Writing Effective, Formal, Official Emails

The life before the advent of Electronic Mails has been something we could never even fathom. Since the time when long-distance communication becomes necessary human has created and advanced through various means of communication starting from pigeon to the freaking technology, we use now. But if you could pay attention, you would notice that a certain invention from the history stayed with us retaining its importance despite the advancement of technologies resulting in even faster means of communication. That spectacular invention is none other than the email. Few things like Newspapers and Printed books never lost their importance despite the revolution of the internet and advanced gadgets. Just like the same E-Mail has never become old-fashioned and continues to be our designated means of formal communication since its evolution. The various benefits of E-Mails cannot be listed as almost every business communication takes place through E-Mails. So as a student it becomes mandatory for you to learn how to write an effective email. If you believe that writing an E-mail is not that much of a big deal and you feel like we are exaggerating it, then this article is especially for you.

What if we said that writing E-Mail is an art? Yes! That is what we say. It is an art that needs dedication and practice to master. Fortunately, this article is all about teaching you that art. Part yourself away from this world and drown in this article. You are going to learn the art of E-Mail writing.

Do you have a professional email address?

            This is the first and foremost thing to concentrate on. Do you have a professional email address? We are not talking about something like ‘name_cool_781996@blabla.com’. A professional E-Mail address will be short and mostly represent your name or your organization. So if you haven’t one, create immediately. Example: John.official@gmail.com, bbamantra@gmail.com


We assume that you have your professional E-Mail address ready. So let’s write an email.

  • Font Matters

Even though you have the freedom of choosing a variety of fonts on E-Mail nowadays, do not get carried away with fancy looking fonts. Always stick to the evergreen Times New Roman or Arial. This is the first step in writing a formal E-Mail. And also stick to the consistent font size. i.e., 12 points. Never hit on Caps Lock button before writing your mail. Also, you do not need to decorate your mail with bold and italics unless it is necessary.

  • Subject

The subject must be the short version of your email. It should portray the idea of the email in a single sentence. In most cases, the subject is the deciding factor on whether your E-Mail should be opened or not. So keep it simple and detailed. When we look at the facts, 90% of people skip emails with vague subject lines. It is in your hands to make your email belong to that remaining 10%.

Vague:   Applying for a job in your company

Perfect: Application for the post of software developer

Vague: Urgent! E-Mail regarding the internship.

Perfect: Summer Internship report on BBA Mantra

Practice more on the subject part as it is not as easy as it seems to be.

  • Salutation

A formal E-Mail always starts with a proper salutation. If you know the recipient’s name, it is recommended to address their name in the salutation preceded with dear. If you do not know the name and gender of the recipient, you could simply address them with Sir/Madam. Never use hi or hello. It is too informal and It will create an ill impression at the beginning itself.

Examples: Dear Sir/Madam, Dear Will Smith, Dear Mr. Aravind, To whom it may concern (If you are not aware of the name of recipient).

  • Introduction

Whenever you are writing to someone for the first time, start with a proper introduction about yourself. Start with your name and the purpose of the email. Do not exaggerate the intro part. Keep it short and simple.

My name is Jon Snow. I am pursuing MBA from Winterfell College. This email is regarding my request for joining marketing internship program in your esteemed company.

Do not get carried away with the names in the above statement. It is a typical example of how your intro part should be. Again keep the KISS in mind. Keep It Short & Simple.

  • Do not beat around the bush

After your introduction and a brief about the purpose of your email, start with the actual content. For whatever reason you are writing an email, explain the most important part or your intention at the starting paragraph itself. This saves time for your recipient and it will encourage them to further progress through the email. Never beat around the bush like ‘Actually I got to know about your company from a distant relation of mine who calls himself my cousin, but actually he is not. Since then I’m eagerly hoping to do an internship in your company,’ by this time he/she might have moved your email to the trash. Do not bore them with your personal stories. Always stick to the point. Do not make your mail look cheesy.

  • Formal language

Always use formal language in your email. It will leave a good impression. Do not even try to project yourself as cool by using slangs or emoticons, which will only ruin your impression. A formal email is meant to have everything in formal terms. Do not include any unnecessary proverbs to prove your wisdom or jokes to prove your wit. Also, do not express too much confidence in your email like I know that I’m more than fit for this post and any company should be lucky to have me on board’. Too much of anything is good for nothing.  Be formal, stick to the point and KISS.

  • Closure

Just as you concentrated on salutation, you must concentrate on an appropriate closing as well. This is not something you would be hearing for the first time. For example, ‘yours sincerely’, ‘respectfully’, ‘regards’ are some of the closings of a formal email.

  • Attachments

If you are attaching anything to the email, make sure to mention it in the body of the email so that the recipient would know that there is an attachment.

I have attached the summary of the report in PDF format.

Always attach compatible file types and it is recommended to mention the format of the file you are sending. i.e., PDF, Doc, Zip etc.

  • Proofread

Before clicking on the send button, make sure your email is free of any grammatical errors. You could even use web tools like Grammarly to check for errors. This is the most important part of writing the formal mail. Do not let the careless grammatical errors spoil your impression. Proofread the email few times before sending it. Consider rephrasing or removing the sentences that seems unnecessary.

We have covered all the necessary steps to writing the formal email. Now it is totally up to you to practice it. Concentrate on all formal emails you receive daily or check online for sample emails. Write your own email and compare it with the emails you receive. Repeat the same until you completely master the art of email writing. Good luck!

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