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Everyone has found themselves needing to send communications in English at least once, thereby interacting with entities beyond borders.

For this reason, it’s highly beneficial to understand what structure makes an email more comprehensible, both in formal and informal situations.

The Structure of an Email

Before starting to write the email, it’s essential to grasp the context in which you find yourself. Communication changes depending on the relationship established with the recipient.

All emails should be written in a polite form, which can vary depending on the contact and the request made.

In a formal situation, it’s necessary to address the recipient more courteously, beginning the email with:

  • Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. + Last Name
  • Dear Sirs(used when writing to an entire company)
  • To whom it may concern

In an informal situation, you can start your email with:

  • Hello/ Hi + Name 
  • Hi everyone 
  • To + Name 

The reason for writing to someone can vary depending on the needs, so the introduction to the body of the email will change accordingly.

Generally, you can send a message to someone to book or inquire about something, or even to complain about a service. For all these scenarios, you can start with “I am writing to…“:

  • enquire about
  • make a booking for
  • complain about

Of course, the main body of the email changes based on the communication needs, indicating what’s necessary. It’s essential to be direct and precise in the email’s composition, highlighting the key information that should be clear to the recipient, who should have everything they need to resolve any issues in a few lines.

It’s important to remember that when addressing someone formally, it’s advisable to avoid using contractions (e.g., you are instead of you’re), which are preferably used in informal contexts. For the same reason, it’s crucial to pay attention to the vocabulary used in communication, as it must reflect the person you’re addressing (e.g., to purchase = to buy).

The email’s closing varies depending on the recipient:

  • For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me
  • I look forward to hearing from you

Final greetings also change based on the situation:

  • Kind regards  – Formal
  • Best wishes – Formal
  • Yours faithfully – Formal
  • Thanks – Neutral
  • Love from  – Informal
  • XoXo – Informal

These basic rules can be applied to any email. However, specific cases exist where a precise structure is needed, such as when sending job applications, where the candidate briefly introduces themselves and explains the motivations behind their application.

The Email Subject

The subject line is the element that stands out most to the reader and entices them to open the email.

The subject line must be clear and to the point, essentially serving as the title of the communication. Using numbers to attract attention and reveal the email’s content can be helpful, as can personalization, which always makes the recipient feel special. The power of words is strong: using expressions like private or unique can pique the recipient’s curiosity.

Source: Content Marketing Institute

What to Never Forget in an Email

Before sending an email, it’s essential to review the content. This is crucial to avoid conceptual errors, grammatical mistakes, or simple omissions that often lead a person to send a second email.

Additionally, always remember to mention any attachments, briefly describing their contents to assist the recipient in understanding what has been sent.