Business English – Writing Email Etiquette

2010 March 5

When learning Business English it is important to keep up with the recent trends in how language is used. In New York City in particular language is important face to face and on the phone, but most recently email etiquette is becoming more and more imperative to learn. This article will touch on the basics of email etiquette for English correspondence, and what not to say.

Business English Greeting – The greeting you use in emails can depend on many factors, such as the industry you work for, the age you are, what impression you’re trying to give. I would argue though regardless of who you’re talking to, having a greeting in your email makes you sound more professional. So which greeting would I recommend?

Dear

Please, do not use this greeting, this was used in emails long ago but not in the current business english setting.  Hello or Hi are the two main greetings I would recommend, and always remember to add the person’s name. Even more important, spell their name correctly.

My name is Jon, and I can’t tell you how many times people write my name as “John.” Not that it really matters, but to particular clients you’re trying to do business with, it might.

Business English Email “Fill In’s” – Always try to add phrases in the beginning and end of your emails like ” Thank you for your response.” Or “Thanks again for your thoughtful consideration.” It makes you sound more professional, and also sound like you care for the client you are emailing. Don’t overdue it of course, just basic thank you’s in an email will do.

Business English Closers – Be careful of the closers used in emails when writing people. To me, a closer in an email demonstrates how little or how much time you have when writing someone. If you write “best” that doesn’t really show that you’re actually taking the time to thank someone in your email.

A better closer is something like “Kind regards” or “Best regards”. This sounds the most professional, and also demonstrates you “care” about your reader. In other words, you care enough to sign your own personal greeting. Be wary of email templates that say “best regards” already in them. You never know when you might double send a signature to an important client.

In closing, when writing Business English in emails always be careful and wary of what you send. Emails cannot be taken back, no matter what you do. Email correspondence is monitored and recorded forever at companies, also when reading emails it’s easy to misinterpret them and take them in a different way than was intended by the sender. Make sure when writing business emails to write them in a certain and safe way, if you want to argue with someone do it over the phone.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. David Garrett permalink
    June 20, 2011

    Boy, this so called etiquette would not work in Britain – especially opening with “Hello or Hi” in greeting – far too informal. Perhaps that’s the difference between New York and Britain? Moreover, it does also depends on other factors too – for example a long standing traditional business is less likely to be as informal compared say, to a trendy new business………similarly there is a difference in etiquette between sectors ie banking and food retail.

  2. Albahree permalink
    November 2, 2012

    I want help me to improve my English

  3. March 18, 2013

    I would definitely agree with David. British English especially Southern English is pretty much different from the American version. Hello and Hi would be taken as slangs.

    Lol 😀

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