How to Compose Professional Emails

In Brief...

Written communication is often the first way a customer or client interacts with a company. That first impression needs to be professional without being intimidating. The following tips will help you compose emails that reflect well on both you and your company.


  1. Check Your Grammar – When a potential customer reads an email that is grammatically incorrect, the customer may wonder what else is wrong with the company. A negative first impression like that is hard to overcome. Check its grammar, punctuation, and spelling before sending the email.
  2. Include an Appropriate Subject Line – Make sure your subject line is relevant to the content of the email. If the topic changes in the email thread, then start a new thread with a new subject line. Do not change the subject line in the initial email thread.
  3. Focus on Tone – Use a professional yet friendly tone in the message. Sometimes just a simple word change can alter the entire tone of the message. For example: "Good morning team" (friendly, yet professional) vs. "Dear Colleagues" (professional, but very formal) can make a difference in how the recipient perceives the tone.
  4. Consider the Audience – Consider the audience when choosing the type of language to use in the message. Technical jargon and acronyms are fine for coworkers, but clients or customers may not understand.

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Author: Janie Sullivan

Janie Sullivan, MBA, MAEd, has been teaching adult learners for over 20 years. She has taught online over 15 years, specializing in writing, communications, and small business applications. Janie directs the Center for Writing Excellence where she offers writing, editing, and formatting services for writers. She has been published in several newspapers and magazines as well as multiple online sites. She teaches communication, business strategy, leadership, and management courses. Janie has published a book "Develop and Deliver an Online Class." This is the third book she has written about writing and teaching online. She also has published a novel and an anthology of short stories.