What is a formal email?
A formal email would be an email that you send to someone in authority, a client, or to someone you want to establish a business relationship with.
Formal letters should be formal in tone, structure, words, and style.
What is the difference between a formal email and a casual or informal email?
This is how an email to a business differs from an email to an informal contact:
- Your relationship to the recipient: Send a business email:
- A business acquaintance
- An official of the government
- A recruiter
- Potential client or customer
- Potential business partners
- Service provider
You could also send an informal email, or a personal note to someone you are close to, such as a coworker, a family member, or a friend.
- The structure of an email or business letter A formal or business letter should have a proper format. It should include a subject, salutation, and an organized body. ( This will be covered in more detail later. This format is not required for informal emails.
- Business email tone: This is a professional tone that you would use to write a business letter or email, not a casual tone.
- The language used for business email writing: A business letter should not use slang, emoticons, or abbreviations, which are common in informal emails.
Let’s look at an example that illustrates the differences between the two.
A formal email to a business client would look like this:
The attached file contains the agenda for today’s client meeting at 4:00 pm. Please see the attachment. If you have any questions .”, please let me know.
An informal letter, on the other hand, would read:
“Hey, John! Here’s what we’ll be covering at the client meeting. If you have any questions, please call me at 4 :)”
What is the Start important for a formal email?
The reader will decide whether to continue reading your email or go on to another business or formal letter by what you write. If you do this wrong, your reader will lose their connection.
Your business email must be well-structured with many elements.
Here are the steps.
These are the 6 elements of a formal email
You should include the six most important elements in your business email.
- Salutation or greeting
The start of a business email includes the subject, salutation, and introduction.
Let’s now address them in more detail.
How to format the beginning of a formal email
Make sure to format the formal letter correctly when you write it.
- On the first line, write the email greeting.
- After writing the salutation or greeting, add a comma.
- Before you move on to the body of the letter, make a new paragraph stating the purpose of your business communication.
- In the next paragraph, write the introduction.
- Formal writing requires a specific font choice. Use a standard font such as Verdana or Arial that is easily read by all email platforms.
Here’s an example of all five elements:
6 Examples and Templates for Starting a Formal email
These are examples of email opening in different situations.
These email templates can be used for English email writing. However, personalize your greeting and introduction according to who you are writing to and their relationship.
1. Cold email to generate leads or sell
Your sales letter’s opening should be compelling and interesting enough to convince:
- Keep their attention for long enough to make them read the whole letter.
- You should make it seem like you care about their best interests.
Your reader should be addressed by their name. Mention the reason for your letter and make it more about them rather than you!
Dear Ms. Miles
Yesterday, Mr. Duggan mentioned that your company is interested in funding the education of children who are not financially secure. My company specializes in developing educational technology solutions.
We may find it mutually beneficial to meet since I helped ABC Inc achieve its corporate social responsibility goals recently by implementing our edutech solutions in 50 rural XYZ government schools.
2. 2. Cold email writing for network
These emails are intended to establish a relationship with someone who has a common connection, such as a sales prospect or someone with similar interests.
Hello Mr. Cyrus,
I noticed that you and I both belong to the CleanTech Association of LinkedIn and that you recently opened a new office here in the Bay Area.
I was curious if you would be open to meeting up next week over a cup of joe. I would love to hear your thoughts about a sustainability initiative that I am developing.
3. Cold email to backlink outreach
This is a basic business writing template that you can use to create effective outreach emails as part of your link-building strategy.
You’ve been following closely the impact of COVID-19 upon startups, I know. This interactive chart shows the response of startups to the pandemic. This interactive chart was created from a survey I conducted with 200 entrepreneurs of startup businesses.
I noticed your blog publishes a weekly roundup of news and thought that this infographic might be worth a look.
4. Send an email to a recruiter looking for a job
This is how a job application cover letter for a potential employer might look:
Hi, Shane or Dear ABC Hiring manager,
The Entrepreneur article on ABC Inc’s rapid growth after receiving $4 million in venture capital funding last April was fascinating. This is very impressive and makes me wonder if you plan to increase your sales and marketing staff.
As the brand manager at XYZ Company, I have had tremendous success over the past seven-year. I plan to transition into a more senior marketing role and ABC has been on the radar of my eyes.
If you are emailing someone for the first time and don’t know their name, you should use a greeting that includes a job title, such as “Dear Hiring Manager” in a cover note. Even if you receive a response, take a note of the recipient’s name so that you can use it later.
5. After completing an interview, email
Here’s an example of a thank-you note that can be used to open an email conversation after a job interview.
Because you are now familiar with the recruiter, please address them by their first name and not “Dear Hiring Manager”.
Thank you for taking the time yesterday to talk to me. It was a pleasure to talk about customer service and sales management and learn more about your team.
Given the potential for advancement and networking, it sounds like a rewarding job. My international business master’s degree and my experience in customer service make me an excellent candidate.
Call me for any further information or references
6. Send a business email to your manager
Let’s take a look at what a formal letter from your CFO regarding a budget increase might look like.
This is a request to approve a budget increase for our XYZ project. To complete the project, I request a budget increase of $5,000 over the initial $50,000.
This is due to the increased demand for raw materials for product testing and final release. This increase will allow us to ensure that our tool is fully implemented as a functioning product.