Do you know how to write a really good formal email? Do you know what’s the right formal email format, what’s the proper etiquette, or even how you can go beyond words to create a professional impression? We’ll cover all these with some tested formal email examples and tips.
A formal email is usually sent to someone you don’t know very well. Unlike a response to an email that lands in your inbox or a quick message you type up on your phone to send to a friend or coworker. This makes for a different approach if you’d like to get the a positive response.
The goal of sending a formal email differs depending on your intention, such as sending a CV, reaching out to a new business partner, or looking for investors, for example.
Here, we’ll take a look at how to craft the perfect formal email as well as other elements that go into it.
Aesthetics of a Formal Email
Before you even get started on the content of your email, you want to make sure the aesthetic is appealing and not too out of the ordinary.
Of course, you want to capture the attention of your recipient, but you also want to appear professional, so keep the Comic Sans font out of the equation. What sort of aesthetics should you pay attention to in a formal email? Let’s take a look.
Choice of Font
Don’t start reinventing the wheel here. It’s better to go with a safe bet instead of a creative option when selecting a font. Choose a font that’s easy to read and skim, since if you’re sending a longer email it’s possible your recipient will just skim its contents. Therefore, you want to font to be clear and the letters to be far enough apart.
We suggest going with fonts like Georgia, Verdana, Arial, or Times New Roman
You don’t want your recipient to have to squint to read your email, but your text also shouldn’t appear as if it’s yelling either. Depending on the font you go with you might need to tweak the sizing a little, but in general, font size 12 is what you should be using. You can use size 10 or 11 as well, just make sure it doesn’t look too small before sending your email.
Professional Email Address
If you’re sending out CVs for a job, then your high school email address firstname.lastname@example.org just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Take the time to think up a more professional email address. If it’s not already taken, go with just your name, first and last. If you’re a business cold emailing clients or partners, invest in a business email address, such as email@example.com.
Formal Email Format and Structure
Now that you’ve got the aesthetics out of the way, it’s important to know how to structure a formal email. You don’t want your important message to get lost in a messy structure, so make sure each part of your email is optimized. Here are a few structural elements of a formal email that you should be paying attention to.
Use a Strong Subject Line
Start with an attention-grabbing subject line that will make them want to open your email. Don’t skip this step or neglect it. A weak subject line could spell the difference between your email being read or not, so all your hard work choosing fonts and structuring your email might be for nothing without a good subject line. Make sure your subject line is relevant to the email, it’s short and clear, and if possible, personalized to your sender.
Want to know more about crafting the perfect subject line? We’ve got a guide for that.
Perfect your Formal Email Opening with the Right Greeting
Since your sending a professional and formal email, you shouldn’t start it with something casual like “hey” or “hello.” Tailor your greeting to the tone of your message and to the recipient as well. Here are some examples of a few salutations that can be used in a formal email:
- Dear [name]
- Dear [job title/department/group]
- To whom it may concern
- Greetings [name]
- Good morning, [name]
Keep Body your Formal Email Body Clear and Concise
You want to keep the body of a professional email clear and concise. In the first email to someone you haven’t met before, you want to take a moment to introduce yourself, including where you work and the reason you’re emailing.
After that, you should outline the purpose of your message briefly, providing enough information to elicit a response, but not so much that you’re overwhelming your recipient with tons of superfluous details.
That being said, if there are important points or specific details you think would be important to include, make sure to communicate them clearly.
For example, if you need to mention an important date, price, number, or anything similar, you want to ensure it’s unmissable. In this case, you can even bold it in your text so that it stands out among the rest of the email, even when skimmed.
Formal email ending that reenforce your email and help keep you in mind
You opened your email with a formal greeting and a short introduction line, now it’s time to close your email formally as well.
In a casual email, you might revert to closings like “thanks,” “cheers,” “best,” or other simple terms followed by a simple sign off, or none at all. However, in a formal email, you want to step it up a bit but you still shouldn’t complicate things. Here are some great options to formally close your email message:
- Thank you for your time
- Best regards
- I look forward to hearing back from you
- Thank you
- With gratitude
- All the best
There’s an appropriate email sign off for every occasion, so many sure you’re using the right one for each scenario.
Proofread Your Email
Take a few extra minutes before you hit send to read through your email once (or twice, if you want to be extra thorough) to look for any spelling mistakes, typos, or inconsistencies.
A good way to do this is to stick the contents of your email into a word processor and check for grammar, or just use a built-in tool that will work in your browser, like Grammarly. Still, don’t rely solely on these tools, but rather read through your email carefully to ensure that your message is clear and that it’s coming across as you intended.
Make Your Formal Emails Stand Out
There’s one key piece of a formal email that we didn’t mention yet: your email signature.
You can simply just sign your name after the closing and then click send, but why waste a good opportunity when you can add an email signature that makes your message stand out?
Personalize Your Email Signature
With Wisestamps personalized email signature, you can create your own signature that includes the standard elements like your name, job title, address, or contact details, in addition to other cool features.
For example, you can quickly and easily add icons to your social channels, banners if you want to promote a sale or new product, links to your website or blog, a disclaimer, or even a short image gallery.
Your signature is an extra opportunity to show your recipient who you are, and also gives them the opportunity to follow you on other channels or join your network for future opportunities. It’s a great marketing strategy, so you should be using a personalized signature in every email.
Add a Touch of Class with a Handwritten Signature
A handwritten signature evokes the feeling of days when you would send handwritten or types inquiries or letters in the mail instead of digital messages.
At Wisestamp, you can generate your very own digital handwritten signature that can be added to your email (as well as other documents you might need to sign). It gets added to your customized signature as an image, which seems simple, but the impact it can have on your recipient is significant.
It reflects well on you that you took the time to add the extra touch to your email and shows your recipient that you value their time and effort.
To Wrap Up
Writing a formal email shouldn’t be something scary that you shy away from. In fact, writing professional and formal emails will likely become second nature after you’ve already written and sent a few.
Follow our tips for the stylistic elements of your formal email as well as the structure and a personalized email signature, and we’re sure you’ll find it easier than expected to craft the perfect formal email that garners a response.