Formal emails lay the foundation for all business communications. But that doesn’t mean you’re constricted to a robotic language and tone. 

There are many ways of taking creative liberties when sending formal emails. We just need to know the basics. That’s why we’re here today! By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to learn:

  • Fundamental Parts of a Formal Email
  • When to Use a Formal Email 
  • Formal Email Examples and Templates
  • Best Practices to Follow

Essential Parts of a Formal Email

formal email template

A formal email is just like any other email—except for tone and language. But that’s what makes it so easy to write! Its structure gives us a roadmap for what to include in our correspondence. 

The fundamentals can be applied to any professional situation. You can use it to send an application letter, ask for a raise, and inform your company about your resignation. 

So, the next time you’re writing a formal email draft, consider focusing on these fundamental parts: 

Heading and Address

Even something as simple as the heading and address should be a core component of every communication strategy. An email’s heading and address contain the recipient’s address and the date/time the email was sent. 

Be sure to check the accuracy of the address. It’s a small detail but might lead to a bad first impression if you get it wrong. Double-check grammar, spelling, and the accuracy of the address. 

Salutation

Much like the heading, salutations are often overlooked. However, we must remember that email salutations set the tone for the entirety of the email. 

If you already know the name of the person you’re emailing, you can try out classic salutations such as “Dear {{First Name/Sir/Madam}}. When sending to an organization without a clear recipient, you can use “To whom it may concern.”

Other popular salutations include:

  • Hello, {{First Name}}
  • Hi, {{First Name}}
  • Greetings, {{First Name}}
  • Hello, {{Department}}
  • Greetings, {{First Name}}

Main Email Body

Your main email body is where the core message lies. For formal emails, you must learn the proper business email format of a business email that leads up to your main body until the email signoff. 

Formal emails should contain one topic. Base the main body on the subject line used. The first few sentences should contain enough information to understand the email. 

Try sending emails with 50 to 125 words. Keep it relevant to the subject line. We aim to relay our message in the clearest, most concise way possible. 

Clear Call-to-Action

Every formal email needs a purpose. That’s why your CTAs should answer the question: “Why did I send this email?” What are you asking your recipient to do? 

Whether following up on a meeting or asking for updates on deliverables, you must have a clear and concise CTA. Let’s say you want to schedule a meeting. Your CTA could say: “Click this link to schedule a meeting with us.”

Email Sign Off

Subject lines and introductions make a great first impression. Solid email sign-offs create memorable emails that make lasting impressions. 

An email sign-off is the perfect way to end a formal email. It should contain relevant information about you or your business. 

Include your full name, job title, contact information, and relevant information that could be useful for your recipients. To enhance sign-offs further, incorporate your value proposition. 

Instead of using a generic closing line, you can try something more engaging, such as: “Are you ready to unlock the potential of your business through {{the service you provide}}?

Formal Email Examples and Templates

Writing a formal email takes time and practice. But you can always use examples and templates to get a jump start!

Here are seven effective formal email template examples and templates for every business scenario. Find what works for you, then personalize the template to make it your own! 

Formal Letter of Appreciation

Letters of appreciation are great morale boosters. It shows that you value the work of individuals or teams. Here’s a template you can follow:

Dear Mr./Mrs. {{Last Name}}, 
I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation for all the dedication and passion you’ve brought to {{company name}}. Your efforts made {{project name}} what it is today. All the positive results and opportunities brought by {{project name}} are directly indebted to your work. 
On behalf of {{company name}}, we thank you. Your contribution is highly valued, and we are grateful to have you as the project lead for {{project name}}. We will do our best to enable you to thrive in our organization. 
Best regards,
{{your name}}, 
{{job title}}

Letter of Complaint

Sometimes, issues are unavoidable. However, there will be times when action is needed. The best course of action is to create a formal letter of complaint. In this example, we use a restaurant.

Dear {{first name}}, 
On {{date}}, I made a reservation at {{restaurant name}} for {{number of people}}. Unfortunately, our experience was unsatisfactory, and we would like to formally open up our concerns as dedicated patrons of your establishment. 
{{concern 1}}
{{concern 2}}
{{concern 3}}
We hope that these issues will be addressed soon. I’m looking forward to your reply.
Best regards,
{{your name}}

Proposal Submission

Prospects further down the sales pipeline will likely ask you for a proposal for your service tailored to their business. Here’s an example you can try out for your next proposal submission:

Hello, {{first name}}, 

Please find the attached proposal you requested for {{your service}}. 

We hope that the proposal proves insightful and meets your expectations and needs. If there are any adjustments or concerns you would like to make, feel free to let us know at any time. We’re more than willing to discuss it further in another call. 

Thank you for trusting {{company name}} to hand {{your service}} for {{recipient company}}. We hope to hear from you soon. 

Thanks in advance,

{{your name and title}}

Scheduling a Meeting

Scheduling a meeting sounds straightforward. But if you fail to hit the right tone in your email, it could end up in disaster. Ensure you book your next meeting with this email template:

Hello, {{first name}}, 
Thank you for reaching out to us about {{product}}. I’d be glad to schedule a meeting with you at your convenience to provide more in-depth information about {{product}} and how it can work specifically for your business. 
Does {{date and time}} work for you? If not, you can always schedule a meeting with us through this link (insert booking link). We look forward to meeting you soon! 
Thanks in advance, 
{{your name}}

Application Letter Email

Creating a cover letter for your application can help you stand out from the other applicants. Make a great first impression using this formal application letter email template:

Dear {{company name}}, 
My name is {{your name}}, an experienced {{speciality}}. I saw you were hiring {{job positions}} for {{company name}}, and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to apply. 
I’ve been working as {{specialty}} for {{number of years}} and had previous roles in {{previous roles}}. I know that I could bring a lot of value to {{company name}} in regards to {{value proposition}}. 
Attached to this email are my cover letter and resume. It should provide all the necessary in-depth information regarding my work experience.  
I look forward to the possibility of working with {{company name}}. I’m available for an interview at your convenience. 
Thanks in advance, 
{{your name}}

Formal Resignation Email

You don’t want to leave a company with bad blood. Make sure you’ve crossed out all the T’s and dotted all the I’s before you leave with this formal resignation email:

Dear, {{HR Head/Immediate Supervisor}}, 
I am writing to inform you that I will render my two weeks' notice starting on {{date}}. Working with you and the team has helped me grow and hone my craft into what it is today. 
My time in {{company}} has been nothing but fruitful and amazing. Thank you for the opportunity to work with such an incredible team. 
I’m willing to work with you to train, support, or find the successor for the {{your job position}}. You can contact me at any time to discuss this further. 
Yours sincerely,
{{your name}}

Sales Follow-up Email

Sending a sales follow-up greatly improves your chances of closing a sale. It’s like a slight nudge that sends prospects further down the sales pipeline. 

Hey, {{first name}}, 
It was a pleasure getting to talk with you and the team. I’ve gotten amazing insight about {{company name}} and would like to share things further with you in-depth. 
Are you free this week or the next? The best time for me to get on a call is {{your available schedule}}. But I’ll gladly work around your schedule so you can call at your convenience. 
Let me know what works for you. Hope to hear from you soon.
Best regards,
{{your name}}

When to Use a Formal Email?

Every email should be formal by default, especially when used in any form of business communication. But how formal the email should be depends on who you’re emailing. 

For example, emailing a close co-worker could free up some space for casual liberties when writing an email. However, the foundations should be based on a formal email structure.

In most cases, we must use a formal email when communicating with someone we’ve never met, a superior, or any professional situation. 

Key Takeaways

Formal emails set the groundwork for all types of business communication. When writing your next formal emails, consider the following:

  • Make sure to double-check your heading and address, grammar, and spelling. 
  • Try incorporating a professional signature when emailing on behalf of a company. 
  • Keep emails concise. Anywhere between 50 to 125 words will do. Add more if needed. 
  • CTAs should be actionable. 
  • The main email body should be relevant to your subject line and CTAs. 

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