How to: Open and close a business email



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

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

Language Toolbox Series – Writing Informal Emails

Writing good emails in a second language can be a time-consuming process. Even when you are communicating with someone you may know quite well, hitting the correct tone is sometimes a tricky business. With this language toolbox we hope to make the whole process a little less painful and allow you to write informal emails with more confidence.

Language Toolbox Series – Managing Online Meetings

Online meetings are part of our daily professional lives. Participating in meetings in English as your second language can be a challenge. We have created a language toolbox to help you feel more confident using English in your work meetings with some common, natural English key phrases.

How to: use Presentation language – summary, conclusion, thanks and inviting questions

Giving a presentation in English – whether online or in a face-to-face meeting, can be a challenging task. Preparation and practice is the key to a confident and clear presentation. Here is some language you can use in the final part of your presentation to summarise your points, thank your audience and invite questions.