Have you ever wondered if your email sounds polite enough for your English-speaking colleagues or customers? Or maybe wondered why we tend to keep things so short and simple? The information below should put you at ease and who knows maybe you’ll bluff them into thinking you’re a native speaker yourself.
If you are on a first name basis then use “Hi Sarah”, or if you fear that you are being too informal “Dear Claudia” is ok. If this is the first time you are emailing them and they are not a peer then use Dear Mr./Ms. Johnson.
Just a quick simple pleasantry such as: I hope all is well since we last spoke.
I hope the day is treating you well.
Thank you kindly for your prompt response. It is most appreciated.
These are nice ways to initiate a conversation. You have to ease your way into a conversation with an English-speaker.
Contact details; call back, reason for the email
Contact details: If this is your first email then it is always polite to inform the recipient where you received their address.
Call back: If you met the recipient at a networking event, party or elsewhere it might be nice to remind them who you are and where you met.
Reason: It is also nice to let the recipient know where this email is going, give them a heads up with a phrase like “I would appreciate your opinion”, “We need to set a date for…” or “I have an update on…”
Body of the email
Information that you want to relay, including the situation and the action that should be taken. For example:
The meeting for Tuesday has to be cancelled, as Ms. Reardon will not be in the house. Please reply and tell me if Wednesday will work for you.
Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I look forward to your response.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Keep It Short and Simple
Subject line should be well defined
Subject: Meeting postponed till Monday 23 Jan.
If everything is said in the subject line already then a simple “nm” in the body of the email let’s everyone know that there is No Message (it was all said in the subject).
Don’t forget to run spell check and double/triple check to make sure that the recipient’s name is spelled correctly.
Avoid common homonym mistakes
Before you send, ask yourself
Did you capitalize the first letter in your sentence after Dear? Have you attached the document you mentioned in the body of the email? Is my punctuation correct? Avoid??? or !!! it comes across as too informal and rude.
Read your email out loud to make sure that the tone of your email is appropriate. Don’t forget to add please and thank you here and there.