Guide on How to Write a Formal Email: The Best Tips and Examples
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Guide on How to Write a Formal Email: The Best Tips and Examples

Have you ever wondered when one's childhood ends? If you ask me, it's when you have to send your first formal email. Funny, right?! Well, writing a professional email sounds like a very trivial task to do; the text must have some structure, it should open with greetings, and you have to be polite, but once you actually sit down to write one, things don't seem so simple anymore. Of course, you may find essays for sale online, but have you ever wished to have a sample how to write a formal email? Congratulations, you have found one! Here you will find all the helpful information on how to write a professional email.

What is a Formal Email? 

Formal emails have most likely become your new reality whether you are a student or already working for a company. As a student, you might have wondered how to write a formal request email, and as an employee, there might have aroused a need to write a formal persuasive email to a community. All of this sounds like a challenging task. Still, no worries; Once you have identified all the specifics of professional communication, writing one will become a piece of cake. 

What differentiates formal emails from informal emails is their structure and polite language. Suppose you wrote a professional email. Now you are re-reading it, and the first thing you notice is that it starts with 'hey,' it's constructed with simple sentences, provides a lot of personal information, and leaves you feeling like it could be sent to your friend or a family member. You should consider re-writing it. 

When addressing unknown people, your co-workers, or those in higher ranking, formal emails are a way to go. However, if you are still deciding what type of email you should send, a formal one is usually a better choice. An email is considered formal and professional if it starts with an appropriate greeting, sticks to specific objectives, and provides relevant information for a particular environment.  

Purpose of Writing a Formal Email

You have been on the receiving end of an email. You know how it feels when the sender has addressed you properly and provided only necessary information versus a long email full of irrelevant information and grammatical errors and has a too-friendly tone for professional conversation. 

Whether you have wondered about how to write a formal email to a teacher or how to write a formal persuasive email to a community leader, your general goal is to have them interested and impressed by your skills of communication.

Professional conversation is built on good impressions and trust. A person's understanding of email etiquette shapes our opinion about them. So, when addressing a specific audience through a professional email, you should always remember that it will influence their opinion of you. 

Well-written official emails build trust, develop more robust, respectful relationships and save significant time by sticking to only key information. 

In business communications, when you address clientele by using formal types of email while improving the brand's image, you also invite customers to come back for more, open space for helpful feedback and keep a consistent relationship with them. 

Formal Email Format

Once you have mastered the art of professional email structure, getting a formal message across to your audience and making a professional impression on them will become easier. 

Professional email structures can be broken down into three major parts—opening, middle and closing. The opening consists of the following elements: the subject line, greeting, and the opening line; the middle part is an email body where you provide all the essential information, and the closing part contains the closing line and sign-off.

Let's begin by discussing how to start a formal email. 

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Subject Line

The subject line is a critical element of a formal email outline because it is the first thing an email recipient sees. It could either make them open the email or delete it immediately.

Make sure you understand the central theme of your message and then come up with a clear and precise subject line. E.g., if you write an email about black authors, a simple and suitable subject line would be 'Famous Black Authors.'

Look at it as a book title. You would not want the title to be misleading, unengaging, or full of errors. Double-check the subject line before moving to the next element.


Professional communications always start with formal email greetings. In informal emails, leave greetings such as 'hi' or 'hey'. It would be best if you used more professional email greetings to set a formal tone for your message.

Appropriate business emails start with a formal greeting such as 'Dear Sir or Madam,' 'Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms.,' or 'to whom it may concern.' If you are familiar with the recipient, insert their last name, start an email with, e.g., 'Dear Mrs. Smith,' and then move on to discuss the matter. Even if you have already sent several emails to a specific person, each new one should start with a formal greeting.

greeting formal email

Opening Line

After choosing an appropriate greeting, move on to an introductory sentence that will clearly indicate the purpose of your email. An excellent sample how to write a formal email suggests keeping the opening line to a short phrase. Mimic the simplicity of instant messaging, which is more direct and forward than professional emails, while remaining respectful. You can always play on the given examples. 

Start business communication with the following phrases:

  • 'I am writing with regards to….'
  • 'I would be eager to let you know….'
  • 'I am writing in reference to….'

 If you are responding to an email, use lines such as:

  • 'I am writing in response to….'
  • 'I am writing to thank you for….'
  • 'I am following up on our previous conversation….'
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Email Body

This is where it gets tricky. There is no established rule on writing the text's main body. It highly depends on the message you need to get to the audience. Before you start writing an official email, consider drafting one. 

Write a formal email with short paragraphs and clear sentences that stick to the point because too much detail often discourages recipients from reading the email. To communicate more effectively, use bullet points. Only use capital letters where it's grammatically correct. Remember, don't use acronyms or abbreviations. 

You need to create an error-free email, so remember to double-check when you are finished.

Closing Line

When you are done with making a point in the body of the email, the next step is to come up with an appropriate closing line. An informal email could end with a simple 'bye.' Still, you want to avoid upsetting the company employees or your college professor with a casual goodbye when you have already put so much effort into writing a professional email.

 Make sure your email endings formal use the following phrases: 

  • 'I am looking forward to hearing from you….'
  • 'Thank you for your cooperation on the matter….'
  • 'Please let me know if you have any questions….'
  • 'I hope this email provided helpful information….'

Sign Off

After composing formal email closing, it's time to finish a professional email with an impactful sign-off. Make sure to leave the recipient satisfied with casual sign-off. End your email message with phrases such as:

  • 'Best regards,'
  • 'Best wishes,'
  • 'Sincerely,'
  • 'Yours truly,'
  • 'Fond regards,'
  • 'Thank you in advance,'
  • 'With gratitude,'

Sign-offs should always be followed by an email signature, which provides your reader with helpful information they need to contact you, including your full name, your position, the company's address, and social media icons. 

Formal Email Types and Examples

Now that we have reviewed professional email structure from the subject line to how to end a formal email, it's time to discuss various situations where you can apply acquired knowledge.

A formal email example includes encouraging readers to buy dissertations on a particular website. In professional language, it's called a sales letter. Another illustration is a direct complaint to a company about their product, also known as a complaint letter. Other examples include inquiries, resignations, job application letters, etc.

Inquiry Letter Sample

An inquiry letter is a formal request for information. For example, sometimes company websites don't provide enough information, and you need to directly contact their representative to ask for additional details, a product catalog or a sample, pricing, information about the availability of meeting rooms at a hotel, etc. 

If you ask for additional information, but write an informal email, address people inappropriately and use casual sign-off, you might start the conversation on the wrong foot. Keep in mind that there are cultural differences from company to company, some might put a lot of effort into establishing positive energy, and others might be more to the point. Using standard elements of formal correspondence previously discussed, you will avoid unintentionally upsetting the audience.

First, to write formal email requesting information, identify your email recipient, and greet them properly. Keep the subject line clear and short. Use an appropriate opening line such as 'I am writing in regards to….' In an email body, avoid irrelevant details and stick to the point. Tailor the closing line to your specific situation, e.g., 'looking forward to hearing from you….' Don't forget to sign off your message with a proper sentence, such as 'Best regards,' and include an email signature.

Well-written inquiry letters guarantee fast responses and a better relationship with an organization. 

Inquiry Letter
Inquiry Letter

Promotion Letter Sample

HRs or members of the management team often have to write promotion letters. Well-written promotion letters include detailed information about the new position. They are crucial because they are a permanent record of communications and can be referenced if any misunderstanding occurs. Neglecting formal email format and sending an informal email instead might get the sender in trouble.  

It is always a good idea to write a personalized email recognizing the recipient's hard work. Address the person being promoted properly, for example, 'Dear Mr…' The opening line should be congratulatory such as 'I am delighted to inform you….'  

In the body of the business email, include all the details of the promotion, e.g., job title, date of promotion, new obligations, work hours, salary rate, new payday, new reporting structure, etc. 

Congratulate the person once again in the closing line. A great example would be to say, 'Congratulations once again! We are looking forward to seeing you succeed in your new role.' Remember to include proper sign-off and an email signature with your name, position, company address, and the website.

Promotion Letter
Promotion Letter

Resignation Letter Sample

If you have accepted a new job, it's time to announce your resignation. Leaving an old job is always tricky; you must ensure you set the right tone when reporting the news. A bad-written email sending bitter and ungrateful signals could harm your professional relationships and make the last few weeks a real struggle. No worries, here we will discuss how to write a formal resignation email and save you from some trouble.

As mentioned, all business emails should have a clear subject line. A great example would be 'Formal Resignation Notice – your full name' or 'Official Resignation Notice – your full name.' Then, after addressing the audience properly:

  • Use an opening line such as 'Please accept this email as my formal resignation' to let everyone know the purpose of your message.
  • In the email body, mention the start of your notice period, thank the organization for the employment, offer the reasons for your departure, and help recruit the replacement.
  • Make your closing line warm but professional with phrases such as 'I wish you well in the future,' and sign off with, e.g., 'best regards,' followed by one of the email signatures demonstrated above.
Resignation Letter
Resignation Letter

Job Application Letter Sample

Does a company require you to apply via email? Don't worry; Just like any other business email, job application letters should have a professional frame.

Here are tips on how to write a formal email for job application.

  • A job description will usually state what to write in the subject line, but if it's not the case, a great example would be 'Application: Position Title, Full Name.'
  • If you don't know a hiring manager's name, address them with a simple phrase such as 'To whom it may concern.'
  • In the opening line, be direct and clear about the email's purpose. 'I am writing to apply for the position…' would be a good example.
  • In the email body, copy or write a shorter version of your cover letter. Introduce yourself, discuss your experience and accomplishments, and what makes you unique. Stick to the key points; Long emails often bore readers.
  • In the closing line, thank the company for their time and state all the attached documents. 'Thank you for your time and attention. I have attached my resume….'
  • Sign off and include an email signature with your phone number and LinkedIn URL to set an even more professional tone.
Job Application
Job Application

Sales Letter Sample

Compelling sales letters are another type of formal email. Your letters need to stand out from hundreds of other messages the recipient gets daily. Capture your potential client's attention with the following tips.

Identify your audience and tailor your email to their likeness. Whether addressing a busy CEO or a student, keep the message engaging and to the point.

Let's say your company offers essay writing services. Write an email with an appealing subject line to the students. Try to avoid typical sales words that might get your email deleted immediately. 

After addressing them properly:

  • Use a personalized opening line.
  • Keep the personal yet professional theme in the main text too.
  • Provide information about your essay services in an engaging manner and offer essayservice reviews from previous customers.
  • Ensure your email has a clear call to action that does not leave the client wondering what to do next.

Close your message with a respectful line like 'I hope this email provided helpful information…' or 'Let me know if you have any additional questions.' Then, sign your email, followed by an informative signature including your name, company address, and website link.

Sales Letter
Sales Letter

Complaint Letter Sample

It is challenging to write formal email when you have received poor service or a damaged product from a business. Emotions take over, and you might create a text full of exclamation points, resulting in ruined relationships and future partnerships. Here, we will break down another type of business email, a complaint letter. 

A complaint letter is an effective and professional way to communicate your issues with a company. Take a deep breath before writing one. 

Ensure that the subject line states your concern, e.g., 'Customer Complaint – Service Issue.' Set a professional tone by addressing the recipient properly, followed by an informative neutral opening line such as 'I wish to express my dissatisfaction with…' to ensure the recipient does not feel attacked.  

Many aspects might upset you, but in the main text, stick to the point and clearly state your problem to ensure a fast solution. Attach receipts, pictures, or other documents supporting your claim. Describe how you would like your matter resolved, and request a refund if needed. Close it with a respectful sentence like 'Please let me know what could be done.' End the message by saying 'Thank you in advance,' followed by an informative signature.

Complaint Letter
Complaint Letter

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