How to compose a formal email: template and guide

Writing a formal email can be intimidating, especially if you’re not used to doing it often. However, with a little bit of planning and attention to detail, you can compose a professional and effective email that will get the job done.

In this article, we’ll go over what a formal email is, and the steps to composing a formal email, as well as provide a template and some helpful tips to guide you along the way.

What is a formal email

A formal email is an electronic message that is written and sent in a professional or business setting. It follows a specific format and is used to communicate with colleagues, supervisors, clients, or other business contacts.

Formal emails are typically more formal than casual emails or texts, and they often follow a specific structure and use more formal language. They may be used to request information, make a request, offer assistance, or provide updates on a project or other business matter.

In general, formal emails should be concise and to the point, with a clear subject line and a professional tone. They should also be free of errors and typos, and they should be proofread before being sent.

Step 1: Identify your purpose and audience

Before you start drafting your email, it’s important to have a clear understanding of why you’re sending it and who you’re sending it to. Are you requesting information, making a request, or offering assistance? Are you writing to a colleague, a supervisor, or someone you don’t know well? Understanding your purpose and audience will help you determine the tone and content of your email.

Step 2: Choose an appropriate subject line

The subject line of your email should be brief and specific, and it should accurately reflect the content of the email. A good subject line will help the recipient understand the purpose of the email and decide whether or not to open it. For example, “Meeting request: Wednesday at 10am” is a clear and concise subject line that tells the recipient what the email is about.

Step 3: Greet the recipient

In a formal email, it’s important to start by greeting the recipient. This could be as simple as “Dear [Name]” or “Hello [Name]”. If you don’t know the recipient well, you can use a more formal greeting like “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam”.

Step 4: Introduce yourself and state your purpose

If you’re writing to someone you don’t know well, or if your email is related to a business or professional matter, it’s important to introduce yourself and explain the purpose of your email. For example, you might say “My name is [Your name] and I’m writing to inquire about the availability of your company’s products for a conference we’re planning.”

Step 5: Provide any necessary background information

Depending on the purpose of your email, you may need to provide some background information to help the recipient understand the context of your request or inquiry. This could include details about your company, your project, or the event you’re planning.

Step 6: Make your request or offer assistance

Once you’ve introduced yourself and provided any necessary background information, it’s time to get to the main purpose of your email. Whether you’re making a request, offering assistance, or simply providing information, be clear and concise in your message. Use bullet points or numbered lists to organize your thoughts and make it easier for the recipient to understand your message.

Step 7: Thank the recipient and provide any necessary follow-up information

Before you close your email, be sure to thank the recipient for their time and consideration. If you’re making a request, you may want to include a deadline or specify any additional information the recipient may need in order to fulfil your request.

Step 8: Close the email and sign off

End your email with a closing like “Sincerely,” “Best regards,” or “Thank you”. Follow the closing with your name and any relevant contact information, such as your job title and phone number.

Formal Email Template

Here is a template you can use as a starting point for your own formal email:

Subject line: [Brief and specific summary of the email’s purpose]

Dear [Name],

I hope this email finds you well. My name is [Your name] and I’m writing to [state the purpose of your email].

[If necessary, provide any background information or context for your email]

[Make your request or offer assistance, using bullet points or numbered lists to organize your thoughts]

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any questions or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely, [Your name] [Your job title] [Your phone number]

Writing a formal letter is quite simple as long as you follow the steps shared in this article. Present your mail to your recipient just like you would if you were meeting them physically in a formal setting.