How to: Open and close a business email

02/25/2021

Overview

Ask yourself these questions before you start writing your email: Do I ‘know’ the person/people I am writing to? Is this the first communication? How formal do I need to be? Are they a colleague/client/customer? How ‘friendly’ should I be?

Formal salutations

I don’t know your name…

Dear Sir/Madam
Yours faithfully/sincerely

I am writing to a department/group for the first time…

To whom it may concern
Yours sincerely

We haven’t communicated before but I know your name…

Dear Mr./Ms. Green
Yours sincerely/Kind Regards

Neutral salutations

We have communicated before but I need to maintain professional distance…

Good morning/afternoon John/Helen
(Hello) John/Helen

Best/Kind Regards
Regards

Informal salutations

We have communicated regularly before and know each other well…

Hi John/Helen

Best Regards/Wishes

General opening: (formal > neutral)

• With reference to your email of (date)/regarding X…
• With regard to/Regarding X…
• Thank you/thanks for your email
• Thanks for your prompt response/getting back to me to me so quickly
• I am writing to…(give reason)
• Please find attached…

General closing:

• Please don’t hesitate to contact me/get in touch
• I look forward to hearing from you soon

Related resources

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Language Toolbox Series – Managing Online Meetings

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