How to Write Professional Emails for a Variety of People

In this day and age, email communication is a major part of how we reach out to people. Since we aren’t speaking face-to-face, it can be difficult to make a great first impression over the Internet. Here are a few tips on how to send impressive and effective emails.

To your professors:

A lot of Internet memes always have something to do with you emailing your professor an essay about an assignment and getting a two-word answer as a reply. You don’t need to write so much to your professor unless everything you are writing is relevant to what you are trying to say. Don’t apologize to your professor for emailing them at a certain time, or even apologize at all. They will respond when they can regardless of when you send it, so it doesn’t matter to them. Fluffing your email up with a lot of formalities will just slow them down and cloud your actual message. Also, don’t ask too many little questions one after the other. Chances are, they won’t catch all of them and won’t answer all of them. You’ll probably feel the need to email them again, which might make you embarrassed or anxious. Take a minute to figure out what you 100 percent need to know and make that the focus. 

To someone you want something from (e.g. a potential employer):

This is the best place to keep it professional and concise. Use correct grammar and be polite, but don’t be too familiar. Remember, if this isn’t somebody you don’t have a relationship with, there is a boundary. Address the person by their title, sign with “Sincerely,” and make what you want clear. You do not want to over-share if someone is still trying to make their mind up about you.

To customer service:

Many people don’t think to contact customer service when they have a question about a product they are considering buying. If a resource is professional, they have someone monitoring customer service closely to answer questions you might have. Emailing customer service a quick question about something you want to buy will save you the hassle of getting something awful and having to pay to return it. Here’s a tip: If you buy something online and then find a coupon code literally five seconds later, contact customer service and ask if you can apply the code. Say that if they cannot, you would like to cancel the order. They will do anything to get your business, and will either apply the coupon or cancel it so you can reorder with the code. This is especially helpful with websites that don’t have a cancel order feature on the website. 

Once again, keep these emails short and sweet. The person you are emailing has so many emails to look at that if they read yours and there’s too much there, they might not fulfill your request correctly.