How to write formal & informal emails

Written by natalie schwab
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How to write formal & informal emails
Always check to make sure you have spelt your recipient's e-mail address correctly. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

E-mail is used everyday in businesses and homes. It is vital that you remember your audience when sending an e-mail. You don't want to send an e-mail with colourful texts and emotions to your employer, and you don't want to send a formal memo to your grandmother. Follow these steps to compose formal and informal e-mails.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • Internet
  • E-mail account

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  1. 1

    Begin a formal e-mail like you would a memo. Start with "to," "from," and "subject" and "date". Use a colon after each. Use their title and full name, as well as yours.

  2. 2

    Choose a font that is clear and easy to read. Usually the default font will work well.

  3. 3

    Type your message out concisely and check for grammatical errors along the way. Use correct capitalisation and punctuation.

  4. 4

    Use your e-mail's spell check to ensure that you don't have any misspellings.

  5. 5

    Close with a professional salutation like "respectfully yours" or "sincerely" followed by a comma and then your name on the next line.

  6. 6

    Underneath your name, type your e-mail address and phone number.

  7. 7

    Write a subject line that is professional and will catch their attention. Make sure it is relevant to the message you are sending.

  1. 1

    Start with a nice salutation like "Hi Mom," or "Dear Grandma,".

  2. 2

    Write your message out using a font and colour of your choosing. Keep in mind who you are sending it to. You don't want to use a small font if you're e-mailing your grandmother.

  3. 3

    Close your message with a salutation of your choosing like "Love, John" or "Talk to you Soon".

  4. 4

    Use a subject line that is relevant to your message.

Tips and warnings

  • For formal e-mails, skip lines between paragraphs.
  • Black font is preferred for formal e-mails.
  • For informal e-mails, make sure your font colour is not too light. It needs to be readable.
  • For formal e-mails it is vital that you spell your recipients name and e-mail address correctly. Check them more than once.
  • Spell check won't get everything. Read through to make sure you didn't use an incorrect word.

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