How to Address a Formal Email

by Jeffery Keilholtz
Review emails before sending them to ensure they convey a professional tone.

Review emails before sending them to ensure they convey a professional tone.

Use care when addressing a formal email. While involved in a telephone conversation, you can pick and choose in the moment what you would like to say next -- and how to respond to a correspondent -- email messages are sent instantaneously to the other person in complete form. Formal emails demand clarity, precision and exceptional syntax. Constructing proper electronic mail messages presents a professional image and ensures your communications are top-notch.

Begin the email with a formal salutation. Greet individual correspondents as "Mr." or "Ms." -- but double check on the sex of the correspondent if they have an ambiguous name. Refrain from calling a woman "Miss" or "Mrs.," as these attributes have more specific connotations -- neither of which may refer to your correspondent. Begin an email with "Dear Terry," for example, if you are unsure of the correspondent's sex. Address a collection of people with "Dear Team Leaders," for example.

Establish a connection with the correspondent right away. Start the body of the email by declaring who you are -- if necessary -- and how you are familiar with the correspondent. Continue by addressing why you are communicating with the person and why your correspondence is important. Keep all formal emails pointed and succinct. Remain on topic at all times and display flawless grammar and syntax.

End the email with "Most Sincerely," "Best Regards," or another signatory salutation before writing your name. Include your contact information below your name -- mailing address, direct phone number, fax number, email address and website URL.

Double-check spelling of all names and grammar before sending the email. Create a short and punchy title for the subject line -- ensuring it relates directly to the content of the email. "Dublin Park Project Update," for instance, is a strong and simple title that lets the correspondent know the content relates to new information on a specific venture.

About the Author

Jeffery Keilholtz began writing in 2002. He has worked professionally in the humanities and social sciences and is an expert in dramatic arts and professional politics. Keilholtz is published in publications such as Raw Story and Z-Magazine, and also pens political commentary under a pseudonym, Maryann Mann. He holds a dual Associate of Arts in psychology and sociology from Frederick Community College.

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