Business emails generally have six major parts: greeting, opening statement, body, closing statement, close, and signature.

Greeting

A formal greeting looks like this:

Dear + title + last name (family name/surname)

Dear Mr. Hyde,

Use Ms. for women, unless you know she is married. In that case, use Mrs. If you’re not sure if she’s married, use Ms.:

Dear Ms. Thompson,
Dear Mrs. Jones,

If you do not know the person’s name, use the title + Sir/Madam:

Dear Sir/Madam,
Dear Sir,
Dear Madam,

If you are unsure of the person’s gender, then use the title + first and last name:

Dear Dana Brown,

Other common greetings with alternate titles that can be used for both men and women:

Dear Professor Jefferson,
Dear Dr. Jekyll,
Dear Senator Nichols,
Dear Judge Sampson,
Dear Captain Kirk,

Do not use title + first name:

x Dear Mr. Tom,

If you have a casual business relationship with the person, it’s okay to use title + first name:

Dear Bill,

Opening Statement/Small Talk

Among other things, the opening statement can be used as an introduction, a thank you, or as a way to help the person remember how you two met.

For example:

  • My name is Barnaby Jones. I am the senior vice president of sales for Uptown Pharmaceuticals. I am writing to …
  • Thank you for meeting with me last week to discuss …
  • It was a pleasure meeting you at the conference last month.
  • Hello. My name is Christina Baker. I work with Julie Fischer at Chiefland Chemicals. Ms. Fischer suggested I contact you to discuss …

Body

The body of the email gives details of the reason you are writing. It typically includes one or more of three options. You are writing to give information or make a statement, to ask a question, or to make a request.

Information: The annual Christmas party will be held on December 20th this year.
Question: Are you planning to attend the Christmas party?
Request: When you come to the Christmas party, will you please bring potato chips?

Closing Statement

The closing statement is a great way to bring an email to finish the email with one final thought. Here, you can confirm an appointment, submit a due date for an assignment, say thank you again, or express anticipation of a future meeting. Keep it simple.

For Example:

  • I will see you on Monday, June 30th at 10:00 am.
  • Please send me the report by the end of the week.
  • Thank you for your time.
  • Thank you in advance for …
  • I’m looking forward to meeting you.

Close

Formal options are:

Best Regards,
Sincerely,

In a casual business relationship, you can use:

Best,
Regards,

Signature

The signature is very often determined by your company. If not, a formal signature will include your full name, title, and company name:

Jill Ross
Director of IT
IT Solutions, Inc.

Additionally, you can include your contact information:

Richard Wright
Human Resources Manager
Triumphant Co.
(214) 555 – 1212
www. triumphant .com
rwright @ triumphant .com


Put it all together

[greeting] Dear Ms. Trumple,

[opening statement/small talk] It was my great pleasure to meet with you yesterday to discuss the possibility of helping your company revamp its brand image.

[body: information/statement] As we discussed, Marketing Solutions will create a new marketing package for your company to include an updated logo with accompanying stationery and business card templates. My team will also create a new slogan for your company. Per our agreement, your first draft will be completed by Friday, September 21st, which I will submit to you via secure email. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

[closing statement] I look forward to working with you.

[close] Best Regards,

[signature] Jennifer Maxwell
Sales Manager
Marketing Solutions, Inc.

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