Email Etiquette: How to write a professional email

Top tips on how to best craft professional emails to employers, colleagues, teachers and others!

Writing a professional email doesn't need to be a stressful task! Let's learn together.
Unless you live under a rock,writing emails is most likely a standard, every day task for you. Particularly in business email is still the number one form of communication. And if you are part of a workforce, then writing emails is likely an integrated part of your work routine. While composing an email is easy for some, for others knowing how to write an email can be a tiresome task – especially if you are not sure how to write an email that’s both effective and professional.

There’s an art to email writing, and luckily anyone can acquire it! It just takes some practice. Don’t let writing emails take excessive amounts of time or cause headaches – let us help you! We’ve put together a comprehensive email writing guide which will show you how to compose an email that’s professional. In this email guide we cover writing each part of the email, your use of language and email etiquette. And if you have questions like, why is email etiquette important and how to write a professional email? Keep reading! We have all your email writing concerns covered!

Table of Contents:

Steps to write an email

Before you hit send

How to get a custom email domain

How to write an email

1. Your email address matters

When someone opens their mailbox they immediately see the sender’s email address – and yes, your email address matters. If you send an email to a potential employer or email your teacher or professor, and they see your email address is sugarplum(@)gmail(.)com or Hollyb64523(@)yahoo(.)com it’s highly likely that they either won’t open your email, and if they do, your email address won’t have made a good first impression! We’d suggest using a custom domain, and luckily with Tuta Mail, you can use your own exclusive domain easily!

As a minimum, whether you use Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo, you should be using your real name as email address in a professional context. So the best email address is firstname.lastname@... followed be the email domain.

If you are unable to register your real name at one of the major providers (because all names are already taken there), feel free to choose Tuta Mail to sign up for a free email account with your name.

Writing a professional email made easy! Writing a professional email made easy!

2. The subject line

The sender name and subject line of the email are the first thing the recipient reads as your email arrives. So like your email address, the subject line is really important. The subject line is a major deciding factor for people to either ignore the email or to open it. Either way, most of the time the reader has already judged your email from their first impression with the subject line - regardless of what is in the body of the email. Now that you know that the subject line is super important for setting the tone and getting your email read, you might be wondering what goes in the subject line of the email. Well it’s easy - the subject line should be a simple, short summary of the email. After reading the subject line of the email, the recipient should have a basic idea of what the email is about and it should pull enough attention, for the recipient to click and open it.

Safe and professional subject lines for different scenarios

• Meeting Request: Request for [Task or project] Meeting

• Deadline Reminder: Reminder: Submission Deadline for [Task or project]

• Job Application: Application for (Position) – (Your name)

• Project Update: (Name of project) Update: Funding Approved

• Event Invitation: Invitation to [Name of event]

• Announcement: Important Announcement: Changes made to [Task / project / meeting]

How to write a professional email.

3. Use a proper greeting

Knowing how to begin an email all starts with the greeting. We suggest starting the email with a positive greeting which is dependent on who the recipient is, your relation to them, and the intent of the email. If you’re writing to someone you’ve never met or maybe the CEO of the company, it’s always better to keep it professional and respectfully: we recommend starting it with “Dear” If you know the person and have regular communications with them, you could start the email with a simple “Hi” or “Hello”. The old fashioned “To whom it may concern” may seem professional, but is often seen as more cold and impersonal. When you send the first email it’s important to use a friendly and appropriate greeting, and after that, if it turns into an email thread or sending lots of emails back and fourth, it’s usually okay to drop the greeting.

Appropriate email greeting examples

• Dear Mr. Hutter,

• Dear Ashley Whyte,

• Hi Ms. Brown,

• Hello Leigh,

• Dear colleagues / team,

Gender pronoun tips: When sending a formal email, it’s best to use “Mr.” “Ms.” or “Mrs.” along with the recipients last name – but that is only if you know their preferred gender pronouns. If you don’t know the recipient’s gender pronoun, we recommend using their full name instead, for example: Dear Jess Smith.

4. Writing the body of the email

The body of your email is where you share the full message and mention the purpose of the email. The email body should be short, concise and to the point. Once you’ve written the body of the email, you should add a closing line directly after it. Adding a closing line ties the email together and signals the ending of your message. The closing line must show thanks, and also have a call-to-action (CTA). The CTA should show the recipient that the sender is expecting a response with details or an action.

Additional tips for writing the body

Avoid unwanted jargon: Just because you need to write a professional email, it doesn’t mean you need to try sound smart and use unwanted jargon.

Keep it short and to the point: It’s always better to write shorter emails, that are quick to read. If the recipient sees long paragraphs they might instantly skip over it – don’t waste the readers time.

Examples of professional email closings lines

• I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

• Please let me know if you need anything else.

• Please let me know if you have any further questions.

• Thank you for your time and consideration.

Now that you’ve written the body of the email and included a call-to-action in the closing line, you can officially end the email with a professional goodbye.

5. How to end an email

For many people the email sign off is a tricky one – you don’t want to sound too prim and proper or too chilled. Click here for an in depth guide on how to end your emails. After the email goodbye, you should include your full name and contact details.

The most common professional ways to end an email:

• Sincerely

• Best regards

• Respectfully

• Warm regards

• Best wishes

• Thank you

Before you hit send:

Now that the email writing is done, there are some other things to review before you click the send button!

1. Proofread and format the email

Sending your well written, professional email without checking your spelling and grammar would be a complete waste of all the effort you put into writing it. Remember – like your email address and subject line, the spelling and grammar of an email adds to your email’s professionalism and authority. You can tick all the boxes mentioned above, but if your email is riddled with spelling mistakes, it will read and look bad. When it comes to formatting the email, make sure you’ve consistently used the same font throughout the email. Additionally, don’t play with the font size too much. We’d recommend using a font between 10 to 12 points. If you’d like to highlight anything important you can either put this in bold or underline it. If you use Tuta Mail you won’t need to worry about changing the font or its size because the default settings will set you up with a neat and professional looking email from the start.

2. Double check the recipient fields

Before clicking send, go back and check your recipient fields. Make sure you’re sending the email to the right person and that you’ve got their correct email address. When sending an email there are different recipient fields. The most common is the first one usually labeled To:____. This is where you put the email address of the main or primary recipient, people or group to who your email will be sent. There are two other additional recipient fields which are CC and BCC.

The difference between CC and BCC in an email explained. The difference between CC and BCC in an email explained.

To avoid confusion we have summarized the CC and BCC recipient field for you: What does CC mean in email: CC stands for carbon copy. If you include an address in the CC field, they will receive the same email that you sent to the primary email recipient. Using the CC is a way to keep other email recipients informed about the message you’ve sent your primary recipient without directly addressing them. In short, you might CC another contact to keep them in the loop and up to date on your communications with the primary recipient.

What does BCC mean in email: similar to CC, you also have a BCC recipient. BCC stands for blind carbon copy and its main different to CC is that any recipient in the BCC is hidden. So the primary email recipient and any people included in the CC can’t see the email address of recipients in the BCC field. Note, it’s always better email etiquette to ensure that the primary email recipient is aware that you’ve included additional recipients in the BCC.

Here is a checklist for writing a professional email. Here is a checklist for writing a professional email

How to get a custom email domain

Now that you know how to compose a professional email, you will know that the first step to being professional is by having a good email address! And if you use an email provider like Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook, it’s highly likely that your chosen email address is already taken. Don’t stress! We have a solution – Tuta Mail.

With Tuta Mail you can get a free email address – and most likely your full name is still available with one of our free domains. Sign up here.

Thinking of making a fresh start? Click here to see how Tuta compares to Gmail and if you’re ready to delete your Gmail account – follow these steps for a quick and easy exit from Gmail.

Tuta offers a fully end-to-end encrypted mailbox which signals to your recipients that you care about their security and privacy, making your emails look even more professional. When choosing a paid plan with the custom domain option, you can set up unlimited email addresses with your own domain and use catch-all. Check here why this is important and how email alias addresses can improve your security and privacy online.

Tuta Mail is available on all platforms and it comes with a free desktop client for Linux, MacOS, Windows and free mobile apps for Android and iOS making writing and sending emails easy, convenient and private!

Tuta offers multiple premium subscription models. Tuta offers multiple premium subscription models.

Tuta Mail is available for both personal and business accounts, each with its own set of features tailored to your needs.

Make the change now! Sign up for a Tuta Mail account in a matter of seconds!

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