ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to write an effective business email

Updated on January 10, 2014

If you want to know how to write a business email, understand that it is simple but not always easy. The business email, by the way, is one of the most common channels of communication in the workplace. In many cases, it is the only way managers and executives communicate with a large number of people. In other cases, colleagues use it to collaborate, and if you're in business, you probably write them to communicate with clients and suppliers. Here are some easy steps and tips to keep in mind for business emails.


Your email will have at least four headers:

From: (your

Subject: (The main point of your email)

To: (Your

Sent: (Today's date)

You already know this. One problem I see students have is with the subject line. This part of the email announces briefly (very briefly) what the reader will read so he/she can pay attention to it, or read it later. Ensure the subject of the email is no longer than 6 words long (it's a lot like a headline in a newspaper). Also, avoid starting the email in the subject line, and try to avoid active verbs.

Sample subject lines: more research for project; new vacation policy; blended learning training next Tuesday.

Use direct sequencing

Most business email messages are fairly routine and are best written using direct sequencing. The direct sequence has a clear opening, a middle and an end.

Opening - This where you state why you are writing the email and get to the point. The opening should develop your subject line. Give a tiny bit of background and tell the readers briefly what you will tell them .

Details: Provide additional details that that develop the opening. Usually, these will answer most of the 5W's (Who, what, when, where, why) and the H (how). Again, these need to be related to your main point.

Close: Wind down by summarizing your main point briefly if you think it's appropriate and closing on a note of goodwill (thanks for your co-operation) and indicate if there's a next step (at the very least, you'll want to keep the lines of communication open between yourself and the reader), Give an extension or a phone number. Or, invite comments, questions, or feedback. Also, a pleasant ending such as thanks a lot for your co-operation (or what ever is appropriate) leaves the reader with a sense of closure and ends the document on a note of goodwill.


  • Decide who your email is going to. It's important to visualize your audience clearly. This will set the tone for your writing. Certainly, there will be a difference in the writing voice and information of your email if, for example, it is going to a CEO, than if it is going to a colleague.
  • Decide what the purpose of your email is. Most business messages are fairly informational and routine. In many cases. they convey news, information relevant for a project or even instructions.
  • Decide what the main point of your message is. In an informational message, it can be an update, an announcement, or something your readers need to pay attention to. The main point of your message will be the locus for the rest of your email. Note: only have one main point for each email you send.

Some email writing tips

  • Keep your email brief, no more than screen full. Most readers have a very short attention span these days.
  • As mentioned earlier,focus your email around one central point. Avoid introducing any new information or topics. If you want to do that, write a separate email.
  • Ensure your wording is concise. Watch out for rambling too much. Did I mention most readers have a short on-screen attention span?
  • Use in-text formatting if you can (some email programs are better than this than others) including short paragraphs, bulleted lists, and underlining or bolding. (Be aware, your receiver's email program may not accept all the formatting you've included at your end).
  • Avoid chatroom lingo in a business email - Stay away from using "u", and "r" "b4" etc. Business email is not the same as using skype, texting or any other IM channel.
  • Consider drafting your email a text file first, then revising it and editing it. It's easy miss your mistakes when you write on screen.
  • Also.edit your work on-screen (some programs do have on-screen editors). Check and double check. s
  • Be sure you are 100% comfortable with the message before you hit send. If you are not, save your email in the drafts section and come back to it later.

Did you find this helpful?

Submit a Comment

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 

    5 years ago from Chicago Area

    Agreed, that your Subject Line is your Headline. Sometimes that's all people will read! Make sure it delivers. Thanks for the great reminders.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)