Tips for writing business email

EmailAlthough email offers a casual means of communicating, remember to maintain professionalism. Follow these guidelines:

  • Start with formal salutations. Use Ms. or Mr. and then last names when contacting people the first time. Switch to first names if and when they respond by signing their first names, otherwise you risk appearing too impersonal.
  • Include a greeting. When emailing to a group of people, beginning with “Hi all” may sound a bit clumsy. Use “Hello everyone” or just “Hello.”
  • Send thanks. Handwritten thank-you notes offer a personal touch, but go ahead and use email to express your appreciation more quickly.
  • Minimize fonts and colors. Resist the temptation to use fancy fonts, sizes and colors. In general, choose a legible font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. Use either 10- or 12-point type and stick to black text.

— Adapted from “Email Etiquette: Still Puzzling After All These Years,” Barbara Pachter, Pachter’s Pointers,

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