types of business emails

The Best Types of Business Emails to Write

Using tried and tested email examples for copy will save you time, energy, and money. Keep that in mind as you read this guide to your business email A-list. There are many tips and links you can use for future reference. These will aid and inspire your company’s email strategy. Or you could improve your networking success rates. 

A professional email makes the right first impression. This can make a difference in gaining employment. You could win more customers too, or a new client.

You might not know this, but in 2021, email is 50 years old. We can think of the many types of email as guiding stars that help us to communicate. Familiar email examples are a permanent part of the ‘business scene.’ Like celebrity A-listers—there’s a recognizable body of work.

Email is here to stay. Make sure you bookmark this article and tap into all this wisdom – you, too, can become an email professional.

The simple guide to pro copy

It’s helpful to remember a professional email address is an address featuring your domain name. Once you have this, your website address syncs with your email address, and you can send or receive messages on behalf of your brand. 

Making life easier for your customers to connect your website activities in their minds with the emails you send out—means they are more likely to trust you and less likely to relegate your messages to the spam bin.

Ready to write pro email copy? Let’s go!

How to customize your email name

When you send an email, keep in mind that the best format highlights your personal or professional business email name when it arrives.

  • Your name and @yourdomain.com is the most straightforward name format. 

For example, yourname@yourbusiness.com might look like this:

from LydiaMiddleton@Mixxearbuds.com 

or LydiaM@Mixxearbuds.com 

To keep things simple for the reader, think about how the name looks. You want to make the secondary domain or business name (here it is ‘Mixxearbuds) stand out. In this example, LydiaM works better than Lydia’s longer name, LydiaMiddleton. The company name is easier to see, and that’s what is most important.

The TLD .audio makes it more evident what kind of product you are promoting inside the email. It’s really up to you and your business goals. You can easily search any domain TLD here for some inspiration.

Subject lines

Next, you’ll want to write the best subject line you can. This is make or break because it determines if the recipient will open and read your carefully crafted message. 

But you don’t have much room for maneuver. Did you know subject lines with 50 characters or less result in 12% higher open rates and 75% higher click-through rates than longer subject lines? 

  • When you write your subject line, don’t use valuable characters repeating the business’s name–it’s already there.
  • Stick to under 50 characters.

Keep it professional, proofread before sending, and summarize why you need the recipient to open the email. 

  • For our Mixxearbuds example, you could start with the subject line:

 ‘Enjoy handsfree audio for less.’

Body copy

In terms of being authentic, promote the product benefits. You might write something like this:

  • “Do you want to listen hands-free to music, calls, and conferences? Mixx earbuds make everything from conference calls to easy listening on those long runs possible. 

With true wireless technology and ultimate device compatibility, you can enjoy our introductory price of $15.00 when you apply coupon WIREDFORSOUND at the cart.

Your takeaways 

  • Keep your writing concise and the message number of lines to a minimum.
  • Make it no more than four sentences in any promotional email—as short as you can.
  • Use ‘you’ and tailor the copy to suit one audience.  

For more sage advice on how to write killer body copy that converts, and how to write product benefits, you might like to read How to write professional emails that work

Segmentation

The next thing to think about is who you are writing to. Are you writing to customers, your followers, your network of contacts?

To continue with Mixx Earbuds as our example, you can group those who run and listen to music apart from those who are, say, business users; you could split these lines in the body copy to target two different audiences:

  • Mixx earbuds make your conference calls easy listening.’ 

and

  • Mixx earbuds make easy listening on long runs possible.’  

Instead of one large line (from above), ‘Mixx earbuds make everything from conference calls to easy listening on those long runs possible.’ 

You can achieve two things. 

  • One, you can track which customer group liked your offer the most. 
  • Two, you can write a shorter email. 

The second point is desirable. In a world where we receive an average of 80 emails per day, who doesn’t scan their emails first to see if they wish to open them? And ignore them if they don’t?

To ensure all your emails make the best possible impression and get opened remember this mantra:

Avoid the temptation to be clever when you need to be clear and short. 

It’s that simple.  


Essential business emails

In business, you could be a freelancer or self-employed. Or a business owner wanting to excel in networking. You might be wanting to stand out in a resume or pitching situation. Perhaps you want to improve your communication in the workplace. 

There are many types of emails you could write across your life in business and as an employee, or for your side-hustle dream project. To help you out, most email types you could need appear below.

Appreciation and thanks

See an opportunity to appreciate or thank someone? Appreciation emails are longer, more detailed, and describe a project. On the other hand, thank you notes are short and specific for a job well done, help at work, a client referral, or contain a business tip. On the last point, this can also take the form of a saying. I once saw a colleague thrilled to bits on receipt of an email from a previous boss with this inside his thank you message:

“Thanks for all your hard work; this quote always reminds me of the difference you made to us all.”

You can personalize these messages from the start by using their name and briefly describe their help to you and why you are grateful. 

  • Use a less formal sign-off such as “thanks again” or “well done for this.”

LydiaM@Mixxearbuds.audio could write: 

“Hi Grant, thanks for providing the coupon name WIREDFORSOUND for the introductory offer. It certainly suits the promotion! Well done for this. Regards, Lydia.”

It is worthwhile writing emails like this regularly to people who helped you in business or at work. Encouragement and praise motivate people because they feel valued. Read here for more sample thank you emails to send to colleagues. 

Cover letters and pitches

When applying for jobs, an email note and attached resume can be enough, but many still include a cover letter document. These address more detailed job application requirements or help you to cover more ground. 

You can use these to:

  • create a value proposition explaining why you stand out
  • refer to a person who recommended you for the job
  • make a cold pitch to a company about why you would be a great hire/project leader
  • assist you to inquire about any openings or bids
  • help you to network for advice on how to get into the industry/secure a contract

To ‘cover’ all the types of templates you might wish to write, take a look at 100 Cover Letter Examples and Templates.

Updates and inquiries

At some point in our lives, we all communicate with the public. It’s similar to being in a customer service role. You’ll be addressing questions, asking for reviews, updating the status of orders, and keeping in touch with customers by answering questions. 

Your subject lines will vary. They will be less sales-orientated and more functional. Going back to Mixx earbuds, these simple subject lines lead into short one or two-line format emails.

  1. Inquiry – “Regarding your inquiry no 8304 on December 21st.
  2. Reviews – “Enjoying your earbuds? Help us out with a review.
  3. Customer-specific – “News about your 20% discount for bulk purchases.

If you have to deliver good or bad updates, it’s essential to frame your message appropriately. The audience will often include many people at once and at different levels of the company. 

  • keep the tone professional 
  • keep the news clear and brief

Subject lines could include:

  1. Company marketing – “Our new ‘About Us’ homepage is ready.”
  2. Company-wide employment – “Attention all. Today we announce our restructuring policy.”

Human Resources

If you are in Human Resources or hiring directly as the boss, you need to write candidate rejection messages, salary reduction letters, or termination letters. Always be direct and to the point in your opening body copy lines. If it takes some time to get to the bad news, it’s more painful for the reader.

  1. Candidate rejection – “Thank you. We enjoyed the interview, but we didn’t hire this time.
  2. Candidate offers – “Next steps. We’d like to make you an employment offer.
  3. Salary/termination — “We’ve had to make salary savings this year.” Or: “With regret, we are terminating your employment.” 

An attached letter is usually best with a short line or two after your formal salutation referencing your correspondence. E.g., “ Dear Mr. Consodine, Please find attached an important letter.

Ensure you contact your regional employment advice service to meet any legal requirements in these emails. 

Employees and references

Writing to confirm someone’s time of employment or a brief reference is something you’ll be asked to do quite often. Similarly, if you are an employee, you will have to write and ask for a reference or contract confirmation if a new position asks for this. You could also work in Human Resources (HR) and need to request these.

Be clear about what you need in your subject line. 

  • “Please provide my dates of employment.”
  • “A reference request from Laura.”
  • “Please confirm the candidate and provide a reference.”

To improve your chances of a response, it’s a good idea to include a few details in the email of exactly what you need. It’s your personal preference, but a nice form to fill is less work for someone to do than leaving things more open-ended.

Congratulations and more

How often do you feel the ‘personal touch’ will improve your employee relations? Or be a great way to touch base with someone in your network? Special times are always a great ice-breaker, particularly if you haven’t had the chance to speak in a ‘non-work way to someone before now. When writing congratulations, goodbyes, and resignations, brevity is still desirable. You don’t want to sound over-invested in a contact. It’s better to sound friendly and complimentary.

  • Use a less formal salutation. On paper, most still will write “Dear Lydia,...” but on email, “Hi Lydia,” or “Hey Lydia,” is usual. 
  • You can break grammatical conventions too, writing ‘just’ at the start of your message, e.g., “Just wanted you to know how happy I am for the both of you.
  • First names are the best way to sign off. “All my best, Michael.
  • If you are much more senior than the person you write to, or you are worried they don’t remember you well, add a short personal line below your first name, reminding them about your connection, e.g., “We still miss your butterscotch donuts on Friday mornings!” 
  • You can also use seasonal events to write a warmer salutation or add a personal touch, e.g., “Happy New year. Hasn’t this been a strange year? Let’s hope 2021 is brighter.

Make sure you know the details: names (if it’s a new birth or partner anniversary), dates, the situation. 

Remember, if you’ve used professional email, they already have your full name and business contact at the top of the message.

Promotions and offers

If a promotion is the star of the email, and the brand’s voice needs to be in there too, some concrete help with designing promotions and offers appears in our excellent blog; How to build a successful business brand.

Newsletters

Newsletters are the most popular type of email, with 83 percent of companies sending them. The key to the success of a newsletter email, e-books, or deep dives is a snappy introduction summarizing what a user will get when they click on the link to the longer copy.

Newsletters are sent by email on a consistent schedule. They can contain:

  • content from the company blog
  • website content
  • latest promotions
  • upcoming events
  • webinars
  • news or your company in the news
  • updates
  • include a call to action

The content of a newsletter should be relevant to your audience. Our guide to starting an email newsletter for your business has more inspiration.


Building relationships

When you introduce your business, you, in many ways, introduce yourself. So how good are you at following up with your network and building a brand? Time, attention and a little flair go a long way. 

You can do much to plan an approach that doesn’t feel fake yet is backed by some fundamental skills. Most readers expect some norms in communication, so everything doesn’t have to be super-different. You’ll be more successful in being creative within the email formats people expect to read.

Advanced email strategy

In a year where email marketing has been noisier than usual, how does an advanced email strategy help you rise above it?

Email automation is a simple idea but even easier using a sending system like Salesforce or Zoho CRM solution. These help you set flows for emails so customers always get the proper reply to an action they take. For example, emails could flow to their next activity in the buying chain. The next set of emails can be grouped like this: 

  • Customers get a welcome email with a call to action to set something up.
    • After this, these customers get a service message confirming their setup was successful.
  • Customers buy a promotion to take advantage of an offer
    • Customers then receive a welcome email or a thank you.
  • Customers need to renew a subscription with a call to action to buy another company product (upsell)
    • Customers renewing a subscription who bought another company product get their new product welcome email to set something up.
    • Customers who just renewed their subscription get a thank you confirmation. 

Planning an email flow is a great strategy for customer retention because no one is left out or ignored. When used correctly, email marketing can help build your business. And, any process you automate saves you having to think about how to respond to each customer at every stage in the buying chain.

Social Tips: Surveys, polls

Automation uses things like personalization and segmentation to get the right messaging in front of people, but once you have subscribers, it’s good to vary your approach. Suppose sometimes, like during the holidays, people’s buying habits change, and they’re buying for different people than is usual. So the planning,  personalization, and segmentation you are doing may not work the way it normally does. 

To be successful, you need to widen your marketing email activity scope to make sure that you’re capturing interest. There are a few tricks that you can use that are intelligent strategies. One is progressive profiling, which is essentially a poll, a survey, or a quiz. 

It’s a hand-raising exercise where you ask people, “Hey, what are you interested in?” And it can be more product-focused such as Sony’s Black Friday poll where they said, “Hey, which of these six product categories are you most interested in a deal for on Black Friday?” And if you said, “Oh, I’m very interested in TVs,” then you would select that, and on Black Friday, they emailed you a terrific deal on TVs. 

It’s a win-win. The subscriber gets to tell you what they want, and then you get to deliver a more relevant email, which is better for the subscriber. 

For more help, have a look at 8 Tips for a Successful Email Strategy to fine-tune your approach and improve your sales numbers.


Conclusion

An email is a vital tool of business. It’s worth trying out a few smart tips that work for you. 

If you think a Namecheap email plan is best for you or wish to try us free for the first two months, you can view all plans on our Private Email page, or read a review here about all the features you get in more detail. 



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