How To Write Professional, yet Friendly Emails at Work

How To Write Professional, yet Friendly Emails at Work
20 June, 2023 • ... • 8091 views
Sara Kurczyńska
by Sara Kurczyńska

A cold, insensitive email can easily ruin your coworker’s mood or even the whole day. But how can you escape from “Per my last email”  and similar expressions and write a professional, yet friendly email? 

Fear not, for in this article, we will share valuable strategies and templates to transform your emails. Whether you’re addressing colleagues, superiors, or clients, these insights will help you to express your ideas effectively while maintaining a friendly and respectful tone.

The importance of keeping a friendly tone in business emails

While professionalism is essential, a friendly approach can help create a more welcoming environment, encouraging open dialogue and collaboration. Here are some reasons why maintaining a friendly tone in business emails is important.

Creating positive work culture

According to Statista, remote workers receive an average of 170 emails per week. If we assume that one email takes about 3 minutes to read, that would be more than a full workday of just checking your inbox! Emails take up a lot of work time. With such a high volume of email communication, a friendly tone in emails could help create an atmosphere of respect, empathy, and camaraderie, fostering a sense of belonging and motivation among team members.

Building rapport

When you communicate friendliness in your emails, you establish a connection with the recipient. This rapport makes the working relationship more comfortable, easier to collaborate and resolve conflicts.

Email etiquette: Good vs bad email examples

To better understand the impact of a friendly tone in business emails, let’s compare good and bad email etiquette:

Team meeting agenda — Your input needed!

Hi [Recipient’s name],

I wanted to reach out regarding our upcoming team meeting scheduled for next Wednesday at 2 o’clock. I value your input, and I would appreciate your thoughts on the meeting agenda. Here are a few items we plan to discuss:

  • Project updates and milestones
  • Challenges and roadblocks
  • Team collaboration initiatives

Please let me know if there’s anything specific you’d like to add to the agenda. Your input is essential, and I believe it will contribute significantly to the success of our meeting.

Thank you in advance, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

[Your name]

Team meeting agenda

Hey,

We’ve got a team meeting next week. Here’s the agenda:

  • Project updates
  • Challenges
  • Collaboration

Let me know if you have any input.

Thanks,

[Your name]

The good example sounds friendly and respectful. It does so by acknowledging the recipient’s well-being, expressing appreciation, and using polite language. On the other hand, the bad example here lacks professionalism. It fails to address the recipient courteously and provides minimal context. As a result, the message sounds abrupt and impersonal. If you send an email like this, the recipient won’t feel appreciated and may be hesitant to even share their opinion.

Request for the report

Hi [Recipient’s name],

I wanted to follow up on the report on [Possible new product feature] we discussed last week. I would really appreciate it if you could send it to me by the end of the day. 

If you have any questions or need any assistance, please let me know.

Thank you,

[Your name]

URGENT!

Hi [Recipient’s name],

I need that report ASAP. It’s already overdue. You better get it to me by the end of the day, or there will be consequences.

Regards,

[Your name]

Now, the good example sounds professional while having a friendly and respectful tone, fostering a more positive interaction. In contrast, the bad example comes across as demanding and very aggressive, potentially straining the working relationship between the sender and the recipient. Also, it doesn’t even address the topic of the report which is unprofessional.

Friendly email structure

A friendly email refers to an email message written in a warm, approachable, and personable manner. It goes beyond simply conveying information and aims to establish a positive and amicable connection with the recipient. While the tone of the email is important, being empathetic and considerate toward the recipient’s feelings and needs is also crucial.

If you want to write friendly emails, pay attention to the structure and content of your message. The way you format it plays a huge role in conveying the right tone. Paying attention to elements such as the subject line, greeting or salutation, email body, and signature can make a significant difference in how your message is perceived.

Subject line

The subject line is the first thing the recipient sees. It’s always best to make it clear, concise, and relevant. A good subject line also provides a brief overview of the email’s content while maintaining a friendly tone. 

With that in mind, consider including specific keywords that highlight the purpose of the email. It will make it easier for the recipient to understand the importance and urgency of your message. To give an example, here are two good subject lines you could use:

  • Meeting request: Discussing new project timeline
  • Thank you for your support: Team accomplishments

Greeting or salutation

The greeting or salutation sets the tone for the email and helps establish a friendly connection. Depending on your relationship with the recipient, you can choose from various options. Here are the most commonly used templates:

  • Dear [Recipient’s name], …
  • Hello [Recipient’s name], …
  • Hi [Recipient’s name], …

When addressing superiors or clients, keep a more respectful tone and use appropriate titles like Mr. or Ms. Also, remember to use the recipient’s name correctly, and avoid using informal nicknames unless you are already close to them.

Email body

When writing the body of your email, keep it focused, concise, and organized. Start with a brief introduction or context to provide clarity. Use paragraphs or bullet points to break down information and make it easier to read. Clearly state your purpose and include any necessary details, but avoid overwhelming the reader with excessive information.

Sign-off

Choose a closing phrase that leaves a positive and warm impression. If you’re expecting a response or further action from the recipient, the closing phrase can also express eagerness and show that you value their input or collaboration. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Thank you, …
  • Kind regards, …
  • Best regards, …
  • Glad to be working together, …
  • Excited for your project ideas, …
  • Looking forward to hearing from you, …

Signature

The signature section of your email is an opportunity to reinforce your professionalism and provide additional information. Consider including the following elements in your email signature:

  • Full name. Include your full name to ensure clarity and avoid any confusion, especially if you have a common name or if your email address does not clearly indicate your identity.
  • Company and job title. Mention the company you represent and your job title. This information adds credibility and establishes your position within the organization.
  • Contact information. Provide relevant contact details, such as your phone number, a link to your professional website, or your professional email address. It makes it easier for the recipient to reach out to you directly.
  • Social media links. If appropriate and relevant to your professional role, you can include links to your professional social media profiles, such as LinkedIn. This allows the recipient to connect with you and learn more about your background.

Friendly email example

Now, let’s put these elements together in a friendly email example. Analyze its structure and techniques to craft your own friendly emails.

✅Catching up and expressing gratitude

Dear Rachel,

It’s been a while since we last connected, and I wanted to take this opportunity to catch up and express my gratitude for your ongoing support.

First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for your valuable contributions to our team. Your expertise and dedication have played a significant role in our recent accomplishments. The success of our latest project would not have been possible without your hard work and collaboration. So, thank you for your support!

I was hoping we could schedule a meeting to discuss the new project timeline. Given your expertise in this area, I value your input and would appreciate your insights. Would you be available for a meeting next week? Please let me know your availability, and we can find a time that works for both of us.

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our productive collaboration. If you have any questions or need further information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Thank you once again for your support, and I wish you a wonderful week ahead!

Kind regards,

Emily Reynolds

Senior Project Manager

Acme Corporation

Website: www.acmecorp.com

Email: [email protected]

Useful tips to make your emails sound nice

Here are some useful tips to help you avoid common email mistakes and ensure that your messages sound nice.

Never write when upset

One of the golden rules of email communication is to never write when you’re upset or angry. Emotions can easily cloud your judgment and lead to the use of inappropriate language or an overly harsh tone. If you find yourself feeling emotional or frustrated, step away from your computer or mobile device and give yourself some time to calm down.

Introduce the topic in the opening sentence

Start your email by clearly introducing the main topic or purpose. This helps the recipient quickly understand the context and importance of your message. By providing a concise overview upfront, you set the tone for the rest of the email and make it easier for the recipient to follow your message.

Keep the tone professional

While maintaining a friendly tone is important, so is staying professional. Remember that you are communicating in a professional setting, and your tone should reflect that. Avoid using overly casual or informal language, and always maintain a respectful and courteous attitude. 

Again, here’s a good and a bad example of what that might look like:

✅Meeting request

Hi [Recipient’s name],

I wanted to reach out to request a meeting with you regarding the upcoming project. I believe it would be beneficial for us to discuss the project timeline and any potential challenges we may encounter.

Would it be possible to find a time next week that works for you? I am open to your suggestions, and I want to ensure we can find a mutually convenient time to meet.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

[Your name]

Hey!

Sup dude,

I wanted to meet up and talk about that project thingy. I think we should get together sometime next week and figure out all the stuff. Let me know when you’re free!

Later,

[Your name]

The good example embodies the principles of friendly and professional email communication. It opens with a polite and warm greeting, clearly states the purpose of the email, and maintains a professional tone throughout. This email template also shows respect and courtesy by allowing the recipient to suggest a meeting time. 

In contrast, the bad example falls short on multiple fronts. It starts with an overly casual and unprofessional greeting, uses informal language and slang terms, and lacks clarity in expressing the purpose. The tone is disrespectful and the closing is abrupt, failing to convey professionalism. However, an email in this format may still be suitable for a startup environment. 

Mind the cultural differences

When communicating via email, be mindful of cultural differences. People may have varying expectations about formality, greetings, and overall communication style. So, take the time to research and understand cultural norms if you’re corresponding with colleagues or clients from diverse backgrounds. This awareness will help you adapt your tone and language appropriately, making your emails respectful and considerate of cultural sensitivities.

Be careful with the language you use

Choose your words thoughtfully to convey your message effectively. Use polite and courteous language throughout the email, and avoid any language that could be misinterpreted or perceived as rude. 

Check out the following email examples:

✅Meeting request

Hi [Recipient’s name],

I wanted to schedule a meeting to discuss the upcoming project. I value your input and expertise, and I believe your insights would be valuable in shaping our approach.

Would you be available for a meeting next week? I’m open to your suggestions regarding the date and time. Please let me know your availability, and I’ll make the necessary arrangements accordingly.

Looking forward to our discussion!

Best regards,

[Your name]

Urgent response required

Dear [Recipient’s name],

I’m writing to remind you about the pending report. It was due last week, and I haven’t received it yet. I’m not sure why it’s taking so long. I hope you can complete it soon.

I suggest you prioritize this task and make it a priority. I have been waiting for too long, and it’s causing delays in our overall project. Please get back to me as soon as possible with an explanation for the delay.

Regards,

[Your name]

The first email demonstrates the effective use of polite and courteous language, keeping a friendly tone. It focuses on collaboration, seeks input, and expresses gratitude for the recipient’s contributions. As for the second email, it lacks friendliness and instead adopts a passive-aggressive tone. It exhibits impatience, blame, and demands, potentially damaging the working relationship between the recipient and the sender.

Be concise and clear

People appreciate clear and concise communication. So, keep your messages focused and to the point, avoiding unnecessary details or lengthy explanations. Use bullet points or numbered lists to organize information in an easily digestible manner.

Avoid using jargon and convoluted language

While industry-specific terms and jargon may be familiar to you, consider the recipient’s perspective. Not everyone may be familiar with the same terminology, so try to use language that is easily understood by a broader audience. If you need to use technical terms, provide clear explanations or context to ensure clarity. 

In addition, you should steer clear of convoluted language. It doesn’t make you appear smarter or worthy of respect. It’ll only make it more difficult for your colleagues to understand what you’re getting at. 

Here’s an example:

❌ Sales performance review and synergistic client engagement strategies

Dear [Colleague’s name],

As we dive into the nitty-gritty of our sales performance, I’d like to present an overview of our achievements, replete with synergistic client engagement strategies that have yielded commendable outcomes.

Our sales team has experienced a remarkable upswing, surpassing KPIs with a staggering 115% achievement rate. This impressive feat can be attributed to our meticulously orchestrated cross-functional initiatives, incorporating omnichannel touchpoints, customer journey optimization, and robust CRM integration. We’ve witnessed exponential growth in both new customer acquisitions and account expansion endeavors, bolstering our revenue streams and fostering long-term brand loyalty.

Furthermore, our customizable services and hyper-personalized account management approach have bolstered our competitive advantage, enabling us to penetrate niche markets and establish thought leadership. By capitalizing on data-driven insights, we’ve achieved superior customer segmentation, generating a comprehensive sales pipeline that fuels our growth trajectory.

As we stride towards the next quarter, it is paramount that we sustain our upward trajectory by perpetuating our client-centric paradigm. I kindly request your participation in our forthcoming sales summit, where we will synergize our acumen, deliberate on market dynamics, and coalesce around our sales enablement strategies. Your input and ideation are instrumental in propelling our organization to unprecedented heights.

Let’s continue forging synergistic relationships, leveraging our competitive moats, and harnessing the full potential of our comprehensive suite of services. By fortifying our collective sales prowess, we are primed to scale the summit of success!

Warm regards,

[Your name]

Now, imagine that the email above was sent to someone who isn’t familiar with sales at all. Worse yet, what if English isn’t their native language? Not only would they struggle to understand terms like value proposition, CRM integration, and omnichannel touchpoints, but also some of the adjectives and verbs around them. It’s safe to say they wouldn’t get what the email is about.

Check for errors

Take the time to proofread and edit your emails before sending them. Typos, grammatical errors, or unclear sentences can undermine the professionalism and clarity of your message. Because of that, you should read your email very carefully, paying attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Consider using spelling and grammar-checking tools like Grammarly or asking a colleague to review the content of your email if needed.

Mind the punctuation

Avoid excessive exclamation marks, as they can be perceived as overly enthusiastic or unprofessional. Commas, periods, and other punctuation marks help you better structure your sentences and improve readability.

Avoid going overboard with saying please

While politeness and courtesy are important in professional messages, avoid going overboard with excessive use of the word please. While it’s appropriate to include it when making requests or asking for help, using it too many times can come across as overly deferential or even insincere.

Instead of peppering every sentence with please, incorporate it when it adds genuine value or emphasizes the importance of your request. Reserve its use for instances where you truly need to convey a sense of urgency, importance, or gratitude. This approach allows the word please to carry more weight and impact.

End with a positive sentiment

Close your business emails with a positive sentiment to leave a lasting impression. Express gratitude, appreciation, or enthusiasm, depending on the context of your email. By ending on a positive note, you reinforce a friendly and collaborative atmosphere. It also helps set the stage for further communication and encourages the recipient to respond in a positive manner.

Use these templates to end your emails:

  • Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter!
  • Your input has been invaluable. I’m confident we can overcome any challenges together!
  • Once again, I want to express my gratitude for your assistance. Wishing you a productive and successful week!

Think twice before hitting the “reply all” button

Before clicking the “reply all” button, ask yourself if you really want to send email messages to everyone on the email chain. If your response is primarily meant for the original sender or a select few individuals, consider using the “reply” function instead. This allows you to respond directly to the appropriate person. It also shows that you respect others’ time and inbox management.

Final thoughts

Mastering the art of writing professional yet friendly emails is a valuable skill that enhances workplace communication. Here’s a short summary of why it’s important and how it’s done:

  • Maintaining a friendly tone in business emails fosters positive relationships, enhances communication, and contributes to positive work culture.
  • The format of a friendly email involves a clear subject line, appropriate greeting, concise body, positive sign-off, and professional signature.
  • Tips for writing friendly emails at work include maintaining professionalism, considering cultural differences, and introducing the topic clearly. 
  • In addition, you should be concise and clear, avoid jargon, check for errors, and use punctuation appropriately.

Remember that practice and attention to detail are key to improving email writing skills. So, reflect on your emails and observe how others communicate via email. With persistence, you should be able to learn how to write a good-looking email that conveys your message effectively and leaves a lasting positive impression on its recipients.

20 June, 2023
Article by
Sara Kurczyńska
Sara Kurczyńska is an experienced content writer from Poznań, Poland. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, as well as playing video games and petting her fancy rats. In her spare time, you can find her birdwatching and taking long walks around the local parks and forests.
Visit Sara's

Latest Articles

Selzy Selzy Selzy Selzy