We accept Apple Pay Google Pay Quick and secure payment options.

Business Email: Guidelines and Format Examples

Author Avatar
Written by
Dr. Isabel Larsen
  • Icon Calendar 12 July 2024
  • Icon Page 3823 words
  • Icon Clock 18 min read

If someone wants to know how to write a business email and learn its format, such a letter entails a mode of communication where business parties share messages digitally. Each day, people send online content to transact their products and services. In principle, there are seven sections of a business email, namely an address of a sender, an address of a receiver, a subject line, a salutation, a body, and a signature. Then, addresses of senders and receivers appear first on the left side of a business letter. In turn, a subject line should be short, clear, and descriptive. Greetings should include formal and respectful words if a letter is official. Moreover, salutations can be casual if two or more parties are close friends. In principle, a central message relayed through an online message should be precise and clear. Finally, both formal and informal emails can have their text justified or indented in a writing style that writers feel is appropriate.

General Aspects

Email messages are an essential form of communication in running a thriving business. Despite a particular existence of many kinds of conversations in business environments, most small-scale enterprises do not know how to write a good business email and cannot follow its format to spur a noraml growth of their businesses. Basically, there are many ways to communicate, such as verbal, non-verbal, and other written pieces. In this case, good business communicators use all means of communication, such as sending messages, posting memos, and advertising through brochures. However, due to ease of accessibility and convenience, successful business owners share information through online letters. Besides, this form of communication is more useful than others. Although people do not need to meet physically, they can effectively communicate through well-structured messages. Therefore, people should know a typical structure and email format of a well-organized letter since it determines an overall effectiveness of communication.

What Is a Business Email and Its Purpose

According to its definition, a business email is a professional communication tool used to exchange information, make requests, or provide updates within a formal context. Basically, such a text typically follows a well-structured format that includes a subject line, a polite salutation, a clear and concise body, and a respectful closing (Roche, 2023). In this case, the main purpose of writing a business email is to facilitate clear and efficient communication among colleagues, clients, and stakeholders, document important information, coordinate tasks, and make decisions. Moreover, such messages are crucial for having written records of interactions, which can be useful for future reference and accountability, and they contribute to streamlined operations, professional relationships, and enhanced productivity within an organization (Assey, 2020). Finally, formal business emails improve productivity, maintain professionalism, and foster clear and direct communication in a working environment. In terms of words and pages, the length of a business email depends on an academic level, its context, and a specific purpose, while general guidelines are:

High School

  • Length: 0.5-1 page
  • Word Count: 125-250 words


  • Length: 1-2 pages
  • Word Count: 250-500 words

University (Undergraduate)

  • Length: 1-3 pages
  • Word Count: 250-750 words


  • Length: 1-4 page
  • Word Count: 250-1,000 words


  • Length: 1-5 pages or more
  • Word Count: 250-1,250 words or more
how to write a business email format


Subject LineA brief and clear summary of an email’s purpose.“Meeting Request: Project Update”
SalutationA polite greeting, addressing a recipient by surname or title.“Dear Mr. Smith,” or “Hello Team,”
OpeningAn introductory sentence that sets a positive tone and states a central purpose of a particular letter.“I hope this message finds you well.” Or “I am writing to inform you about … .”
Context/BackgroundProviding any necessary context or background information related to a main point.“As discussed in our previous meeting, we need to finalize our project timeline.”
Main Point/RequestA core message or request of an online text.“I would like to schedule a meeting to discuss upcoming project deadlines.”
Supporting DetailsAdditional details or information that support a main point or request.“Our meeting should cover task assignments and milestone reviews.”
Call to ActionSpecific action you want a recipient to take“Please let me know your availability next week.”
Additional InformationAny other relevant information or resources that can help a recipient.“Attached is a draft timeline for your review. Please provide your feedback by Friday.”
Deadline/TimelineInclude a deadline or timeline for a requested action if applicable.Kindly respond by the end of this week so we can finalize our schedule.”
ClosingA polite closing remark that indicates appreciation or readiness for further communication.“Thank you for your time and consideration.”
Sign-OffA formal sign-off“Sincerely,” or “Best regards,”
SignatureYour name and surname, title, and contact information.“John Doe, Project Manager, XYZ Company, j.doe@xyz.com”
AttachmentsNoting any attached files, if applicable.“Please, find a file with a project timeline attached.”
Carbon Copy (CC)Listing additional recipients who should receive a particular email.“CC: Jane Doe, Finance Department”
Blind Carbon Copy (BCC)Listing additional recipients who should receive a discussed message without others seeing them.“BCC: John Smith, Legal Advisor”
Follow-Up InformationMentioning when you will follow up if there is no response.“If I do not hear from you by Friday, I will follow up on Monday.”
Contact InformationIncluding alternative contact methods if necessary.“Feel free to call me at (123) 456-78910 if you have any questions.”
Professional DisclaimerIncluding any necessary legal or professional disclaimers.“This email and any attachments included are confidential and intended solely for the addressee(s).”

Note: Some sections can be added, deleted, or combined with each other depending on a context and purpose of a particular message. In this case, the important elements of a business email include a clear subject line, a professional salutation, a concise and well-structured body, a specific call to action, a polite closing remark, and a formal sign-off with a sender’s signature and contact information (Lee, 2021). Moreover, the main difference between an email and a business email is that the latter follows a formal structure and tone, is used for professional communication, and often includes specific elements, like a clear subject line, a professional salutation, and a formal sign-off. In turn, people use CC to include additional recipients who need to be informed but not directly addressed, and BCC serves to discreetly include recipients without revealing their contacts to others (Assey, 2020). As a result, to format a business email, people provide a clear subject line, a professional salutation, a concise and structured body with main points and supporting details, a specific call to action, a polite closing remark, and a formal sign-off with their signatures.


A particular importance of a business email is in its form of communication that involves two or more organizations sharing information. For example, people should write a professional email when communicating in a business context, addressing colleagues, clients, or superiors, making formal requests, providing important updates, or maintaining professional relationships (B. Aull & L. Aull, 2021). Basically, they write messages with a distinct tone, purpose, and structure. In this case, online letters facilitate, sustain, and strengthen business relations. Further on, a good message should be well composed and grammatically correct to communicate effectively and formally, portraying respect for business customs. Besides, people write such papers to promote their products and services to potential customers or partners (Russell et al., 2023). In turn, others use online texting as a communication tool within a specific network. Hence, different members collaborate and share their ideas. Finally, business owners use online letters to notify customers about critical updates. 

How to Write a Business Email

To write a business email, people clearly state their purposes in a subject line, use a professional salutation, present their main points concisely in a body, include a specific call to action, and close with a polite sign-off and their contact information.

  • Determine a Specific Purpose: Clearly understand why you are writing an online letter and what you want to achieve.
  • Use a Correct Email Address: Ensure your address is professional and represents you or your organization appropriately.
  • Develop a Clear Subject Line: Write a concise and relevant subject line that summarizes a paper’s purpose.
  • Use a Proper Salutation: Start with a polite and positive greeting, addressing an intended recipient by their appropriate title and surname.
  • Write an Engaging Opening: Begin with a considerate opening sentence that sets a correct tone and introduces a business letter’s purpose.
  • Present a Main Point Early: Clearly state a main point or request of your message within the first few sentences.
  • Provide Necessary Details: Include any additional information, context, or supporting details that a particular recipient needs to understand your message.
  • Include a Call to Action: Specify a specific action you want a recipient to take, providing clear instructions if necessary.
  • Close Politely: End with a polite closing remark, expressing appreciation or indicating readiness for further communication.
  • Use a Professional Sign-Off and Signature: End with a formal sign-off, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards,” followed by your name and surname, title, and contact information.


  1. Address and name of a sender
  2. Address and name of a recipient
  3. Date
  4. Subject line
  5. Salutation
  6. Body
  7. Signature

Business Email Example

Johnson Kelly,
Atlantic Ventures Limited,
P.O Box 987-6345,

11 July 2024.

Timothy Adams,
Deep Waters Limited,
P.O Box 1357-3452,

Re: Proposal for the supply and maintenance of boiler utilities in your company

Dear Mr. Adams,

Congratulations on opening a packaging manufacturing company in Amsterdam. We understand that running such a business requires a high consumption of energy, which might be costly to a company. Therefore, we aim to help you acquire a boiler to provide power for industrial operations. Furthermore, it is necessary to have it undergo periodic inspection and maintenance to ensure a company operates continuously.

Deep Waters Limited specializes in the supply and maintenance of boiler utilities for companies that want to save energy costs. In our proposal, we intend to offer the following services for your company:

  1. To supply and install a boiler and its accessories.
  2. Maintain equipment through mechanical repairs.
  3. To provide boiler water treatment chemicals for protection against corrosion, scaling, and fouling.
  4. To train and equip a boiler operators with the necessary skills for boiler maintenance.

We do understand that you intend to increase production capacity as well as reduce costs. Therefore, we are here to help you by offering our services, which we hope you will find them reliable. We kindly recommend that you adopt cost-reduction measures that include an installation process of a boiler system and regular maintenance. This approach will ensure sustainability in both production and cost reduction. For more information about our proposal and our company culture, please find attached documents. We hope that you will trust Atlantic Ventures Limited to help you reduce your energy costs.


Johnson Kelly,
Technical Sales Representative,
Atlantic Ventures Limited.


Writing Process

Addresses and Salutation

A particular address of a sender appears on the first left side of a letter. For example, to start a business email, people begin with a professional salutation or greeting, such as “Dear [Recipient’s Surname],” followed by an introductory sentence that clearly states a message’s purpose (Roche, 2023). Basically, an example provided above includes a name, such as “Johnson Kelly,” and an address of a company. In principle, a recipient’s name, such as “Timothy Adams,” and an address appear below a sender’s address. Then, a reference occupies a particular space below a recipient, and it contains a descriptive title of a body (Roche, 2023). Besides, salutation appears in the fourth position, and it begins with “Dear Mr. Adams” since a sender knows a surname of a recipient. Greetings involve a mention of a recipient’s surname and end with a comma. In turn, some examples of sentence starters for beginning a business email include:

  • I hope this message finds you well and that you are having a productive week so far.
  • I am writing to inform you about an important update regarding our upcoming project and associated deadlines.
  • Following our recent conversation, I wanted to provide you with additional details and clarify some key points we discussed.
  • I am reaching out to request your assistance with a matter that requires your expertise and prompt attention.
  • I am pleased to announce that our team has successfully completed an initial phase of our project and would like to share the results with you.
  • I would like to discuss potential opportunities and benefits for collaboration on a new initiative we briefly mentioned last week.
  • Thank you for your recent inquiry about our services, while I am happy to provide you with more detailed information to help you make an informed decision.
  • I am writing to update you on a particular progress we have made since our last meeting and to outline next steps in our plan.
  • I hope you had a wonderful weekend/holiday and are ready for an exciting and productive week ahead.
  • I wanted to touch base with you concerning an upcoming deadline and ensure we are aligned on all critical deliverables.

Body, Closing Message, and Signature

A body text appears in the next position after a salutation, and it describes a particular purpose of a letter. For example, a body of a business email should include a clear and concise explanation of its purpose, any necessary background information, main points or requests, and a specific call to action or next steps (Assey, 2020). In this case, its content begins with an introductory sentence, main message, and concluding statement with a signature. Further on, a particular justification of a text makes it professional and attractive. Besides, a main body has enough spacing to allow a recipient to read easily (Lanctot & Duxbury, 2021). Then, a closing message appears after body paragraphs. Finally, a formal letter contains a closing message with key phrases, such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely.” In turn, this phrase precedes a name of a sender – “Johnson Kelly.” 

How to Start

Paragraph 1: Problem and Solution

An above example of a business email uses two writing styles. Basically, these styles include descriptive and persuasive writing forms. Moreover, a subject line briefly and precisely describes a specific topic of a body’s content. For example, in an email subject line, people should avoid using vague, misleading, or overly lengthy phrases, as well as excessive punctuation and emoticons (Lee, 2021). Then, its text begins with an introductory paragraph that contains a particular subject of a problem. In turn, an issue that Atlantic Ventures Limited intends to solve is reducing power costs. Thus, this paragraph uses a descriptive writing style to describe a specific problem and its solution. 

Paragraph 2: Description

A second paragraph also uses a descriptive writing style. Basically, a sender of a letter describes ta specific kind of services provided by the Atlantic Ventures Limited company. In turn, this text systematically explains how this company will conduct its activities toward helping Deep Waters Limited to cut energy costs. 

Paragraph 3: Benefits

A third paragraph uses a persuasive style of writing. In this case, a sender of a letter stresses potential benefits that a recipient will acquire if this company uses proposed products. Mr. Kelly advises Mr. Adams to adopt cost-reduction measures because they will eventually ensure sustainability. Moreover, Mr. Kelly directed Mr. Adams to check attached files that contain more information about a particular quotation of services and products.

Styles of Writing

Formal vs. Informal Writing

Validated writing includes descriptive and persuasive content. Essentially, formal writing consists of a descriptive term of gender-oriented salutation. On the contrary, informal writing is casual, and it does not use gender-oriented words, such as sir or madam (Assey, 2020). Instead, it covers phrases, such as “Hello” or “Hi,” that contain only their names. Furthermore, formal writing should be precise, official, and have a passive tone. Conversely, a particular content in informal writing should have an active voice.

Business Letter Email vs. Spam

People write descriptive and persuasive business letters to seek relationships as opposed to spam letters. Basically, senders first make cold calls to potential customers and introduce themselves. In contrast, people send spam that may be more persuasive than descriptive (Lee, 2021). Besides, senders do not acquire permission from recipients. Thus, spam messages are not desirable in a business context.

Closing Messages

A closing note in a formal email should contain a complimentary phrase, such as “Sincerely,” “Kind regards,” “Thank you for getting back to me,” “Thank you,” or any other abbreviation. However, in an informal closure of a text, people may use emoticons and words, such as “Best wishes” or “Cheers” (Assey, 2020). Both formats of business email writing have closing words that a sender should include in a letter. Therefore, a sender of a letter should be careful not to use wrong phrases.

Internal Memorandum

An internal note has a conversational style of writing. In this case, a sender of a message shares information internally with business associates and other workers (Lee, 2021). Besides, the word “Memo” appears on top of a document. In turn, a memo letter should have a particular audience, sender, date, subject line, and a brief message. 

Business Proposal

A business proposal has descriptive content of proposed activities. Basically, these proposals have formats and styles that are similar to other formal messages and letters (Roche, 2023). However, they provide more details than usual emails. Thus, prospective clients acquire the information they need, and they can contact senders to seek further explanations.


Brochures contain more graphics than words. In this case, pictures are descriptive and rely on more information than words (Roche, 2023). Furthermore, catalogs provide introductory information about the services offered by a company. Thus, they do not have a specific style or format. 

How to Format


Business emails can have an indentation or justification format, depending on a sender’s choice. However, if a first paragraph has an indentation, the rest of the sections should have a similar indentation throughout the text (Lee, 2021). In turn, the main aim of indentation is to maintain format consistency throughout an entire content. Therefore, a particular choice for justification and indentation is allowed if they offer excellent textual presentation.

Font Size

For formatting a business email, people usually use a standard, readable font size, such as 10 to 12 points, to give a letter excellent visibility and presentation. In this case, the most common types of fonts in business email writing include Aerial, Calibri, Verdana, and Times New Roman. Moreover, all these formats are usable as long as they bring a desired visibility (Roche, 2023). Thus, regardless of a font type, such messages serve their intended purpose.


Formal emails should have limited colored text. In this case, too much use of colored content creates an unpleasant document that the recipient may dislike. However, with a proper use of words, more essential points can be appropriately stressed (Assey, 2020). Hence, colored text can be useful where a sender of online letters wants a receiver to notice a particular content. 


IntroductionUsed to introduce yourself, your business, or a new team member to someone.
InquirySent to request information or ask questions regarding products, services, or opportunities.
Follow-UpSent after a meeting, call, or initial business email to reiterate key points, some explanations, and next steps.
RequestUsed to ask for assistance, information, documents, or approval on a particular matter.
ApologySent to apologize for a mistake, misunderstanding, or any inconvenience caused.
Thank YouExpresses gratitude for assistance, a meeting, business, or partnership.
ConfirmationConfirms receipt of information, agreement to terms, or details of a meeting or order.
NotificationProvides important updates, changes, or announcements to relevant parties.
InvitationInvites recipients to meetings, events, webinars, or other professional gatherings.
ComplaintAddresses issues or dissatisfaction with products, services, or interactions.
PromotionHighlights special offers, promotions, or new products/services to clients or customers.
TerminationCommunicates a defined end of a contract, partnership, or employment relationship.
FeedbackRequests feedback on products, services, or experiences from customers or colleagues.
Meeting RequestProposes a time and date for a meeting, including agenda and objectives.
ReminderReminds recipients of upcoming deadlines, meetings, or important tasks.

Common Mistakes

  • Using an Inappropriate Email Address: Using an unprofessional or personal address instead of a business-appropriate one.
  • Lack of a Clear Subject Line: Omitting a subject line or writing one that is vague or irrelevant to a letter’s content.
  • Informal Language or Tone: Using overly casual language, slang, or an informal tone that is not suitable for a professional setting.
  • Grammatical and Spelling Errors: Failing to proofread a business email for typos, grammatical mistakes, and spelling errors.
  • Being Too Lengthy or Wordy: Writing overly long messages that are difficult to read and follow instead of being concise and to a central point.
  • Lack of Structure: Not organizing a text with clear paragraphs and sections, making it hard to read and understand.
  • Forgetting Attachments: Mentioning attachments but forgetting to actually attach them.
  • Unclear Call to Action: Not specifying what action a recipient should take, leading to confusion and ignorance.
  • Using Inappropriate Salutations or Closings: Starting or ending a particular text with greetings or sign-offs that are too casual or not suitable for a recipient.
  • Not Customizing for a Recipient: Sending generic texts without personalizing them to recipient’s specific needs, interests, or contexts.

Summing Up

A final provision of this guide is that it helps an individual to identify critical elements that differentiate an informal message from an official paper. Moreover, regardless of a business email format, coherence, and clarity of a particular message should be paramount. Lastly, the following tips are useful in writing online letters:

  • Determination of one’s relationship with a recipient is essential.
  • A particukar objectivity of a message helps determine if it should be official or informal.
  • A unique subject line should have short, precise, and informative content.
  • An entire text should have simple sentences to avoid miscommunication. 
  • A last version of a business email should be coherent and have an opening sentence, key points, and a closing remark.
  • A final closure should contain a contact information of a sender.


Assey, G. (2020). The professional business email etiquette handbook & guide. Gerard Assey.

Aull, B., & Aull, L. (2021). “Write a greeting for your email here”: Principles for assessing interpersonal workplace email communication. The Journal of Writing Analytics, 5(1), 215–258. https://doi.org/10.37514/jwa-j.2021.5.1.07

Lanctot, A., & Duxbury, L. (2021). When everything is urgent! Mail use and employee well-being. Computers in Human Behavior Reports, 4, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chbr.2021.100152

Lee, J. (2021). How to write professional emails: Useful examples from real email exchanges. Amazon Digital Services LLC.

Roche, M. (2023). Business email: Write to win. Business English & professional email writing essentials: How to write emails for work, including 100+ business email templates: Business English originals. Amazon Digital Services LLC.

Russell, E., Jackson, T. W., Fullman, M., & Chamakiotis, P. (2023). Getting on top of work‐email: A systematic review of 25 years of research to understand effective work‐email activity. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 97(1), 74–103. https://doi.org/10.1111/joop.12462

To Learn More, Read Relevant Articles

How to write an academic cover letter
Read More

How to Write an Academic Cover Letter With Samples and Tips

  • Icon Calendar 20 June 2020
  • Icon Page 1670 words
How to write a business letter
Read More

How to Write a Good Business Letter with Template, Sample, and Tips

  • Icon Calendar 18 June 2020
  • Icon Page 1188 words