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4 Steps to Maintaining Professionalism in Your Business Emails

It can be more difficult than you think to write professional business e-mails. Written messages do not have the benefit of body language or vocal inflection to provide context. Business e-mails must always be in the company voice as well. What follows are four steps you can take to maintain professionalism in your business e-mails.


Don’t Sound Unsure of Yourself

Softening your stance with filler phrases should be avoided because it makes you sound unsure of yourself, inexperienced and unprofessional. For example, when providing a quote for a client, simply tell them your service rates. Do not add “if that is acceptable to you,” or any other phrase that softens or undermines your message. Do, however, be empathetic, polite and personable. Consider how what you’ve written would make you feel and cultivate a good relationship with clients and coworkers.


Avoid Slang

One important tip to remaining professional in e-mail correspondence is to avoid slang. Aside from appearing unprofessional, its usage can be confusing for your recipient. Do not use chat lingo or inappropriate abbreviations, such as “lol,” “u,” or “thx.” Informal terms such as “gotta” should not be used in business e-mail correspondence either. Stick to formal, polite speech. For example, it is better to use “thank you” instead of “thanks.”


Stick to the Point

When writing a professional business e-mail, get to the point. People are busy and do not want to sift through large amounts of text to understand what you’ve said. Do not go on rambling tangents or give information that was not asked for, unless it is relevant to the request. Parse down sentences to get across your meaning in as few words as possible. In business correspondence, less is more.


Use a Standard Structure

There is a fairly standard structure to follow when composing business e-mails. This includes the greeting, a thank you or compliment, your purpose, closing remarks and a signature. After a simple greeting, thanking or complimenting the recipient makes you appear more polite. It also makes the reader more receptive to your purpose. An example of a good closing remark would be, “I look forward to hearing from you.” Using this standard structure will help you keep your e-mails short and effective.


Take the time to learn about the proper ways to write a business e-mail. It will make you come across as more professional and help advance your career. If you aren’t confident in what you’ve written, you can consider a document proofreading service.

Hannah Whittenly

This article was contributed by freelance writer and independent blogger Hannah Whittenly.