Emails are important in this century. There used to be times when people had to waste time, resources, workmanship just to send a 10-word message to someone. But now, I can mail you a 20,000-word message within minutes. Thanks to emails. Communication just got better. And you know, in business, outreach email is very important. This explains why you need to learn how to write a formal email to make your business progress. That way, your business even looks professional.
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How To Write A Formal Business Email
You need to learn how to write a business email because your business sincerely needs it. When we talk about business mail, we are not talking about the usual mail you write every day, this one is more technical and procedural. Hence, the reason you need to sit back, and learn carefully as I walk you through the process on how to write a formal email.
Here is a Free webinar with Ann Handley on how to improve your writing.
First, I must establish that the structure and component of a formal email is quite different from a usual email. I mean, this is business. The way business should be handled should be more professional than normal personal dealings. In this wise, take note of the following process that will show you how to write a formal email. The formal email has the following structure:
- Brief pleasantry
- Additional information
- Call to action
- Closing Message
- Sign off and Signature
- Attachments and links
You will notice that most emails you receive from businesses greet you first. In communication, this is called “phatic communion”. You do not just bump into someone and start talking about business. It’s socially called “courtesy” to greet the person first. It also builds a sense of familiarity and intimacy if you mention the receiver’s name, for example, “Hi Solomon”, “Hello Mary”. If you do not know their names, “Good Afternoon”, “Greeting”, etc. may be okay.
2. Brief pleasantry:
again, you shouldn’t just jump into the reason for mailing. If this is the first time you are mailing the person, the pleasantry may be coupled with a subtle reminder of where and how you connected. That way, you would suggest to the reader what exactly you are mailing them for. Examples may include:
“Thanks you for sharing some ideas with me last night. They are much more helpful”
“Hope you are doing well?”
“I appreciate the time we spent together yesterday”
However, if you’ve been in contact with the receiver earlier, you may not include a pleasantry. Also, you should not overstress the pleasantry. Use less words.
I need not mention that there is a reason you are mailing them. Of course, every business mail has a purpose for mailing. Just like the purpose of this post is to teach you how to write a formal email. And the purpose for mailing is the most important thing here. You do not need to be wordy. KISS it – Keep It Short and Simple. Examples include:
“kindly provide more information about your proposal”
“will you be available to handle the financial part of this project?”
4. Additional information:
Although not all business mails require additional information. However, you may include it if you find it necessary. It could either be clarification on the task to be done, examples, a link to some resources, or some other helpful information. This also doesn’t permit you to use words or phrases that are unnecessary. Include the information only if you have considered them very important.
5. Call to Action:
This is also important when you are learning how to write a business email. The call to action is usually located at the end of the mail. It is more like a restatement of the purpose of the mail. It states directly what is expected of the recipient to do. It would be unfair if you just assumed the reader already knows what to do. Who knows, he/she may have misinterpreted what you meant. So, for the purpose of clarification, call to action is important. It should contain the particular action you want to be done as well as the time frame. This way, the recipients will respond effectively and appropriately. If you would want a response for the call to action. You may put it in form of a question. Take note that this is a very important step in knowing how to write a formal email
6. Closing Message:
This one simply tells the reader that the mail has ended. That’s its main function. A very polite and brief phrase is just appropriate. Examples include:
“Thank you for your attention”
7. Sign off and Signature:
This is the last part of your business mail. The phrase you would make use of should align with the formality of the business email. Examples include:
Dr. Park Josh (Most Formal)
Josh (Least formal and most common)
Your signature is often electronic in this instance. And it is appended at the end of the email to signify that the email is from you originally.
8. Attachments and Links:
All the attachments and links used in the business mail must be referenced. You may either name the document or attach it to the mail for easy access by the recipient. You need not stress the receiver and make them waste time in getting the documents needed. For the links, you need to hyperlink them in this manner – You may find the technical report here. Then you must test the link and be sure it leads to the appropriate place.
In summary, do not forget to review and proofread the whole email before you send. Be sure there are no errors or mistakes, the documents are appropriately arranged and the links are not broken.
Now that we have successfully discussed how to write a business email, it is time we move to how to write an effective outreach email.
How To Write Effective Outreach Email
One question that may come to your mind at this point is “what is an outreach email?” well, just like the name sounds, it basically means when you contact people through email. And the outreach email serves a lot of purposes ranging from generating sales, finding business partners or investors, among others. However, there are some challenges that come with outreach emails. You know challenges are everywhere. Some of these challenges include:
- Having to compile your mailing list: this may not be easy for you, but it is necessary. The mailing list comprises of the emails of contacts you need to reach out to. Of course, it is always better to have their contacts so as to be able to mail them at once. In order to overcome this challenge, you need to use email marketing techniques. Gather the mails of your prospective recipients and have them documented in an excel document. This gives you a summary list of your contacts.
- Writing good emails: truth be told, writing a very good email may not be as simple as it seems. Some people do not know how to use a few words to portray a message. Some do not even know how to write an email that contains the exact message they want to put across. Outreach email is just not friendly to some people. Outreach email requires testing and creativity, and some don’t have it. However, to battle this, you should practice writing outreach emails more. You should believe in yourself and your abilities.
- Wrong target audience: I once received an outreach email introducing a skincare product to me. I simply laughed it off because I am a male who doesn’t even fancy creams, let alone, skincare products. I knew immediately that the senders haven’t got their target audience right. When you have the wrong target audience, then the aim of the outreach email is defeated. To curtail this, have an understanding of the characteristics of your target audience. Be sure the contacts you got are those of relevant individuals.
- 0% personalization: ensure that your outreach emails bring value to the recipients. It has to educate, inform or entertain them in one way or the other. Do not be over serious about the mails. Sometimes, seriousness bores people.
Writing An Outreach Email
Kindly take note that the tips you have learnt under how to write a business email could be useful here. Below are the things I have learnt when doing my outreach emails and they have worked for me:
- Personalization: this does not only mean you should refer to the prospect by name, it also involves mentioning what the recipient does and cares about. It gives them the impression that you know them well. It also suggests to them that you have specifically written the email for them and it’s not an outreach email template you copied and sent to them. So, do your research and know your prospects well before you send them a mail.
- Go straight to the point: You should not bore them with your outreach email, so be as fast as possible. Get to the point as quick as you can. Make it short and concise. Don’t stay too long on personalization, do it fast and more to the important parts. The important parts are also understood better if you are not ambiguous with your choice of words. Use simple words and use less words.
- Make what you want very clear: sometimes, I read some mails and I still ask “so, what exactly do you want?”. I do not want that to be your case. Always be sure you are clear about what you want. Don’t get your recipients confused.
- Include a very interesting sign off: this is probably your very last chance to make a lasting impression. So, utilize it well. You could sign off with something interesting and creative. Examples include: “your biggest fan”, “your loyal customer”, etc.
Outreach Email Templates
I have decided to provide you with some outreach email templates so as to guide you to make yours. Find some below:
Outreach Email Template 1
Hi [first name],
As [position name] of [company], looking for means to deliver the best value to you has been my top priority.
In this wise, I would like to know about your experiences as regards [the problem you’re solving]. The problem you are struggling with. The things you want to achieve. What you hate and love. Or maybe it is just a particular thing you would love to overcome and you do not have the capability to do so yet.
About 10-15 minutes of your time will be appreciated if I can get it, it would mean a whole lot to me. And you can be assured that we will help you to break through [your industry] challenges by every means possible.
If you are interested in this, just respond to this message, and I will send you instructions for bringing us in.
Thank you so much.
[your name and title]
Outreach Email Template 2
I would love to say that I am a big fan of your works. I have fallen in love with [link to one of their recent posts] among your works.
Sincerely, you’ve got great stuff! [Insert funny comment or key takeaway]
I will be publishing a post on [topic] this coming week. Since I’ve known you to be a master at [topic], I believe you will be instrumental here. And I know you will enjoy it.
I would love to get your feedback about it. Would you like to get a link of it once published?
Thank you for your time,
Outreach Email Template 3
I am [your name] from [your company]. I have been following your [relevant content] and I am truly impressed by the fact that you have really done well with [recipient’s company name].
I also know the frame of your audience. And I believe that would be interested in [you product or service name]. So, I would love to introduce it to you.
Would you like to review and test [your product or service name]?
I would be providing a free sample so you could review it, if you wish. And I would also be attaching three more samples that can serve as giveaway to your audience.
Kindly inform me if you are interested in this.
Thank you for your time.
[your name and title]
In this post, we have learned how to write a business email, how to write effective outreach email, some outreach email templates. Do have a nice email outreach journey.