Business Email Writing: Core Parts of an Email
All emails, no matter how formal or informal, have a basic structure. To improve your email writing skills, you need to start with these fundamental elements – the subject line, the greetings, the main body, the supporting information, and the sign-off.
An email is simply the evolved form of the traditional letter. While the traditional letter had four segments (subject, greetings, body, and sign-off), the modern email can be divided into five different segments.
Even though your relationship with the receiver will always take priority, each of the five core parts of an email is important in its own right when it comes to writing the email. The reason for this is that every one of these core parts of an email has its unique purpose in the structure.
As a result, how you approach each segment needs to take into account that purpose. For this reason, we’ll look at each of the five core parts individually.
The Subject Line: How to Write Effective Subject Lines
The purpose of the subject line is to tell the recipients why the email was sent to them. From this perspective, it performs the same function that the headline performs for a news piece.
It not only informs the recipients about the purpose of the email but also delivers other associated information such as whether the email is urgent or if it includes an attachment.
Greetings: Why Should You Focus on Your Greetings
It is a mistake to take email greetings lightly. They have their unique purpose in the email infrastructure and are only secondary to the subject lines in importance.
They not only have an emotional impact on the recipients at the beginning of the email but also the sender in subtle ways. Email greetings are technically important too because they are shown as snippets in the recipients’ inbox.
In the article on email greetings, we elaborate further on their importance and how you can manipulate them to ensure a positive impact on the recipient. A large portion of the article will focus on specific types of email greetings and scenarios in which they’re most effective.
Main Content: What to Keep in Mind While Writing the Main Content
The main content of an email is where the most important information is conveyed by the sender to the receiver. This, along with the fact that the main body is often the largest, makes it the most vital component of the email.
Its immense importance means that the main content needs to be structured in the most coherent and rational way possible. If the main content does not flow logically, the reader may quit without reading the whole email.
This is why, in the article on the main content, we discuss how to structure the main content using a technique that journalists use all over the world. Along with this, we explain what the sender can do to ensure that their message is understood and that the recipient responds quickly and appropriately.
Supporting Information: Providing Supporting Information in your Email
Supporting information is usually included in complex or long emails. The purpose of supporting information is to make the main content of the email easier to understand. But it is also important because it prevents the email from getting too long and convoluted.
In the article covering supporting information, we explain how it can either improve the understanding of the reader or confuse the issue. Apart from this, we describe the three different ways that supporting information can be provided in the email.
Sign-Offs & Signatures: Using the Right Sign-offs And Signatures
Sign-offs and signatures are used to end an email. As a result, they leave a lasting impression on the recipient. This is why sign-offs and signatures need to be consistent with the other elements of the email.
This means that sign-offs and signatures need to match the primary objective of the email, the overall context, and the underlying relationship between the sender and the recipient.
In the article covering these elements, we first explain what sign-offs and signatures are. Then, we focus on the various ways that sign-offs can be used, before describing the various components of signatures and how they can be formatted.
CustomersFirst Academy offers comprehensive customer service training designed to help you grow your skills and advance your career.
To keep learning and developing your knowledge of customer service, we highly recommend the additional resources below:
Email Essentials for Customer Service
Understanding Cultural Differences in Email Communication
How to Build Your Professional Reputation Via Email
Improve Group Communication Using Email