A good professional email communicates information clearly and completely. Language and tone are very important in email writing in English, especially when we write to someone we do not personally know. Luckily, there are words and phrases that you can use to ensure that your email sounds professional regardless of the receiver.

This resource covers every aspect of professional email writing:

You will also find some sample emails at the end of this resource. You can use these as templates for your own emails.

Strong email skills are essential for work, school, and daily life. In an office job, team communication software and messaging apps are often used for informal communication, but email is the preferred method for clear, formal communication. The purpose of this resource is to teach you essential email skills, so you can communicate more effectively and feel more confident the next time you apply for a job, email your boss, or respond to a client, customer, or colleague.

Subject Lines

Good subject lines are clear and to the point. The best ones are usually 2 to 4 words, though this is not always possible. If you want people to view your complete subject line on a phone, try to make your subject 30 characters or fewer. For example, if you have a question about a product, “Product question” is a direct subject line. Here are some other scenarios and suggested subject lines:

Asking your boss for time off:

  • Time off request
  • Day off request
  • Vacation request
  • Holiday request

Applying for a job:

  • Job inquiry – [Your name]
  • Marketing Director Position
  • Operations Manager Position – [Your name]
  • Application for Sales Associate
  • Job posting #578: Executive Assistant

Introductory email (sent to potential partners, clients, customers, etc.):

  • Looking to connect with a/an [your industry] professional
  • [Number] ways we can help you [do something]
  • Need help with [topic/problem]?
  • Hi [name], [your question]?
  • [Receiver’s name], let’s connect
  • Referred by [name of mutual contact] to discuss [topic]
  • What’s the best way to [what you can help with]?

Subsequent (or “follow-up”) email:

  • Follow-up on [subject]
  • Regarding [subject]
  • Update on [subject]
  • Checking in
  • Following up
  • Status update on [subject]
  • Any update on [subject]?

Information request (about a product, service, decision, etc.):

  • Information request
  • Seeking details regarding [product or service name]
  • Decision outcome request

Asking for feedback:

  • Following up on our discussion/meeting/interview
  • Did you like [product or service name]?
  • Tell us what you thought about [product or service name]
  • Have you decided on [subject]?


There are levels of formality to email greetings. If you know the person’s name whom you are writing to, you can use one of the following greetings:

Standard greetings:

  • Dear Mika,
  • Hello Gerald,
  • Good morning/afternoon Nyla,

Slightly more informal greeting:

  • Hi Daniel,

“Hi” has become more standard in recent times, and it is accepted as a standard greeting by most people, especially in the tech and media industries. However, if you have never met the person and would like to be safe, use “Dear,” “Hello,” or a time of day greeting instead.

Very familiar greeting:

  • Hey Gina,

If you do not know the name of the person whom you are writing to, it is usually acceptable to write the department name or the position of the person instead. For example: “Dear Human Resources Department” or “Dear Operations Manager”.

“To Whom it May Concern” is also still used, but depending on the person reading the email, this greeting can sound cold. “Dear Sir/Madam” and “Dear Mister/Miss” are old-fashioned and not in popular usage anymore. It is usually possible to learn the name of the person whom you are writing to, so make sure you do your research before you use an impersonal greeting such as “To whom it may concern”.

After your salutation, it is common and polite to include a personal greeting or question. If you are applying for a job or university, most of these sentences are not necessary, but if you are writing to a potential client or colleague, this is a common practice. Note the examples:

  • How are you?
  • I hope this email finds you well.
  • I hope you’re doing well.
  • I hope you’re having a good week.
  • I hope you enjoyed your weekend/vacation.
  • Welcome back! (to someone who has returned from time off work)
  • Thank you for [what they did for you]
  • It was nice to meet you at the conference.

Topic Introductions

How you introduce your topic mostly depends on the level of formality you are trying to set.


  • I am writing to… (ask/see/check/etc.)
  • I am writing regarding/in regard to…
  • I am writing to inform you that…
  • This is to inform you that…
  • I’d like to inform you that…
  • I’d like to let you know that…
  • I’d like to touch base with you regarding…
  • I’d like to arrange a meeting to discuss…
  • The purpose of this email is…
  • I am writing on behalf of… (meaning: I am writing as a representative of [someone or a company])

Slightly less formal:

  • I’m reaching out to ask…
  • I’m reaching out to let you know that…
  • I’m getting in touch (with you) because/to see/to ask/to check…
  • I’m getting in touch to let you know that…
  • I’d like to touch base with you about…
  • I’m writing to let you know that…
  • I want to let you know that…
  • We should arrange a meeting to talk about…

Follow-up Emails

To follow up means to contact someone whom you have previously communicated with, and to provide new or more information about something. If someone says, “I’ll follow up with you next week”, it means they will contact you next week with new information, or they will expect to hear new information from you. We often follow up with people who have not responded to our original email fast enough. Look at the language you can use to follow up with someone:

  • I was wondering if you’ve had an opportunity to look at my last email.
  • I was wondering if you’ve had a chance to consider my proposal.
  • I just want to make sure I’ve answered all your questions.
  • I’m just following up to see/ask/check… (if you have any questions)
  • I’m just checking in to ask/see…
  • I’m just touching base to ask/see/check…
  • Have you had a chance to think about [what you discussed/proposed/etc.]?
  • Have you decided on [what you discussed/proposed/etc.]?
  • Do you have an update on [what you discussed/proposed/etc.]?
  • As we discussed,…
  • To follow up on our discussion/meeting/communication/etc.,…
  • On the topic of [topic], I was wondering if/what/when/etc.,…

Requests & Questions

The most standard request structure in English speaking and writing is “Could you…?”. For example: “Could you let me know when you’re free?” To make this more polite, use “Could you please…?”. Take a look at the request examples below, and at the common questions in the second half.


  • Could you (please)…? (+ base verb)
  • Would you mind…? (+ verb+ing)
  • I would like to know if/when/how/what…
  • Could you (please) let me know if/when/how/what…?
  • Could you (please) confirm if/when/how/which…?
  • Could you (please) give me an update on…?
  • Could you (please) send me an estimate?
  • Could you (please) send me a quote?
  • Could you (please) send me a price list?
  • I would appreciate your help with…
  • I would like to know if you could… (help me with the printer.)
  • Would you be available to [do something]?
  • Would it be okay if…? (I borrowed your computer for 30 minutes?) (polite)
  • If it’s not too much trouble, could you/I…? (polite)
  • If you wouldn’t mind, I’d really appreciate your help with… (polite)
  • I don’t mean to bother you, but would you mind…? (polite)
  • Let me know the best time to call/come/contact you/etc.
  • Keep me posted on/about… (Make sure you regularly tell me the most recent information about something.)
  • Let’s stay in touch.
  • Let’s keep in touch.


  • Do you know if/when/where/how…?
  • Have you heard any news about/regarding…?
  • Have you heard about…?
  • Do you have any details that might be helpful?
  • Do you have any updates about…?
  • What is the best time to contact you?
  • What’s your availability this week/next week/today/etc.?
  • What’s your schedule like today/tomorrow/this afternoon/etc.?
  • Could we schedule a meeting today/this afternoon/tomorrow/etc.?

Saying Thank You

Depending on the email, we can say “Thank you” at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of an email. Use “Thank you” for added formality, or “Thanks” for more casual communication. Here are more ways of saying thank you:

  • Thank you for getting back to me.
  • Thanks for the info (or “the information”).
  • Thanks for the heads up. (informal, meaning “Thanks for the advance notice.”)
  • Thank you for the update.
  • Thanks for taking the time to read my email.
  • Thank you for your email.
  • Thank you for your interest in our products/services/etc.
  • Thanks for following up.
  • Thank you for your help with…
  • Thanks for looking into… (look into = to investigate)


Near the end of an email, it is common to make a promise of future action. Promises are often made with “I will” or the contracted form “I’ll”. Here are some of the most common email promises.

  • I’ll get back to you. (I don’t have an answer right now. I will contact you in the near future when I can give you a proper answer.)
  • I’ll get back to you when I have more information.
  • I’ll look into it. (I’ll investigate it. This typically refers to investigating a situation.)
  • I will let you know.
  • I’ll keep you posted.
  • I will get in touch with you as soon as I can.
  • I’ll get in touch with you as soon as I have more information.
  • I’ll keep in touch.
  • I should be in touch with you soon.
  • Our sales department will let you know when the product has shipped.


Closings are an integral part of professional emails. A good closing should leave the receiver feeling positive, or it should politely encourage them to act. If you expect a response from someone, the first three sentences below are very common.

  • Looking forward to hearing from you.
  • Looking forward to your response.
  • I look forward to hearing from you.
  • Talk to you soon.
  • Take care.
  • Have a nice day.
  • Thank you.

Final word(s) before your name and/or email signature (note the punctuation):

  • All the best,
  • Regards,
  • Kind regards,
  • Best wishes,
  • Sincerely,

Sample Email Templates

Now that you have studied some of the most common email language, let’s look at some example emails. Of course, there are many ways to write these types of messages, but I hope these samples will help you with your own emails.

Situation 1: Applying for a job

SUBJECT: Executive Assistant position: Shirley Hemsworth

Dear Paul,

I am writing to express my interest in the Executive Assistant position advertised on your website. Please find attached a copy of my resume and three letters of reference.

If you require any further information, do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you.

Shirley Hemsworth

Situation 2: Offering your company’s services

SUBJECT: Hello Rita, does your printer keep jamming?

Good morning, Rita,

I hope you had a good weekend! I am writing to ask if you are satisfied with your current printer. Most companies keep their printers for 3 years longer than they should. Our company leases modern printers at an affordable price, and the second you are not satisfied with one of our models, you can exchange it for a new one.

Is this something you might be interested in? Please let me know, and I would be happy to send you a price list.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Situation 3: Rejecting an offer

SUBJECT: Regarding your offer

Dear Max,

Thank you for your email and for the attached quote. It looks like your company has a lot to offer!

After considering our needs, we have decided that we are satisfied with our current situation and will therefore not need your services at this time. If anything changes in the future, we will keep your company in mind.

Thank you again, and I hope you have a great day.


If you would like to review some of this information and test your email writing skills, watch my video on How to Write a Professional Email: