake someone up in the middle of the night, especially if the message is not urgent.

  10. Include plenty of white space.

    Here’s where the short paragraphs, normal margins, and bulleted or numbered lists come into play. Make your email look inviting. In fact, make it so that the recipient wants to open and read what you have cleverly written.

How to Set Up a Professional Email Address

It’s important to have a professional email address because many people see this first. In fact, 42% of people say the email address is the first thing they consider before opening an email. Therefore, you should have one that clearly represents who you are.

Have you set up your website? Do you have a name for your business? It’s important to remain consistent with your branding, especially when setting up your email account.

You want to make it clear you are not spam, so the recipient will want to open up your email. Plus, of course, you don’t want your email to automatically go to the junk folder!

When setting up your company, be sure to register the name yourself. Let’s look at an example of how to set up a professional email address.

Example

Your company name is called the Best of Indiana’s Airplanes, and you have successfully registered this name. You’ve even set up your website to be “www.thebestofindianasairplanes.com.” This would be very professional.

It’s fantastic if you were able to register your business name successfully as a website or blog. Now it’s time to set up your email address. When you do, you’ll want it to have your business’s name in the address. This way, when people see the email address, they know who it’s from and probably even why they are receiving the email from you.

You’ll want your email to be something like John@ thebestofindianasairplanes.com. This clearly shows that the email is from John at the Best of Indiana’s Airplanes. Therefore, it is not spam or junk because the recipient knows the business.

More Ideas for Setting Up an Email Account

Other ideas on how to set up your email address include:

  • Use your first and last name, plus the company name (Example: JohnSmith@ Company Name).
  • Use the first initial of your first name with your last name plus the company name (Example: J Smith@ Company Name).
  • Use your initials with your full last name plus the company name (Example: J R Smith@ Company Name).

To Sum Things Up…

What are your top tips when creating a professional email? If you have business or banking needs, we may be able to help. Interested in joining the Best of Indy?

Please share your best tips or thoughts in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you! Don’t forget to share this post, too! Happy communicating!

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