How to Write Formal Emails at Work?

If you’re wondering how to write a formal email, you’re…

If you’re wondering how to write a formal email, you’re in luck. This article explores the entire process in detail

What is a Formal Email?

a married man wearing a brown watch with black suit
Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash

You are probably used to writing casual and informal emails to friends and family. That’s why you may not know how to write a formal email properly. 

When using an email to someone you don’t know, formal communications are necessary. Formal emails are an appropriate way to go for some business circumstances. If you’re not sure of sending a formal or informal email, you’ll prefer a more formal message. 

The structure and salutations of a formal email are similar to writing a traditional letter. There are no spelling or grammatical errors, and they have a clear purpose. 

Formal emails are courteous, professional, and get straight to the point. They only focus on the desired outcome, leaving no room for mistakes or misunderstandings.

Why Write a Formal Email?

The possibility of misunderstandings and misrepresentation is eliminated through formal emails. The key is to follow the right email etiquette when you do business.

It is important to have a clear purpose and treat the reader respectfully. There’s a standard method for writing across borders and cultures.

Misunderstandings can arise when we’re too friendly or informal in our emails. There may also be some limitations to the tone of voice.

In any case, formal emails are useful tools in the business world, academic world, and many more.

The Difference Between Informal & Formal Email

A formal email is different from a casual email. You’re most likely going to get a casual email from someone you know well. When sending a casual email, you don’t have to worry about structure and tone. 

The structure of a formal email is one of the things that differentiate formal from casual emails. A formal email has a defined structure, a salutation, a signature section, an opening sentence, and a body. 

You use language differently in formal emails than in casual ones. Avoid using abbreviations, contractions, slang, emoticons, and other informal terminology. 

Formal emails have a different tone. The writer may not use complete sentences or correct grammar in an informal email, but formal emails always do so.

How to Write a Formal Email?

You don’t want to send a casual, informal email that isn’t taken seriously. You want to send a formal email with the right tone and communicate effectively. That doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly and humorous in your email, just that it must be professional. Make sure to include the appropriate salutations and closing. In the process of writing your email, think about what is appropriate for your email to speak about.

The structure of a formal email is as follows:

  • Subject
  • Greeting
  • Body
  • Closing
  • Signing Off


Readers see their inboxes through the subject line. If the subject of your email has misleading or missing information, it may not be read. The more formal your email is, the better your subject line should be. But be careful not to make your subject line lengthy.


Always use a greeting directed at the person you are writing a formal email.

You should avoid saying “Hello”, or “Hi”. Instead of these, use “Dear”.

If you aren’t familiar with the name of the person or writing to a group of people, write “To Whom It May Concern”.


The body of a formal email explains the purpose of the email. Alternatively, the body can detail the follow-up steps needed to execute the task at hand. Keep the body concise and clear, and make sure you hit on the aspects of the email being discussed.


This part tells what’s next. You should include a clear call to action if you want them to do something. Continue your conversation with a friendly note, so readers know you will keep in touch with them.

Signing Off

Use a standard phrase to sign off, and don’t forget to include your information at the very end. You can also use a signature if you want to be extra professional.

To Wrap Up

Writing a formal email can seem daunting. However, it’s much easier to follow these simple guidelines to write professional variant of an email.

Frequently asked questions

How do you write a proper email?

  • Consider first the Message and the recipient. I am Marc Romanelli / Getty Images.
  • Write a descriptive email subject line.
  • Greet the recipient properly.
  • Grammar and Punctuation are correct.
  • Spelling and capitalization
  • Format your email as you want.
  • Be Concise
  • Sign Email Appropriately

What is a good work email?

It is recommended that firstname.lastname@domain.tld format be used as the most standard form of a professional email address. But there are some other ways to get a professional email address, like firstnameinitial.lastname@domain.tld. firstnameinitiallastname@domain.tld.

How do you start and end an email?

An email starts with a comma after the beginning. A new line is added after the person we’re writing to. After the closing phrase, we usually write a comma. Starting at the end of the line, we write our name.

How do you start an email professionally?

  • Introduce yourself
  • Good afternoon
  • Good morning
  • How are you?
  • I hope you are feeling better soon.
  • Your weekend was beautiful.
  • I hope you are doing well.
  • I hope you are having a great week.

What are the best opening lines for formal letter?

Here are 10 good opening lines for a question I’m writing. Following having seen your advertisement in… I would like.. As soon as I heard your address from…. I have received your address from.. and would like to know..

How do you start a formal email sample?

  • I am writing to let you know..
  • (if you’re communicating good news), I am excited to tell you what you have done.
  • (If you are sending bad news).

How do you start a formal letter?

Letters will usually begin with ‘Dear’ before the name of the person you are writing to. Using first name and surname or title and surnom are options. Nevertheless, if you do not know what person you are writing to, you should use the phrase ‘Dear Sir or Madam’.

How do you write a formal work email?

  • Put all the pieces together to create an excellent email.
  • Your subject line should catch the attention of the person. Start a formal email by starting with the subject line.
  • The right tone must be used.
  • Start it as you began.
  • Describe one key point.

What is a good opening sentence for an email?

I hope your day so far has been pleasant.. I hope the pandemic hasn’t been too harsh on you.. I sincerely hope you are well in these interesting times.. I pray that your week went well..

How do you write a professional email to a manager?

  • The purpose of the email should be clearly defined.
  • Make a suitable subject line.
  • Let us begin by greeting.
  • Please explain the reason why you are writing the email.
  • Provide additional details
  • Send your manager a proactive message.
  • A strong closing phrase should follow.
  • Add your signature
How to Write Formal Emails at Work?

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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