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Business English Email Writing: A step-by-step guide to writing a professional business email

When you write an email in business, there are a number of things you need to do well.

Subject line:

It's important to write a clear subject line. A good subject line is like a newspaper headlin. It tells ther reader what the email is about.

For example,


This is a poor subject line. It really doesn't tell the reader what the email is about.

'Meeting to decide on pricing - Frank Lee'.

This is much better. It's very clear what this email is about.


You should use an appropriate greeting. The greeting depends on who the email is for. It shouldn't be too informal or too formal. For example, an email to a colleague you don't know very well shouldn't begin,

"Hey Tom, what's up?"

This is too informal.


Your beginning should say who you are, clarify the context of the email and state the purpose of the email.

'This is Linda Green. We met last week in Hong Kong. I'm emailing you to provide you with information about our pricing.'

Body of the email:

This is where you write your message

This should be well organized and use appropriate language; not to simple, not too formal and not too informal.


In the closing of your email you can do a number of different things.

Perhaps you'll make a closing statement:

'I hope you found this information useful' or 'I'd appreciate your attention to this matter'.

You might offer help'.

'If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to contact me'.

Perhaps you'll thank the other person.

'Thank you for your help in advance'.

You should end positively. -

'I look forward to receiving a reply at your earliest convenience.'

In some situations, you'll describe the next steps.

'I’ll be in touch by telephone in the next few days to arrange a meeting.'

Sign off:

Finally, you need to sign off using apppropriate language. Remember, your sign off depends on your relationship with the person. If he is colleague who you don't know very well, don't write, 'Cheers' or 'Talk later'.

These are the key parts of a professional email.


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