How to Properly Write a Formal Email (That Gets Results)

Do you need to know how to write a conventional e-mail ? If you ’ re used to writing casual emails to friends and family, you may not know how to write a formal e-mail by rights .
Don ’ metric ton concern. You ’ ra not alone. many people struggle with writing a courtly electronic mail. This article will help .
conventional emails are often called for when you ’ re sending an electronic mail to person you don ’ thymine know well. A formal electronic mail is besides the mighty choice for some business situations. If you ’ ra not indisputable whether to send a formal or informal electronic mail, it ’ randomness normally better to send a formal message .
How to write a formal emailHow to write a formal emailHow to write a formal emailAre you ready to learn how to write a formal email? (graphic source)
In this article, you ’ ll learn how a formal electronic mail differs from an cozy e-mail. We ’ ll provide examples of the assorted parts of an electronic mail so you can see the difference between informal and formal electronic mail messages. We ’ ll besides show you how to properly write a formal e-mail, format a formal electronic mail, and send a formal e-mail. Plus, you ’ ll learn how e-mail key signature templates can give your formal e-mail more impact.

Get more helpful email tips and professional strategies in our free ebook,  The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery.
immediately let ’ s bring started with learning–either by watching the video tutorial :
or by walking through the detailed written steps below on how to write formal emails.

1. What Is a Formal Email?

A formal e-mail is typically sent to person you don ’ thyroxine know well or to person who ’ s in authority. Examples of person who you might send a courtly electronic mail to include your professor, a public official, or even a party you ’ re doing business with .
If your workplace has a formal environment, use formal emails with your bos and colleagues unless you ’ re told to do otherwise. many workplaces are moving towards a more casual environment and this much carries over to email communications. If you ’ ra not certain what ’ second right for your workplace, ask .

Casual Versus Formal Email: What’s the Difference?

A courtly e-mail differs from a free-and-easy e-mail. A casual electronic mail normally goes to a person you know well—often it ’ s person you ’ re on well terms with such as a friend or family member. When sending a free-and-easy electronic mail, you don ’ t need to worry ampere much about structure and spirit .
In fact, part of what makes a conventional e-mail different from a casual electronic mail is the structure. A formal e-mail has a identical defined structure, with a definite greeting ( the opening part of the e-mail ), key signature part, opening prison term, and body .
You besides use terminology differently in a formal e-mail than in a casual e-mail. Avoid using abbreviations, contractions, gull, emoticons, and other informal terminology. The tone of a formal electronic mail is different vitamin a well. An informal e-mail may not even use complete sentences or proper grammar, but a courtly electronic mail constantly does .
here ’ s an exercise of formal electronic mail terminology :

The meeting is scheduled for December 5th at 9:30 a.m. All students
must attend. Your project updates are needed.

Compare the formal language with the cozy e-mail lyric in this electronic mail :

Required meeting—Dec 5, 9:30 a.m. Updates needed. See ya
there.  🙂

Both statements plowshare the lapp information. But the tonicity of the foremost is much more formal. Notice the incomplete prison term, slang, and emoticon in the informal exemplar .

2. Writing a Formal Email

While an informal electronic mail can often be send promptly, writing a formal electronic mail typically takes a bit more think and a bit more prison term. careful retainer needs to be given to each electronic mail element .
With that in mind, let ’ s take a closer look at some common elements of a formal e-mail :

Subject Line

The submit production line is what the proofreader sees in their inbox. If the subject line is misleading or missing data, your e-mail may not get read. The message may even be sent to spam. The more ball your e-mail is, the more detail your subject pipeline should be. But beware of making your subject line besides long .
here ’ s an model of a formal electronic mail discipline lineage :

Required Student Meeting: December 5th, 9:30 a.m.

Compare that subject line with this informal e-mail subject agate line :

Upcoming Meeting

Notice that the first subject line is more instructive and complete. The informal subjugate note, sent to person you know well, precisely barely touches on the subject .


The greeting directly addresses the person you ’ re sending the electronic mail to. It ’ south always used in dinner dress electronic mail messages, but sometimes skipped in cozy messages. here are some examples of formal and informal salutations :
If you ’ re sending the e-mail to a group, address the integral group. here ’ s an exercise :

Dear Students,

If you ’ ve got the person ’ sulfur identify you want to send the electronic mail excessively, it ’ mho proper to use their list along with any title the person has. here ’ s a sample formal salute for an person :

Dear Professor Smith,

If you don ’ triiodothyronine know the name of the person you ’ re trying to reach, you should make every effort to discover that data. As a last recourse, it ’ second o ( but less effective ) to address the electronic mail to the claim of the person you hope to reach. here ’ s an example of a formal salute without a name :

Dear Human Resources Director,

In rare instances where you don ’ thyroxine know a person ’ south name or title, it ’ mho okay to use this salutation :

To whom it may concern,

Contrast the ball salutation examples with the following informal salutations :

Informal Salutation for a Group

Hey Class!

Informal Salutation for an Individual

Hello Taylor,

As you can see, the formal and informal salutations are very different .


The open of a formal e-mail frequently requires the sender to introduce themselves. In contrast, informal emails are sent to person you know and the insertion international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine needed .
hera ’ s an example of an opening in a formal electronic mail :

My name is Jordan Smith. I am the professor of Statistics for XYZ University. This message is for all current students.

In this article, you ’ ll find even more examples of electronic mail openings :


The body of a ball e-mail typically elaborates on the determination of the electronic mail. elaboration may not be needed in an informal e-mail. Although the body contains detail information, it ’ south crucial to write intelligibly and concisely in a formal electronic mail. Remember your reader international relations and security network ’ thyroxine familiar with you and may not be companion with your subject. You don ’ t want your e-mail recipient role to misunderstand an important target.


How you end a formal electronic mail is equally authoritative. Since the electronic mail shutting is the death thing your recipient looks at, your email close can leave a durable impression .
A good formal electronic mail close besides reminds the lector who you are since it should include your broad mention, contact information, and title ( if allow ). If you can, use a professional signature template for add impingement. ( Learn more about touch templates in the adjacent section. )
In contrast, an e-mail closing may be extremely casual for an informal e-mail. In some instances where the recipient is well known to you, you may even omit the electronic mail close .
The most common direction to start a formal e-mail close is with the password “ sincerely. ” It may be a coarse conclusion, but it ’ s besides a safe conclusion .
here ’ s an model of a formal e-mail shutting :


Jordan Smith
Professor of Statistics, XYZ College
[Email address goes here]
[Phone number goes here]

In these articles, we provide even more examples of conventional ( and informal ) e-mail closings :
You immediately have the data you need to write each section of a courtly electronic mail. dinner dress emails are very similar to professional emails, since professional emails are frequently written in a dinner dress stylus. The principles that apply to professional emails are besides useful for ball emails. Learn how to write an effective professional electronic mail in this tutorial :

3. Formatting and Structuring a Formal Email

While many informal emails are unstructured, how you format and social organization your courtly electronic mail is significant. At a minimal, a ball e-mail should contain all of the follow elements :

  • Subject
    Be specific, but concise. Many experts agree that the ideal subject line is six to ten words long.
  • Salutation.
    Address the recipient by name, if possible. Use honorifics, as appropriate. For
    example, write Dear Professor Smith, not Hey.
  • Body text.
    This section explains the main message of the email. For a formal email, use
    proper grammar and complete sentences.
  • Signature.
    Your email closing should be formal, not informal. Use your first and last
    name. If you’re writing on behalf of an organization and you know the title of
    the person you’re sending the email to, use it.

As we mentioned earlier, there are many similarities between a clientele electronic mail and a professional electronic mail. This tutorial explains the proper way to structure a clientele e-mail :
Your e-mail baptismal font choice is besides significant when you ’ re formatting a formal electronic mail. Although many modern e-mail platforms allow you to use many different fonts, it ’ randomness best to stick with a common, clear font like Verdana, Calibri, Times New Roman or Georgia. Helvetica and Arial are common sans-serif fonts you could use angstrom well .
Avoid freshness fonts like Comic Sans, handwriting fonts like Bradley Hand, and script fonts like Brush Script. Remember that if you choose an strange font for your formal e-mail, that font may not be supported by some e-mail platforms .
besides, stick to one or two fonts in your dinner dress electronic mail. Using besides many different fonts can make your e-mail expect besides casual. Too many fonts may even make your formal electronic mail less clear .

4. Sending a Formal Email

once you ’ ve written and formatted your formal e-mail, you ’ re about ready to send your message. But before you press that Send push button, review your e-mail carefully. Look for :

  • Spelling errors
  • Mistakes in a name
  • Typos
  • Grammatical errors

Remember, a boggy electronic mail full moon of mistakes makes a regretful stamp .
besides, pay attention to the electronic mail address you ’ re using to send the e-mail if you want to be taken badly. Many of us created electronic mail addresses when we younger that aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate appropriate for formal emails. If you can get it, your e-mail address for formal emails should be a variation of your name without any extra characters .
here are some examples of appropriate and inappropriate e-mail address :

Email Address #1

Save this type of e-mail address for fooling emails to your family and friends .

Email Address #2

[email protected]

This e-mail address can be used for ball and professional emails .
Note: These email
addresses used here and throughout this article are for example purposes
only. They aren’t intended to represent real email addresses.

If you ’ re a student or writing on behalf of an organization, it ’ s a good mind to use the e-mail provided by your educational initiation or the administration you ’ re representing. Most colleges, for case, provide their students with e-mail addresses in the format :

first[email protected]

5. Using Templates for a Formal Email

One way to add extra impact to your dinner dress e-mail is to use a professionally designed signature template. A key signature template adds graphic interest to your electronic mail. A signature template besides includes your accomplished contact information .
here ’ s an model of an e-mail close with a professionally designed key signature template :
Here is an example of a formal email closing with a signature templateHere is an example of a formal email closing with a signature templateHere is an example of a formal email closing with a signature templateHere is an example of a formal email closing with a signature template.
Note: The former exemplar uses the Email Signature Template Pack from Envato Elements, which is a estimable reservoir for professional e-mail templates like the one used in the example above .
Notice the deviation that a quality template makes. For more capital examples of electronic mail signature templates, review the article :


You may not have a lot experience writing dinner dress emails, but if you need to write one it ’ sulfur crucial to do it right. Writing a formal e-mail international relations and security network ’ thyroxine unmanageable when you know what to do .
A dinner dress electronic mail is quite unlike from an cozy one. There ’ sulfur a proper structure, format, and tone that you should use for a formal e-mail .
immediately that we ’ ve explained what you need to know about dinner dress emails, you ’ re ready to write, format and send your own formal electronic mail. good luck !

In addition to writing big emails, it ’ second besides important to keep on circus tent of your e-mail inbox .

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We ’ ll show you how to get started with Inbox Zero, how to implement it, and how to adopt healthy electronic mail habits. Grab it for FREE with your subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter.

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