Writing A Good Email In English: Our Advice

Posted on December 6, 2021

Effective email writing is more important than ever these days. So how can we write a good email?

Is Email Even The Best Way?

First things first. When you write a good email, your recipient knows exactly what you want. Aim to email with one request or about one topic.

Is it really complicated, though?

Then consider phoning instead of emailing. Likewise if it’s urgent.

Write A Good Email Subject Line

OK so we’re writing an email.

When you write a good email subject line, you have a much better chance of a positive response. Say you’re writing to a manager who gets a lot of emails. An email subject line like “Question”, “Catch up”, or “Bits and bobs” won’t help them manage their inbox.

Are you starting a new topic of conversation? So start a new email thread. Otherwise it will make your conversation hard to search through in the future.

Use An Appropriate Form Of Address

Contrary to popular belief, British people are not super super formal. So normally we start emails to colleagues and clients with “Hi” and their first name like this:

Hi Kelly,

But what if it’s someone you’ve never met, like someone you’re interviewing?

Dear Kelly,

You can also switch it up with “Hello” which is somewhere in the middle in terms of formality.

Add A Social Pleasantry

“I hope you’ve been well since we last spoke.”

“Great to hear you’ve opened another branch in West London.”

And so on.

Make Your Request Easy For Your Recipient

You probably have contacts who are busy and won’t always reply. So make it easy for them.

Suppose you want to change the supplier for office equipment. If you write “Can we start using a new supplier?” and you don’t get a reply, you’re stuck.

But consider this. If you write “I’d like to change the supplier for office equipment. I found another company with a wider range of things we need. Unless you tell me otherwise, I’ll do this on Monday”.

This way, the person you’re writing to doesn’t even need to reply.

Use Nice Short Sentences

This is one of the things we see a lot in our English language classes in London. And that’s people writing sentences which are too long. English speakers have a general preference for short, concise sentences.

Proofread Before Sending

You probably run a spellcheck anyway. But we’re talking about that pesky autocorrect function.

Sometimes autocorrect is a friend.

But sometimes it’s a fiend.

So just make sure “Best regards” doesn’t turn into “Beat regards”.

Do You Want To Improve Your English Writing Skills?

You’re in the right place. Online or face to face classes at Orchid English focus on the skills you want to improve.

Learn how to write a good email whether it’s to a client, a colleague or a friend.

Contact us on 020 8150 7239 or write to us here.

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