co Business Writing for Email |

How often have you received a business related email that started with something like “Hey!” or “Hi there”? Probably too often. Originally, business writing was about as formal as you could get, with specific greetings like “Esteemed Sir” and the like. It was a different age, to be sure, but even these days, we expect business writing on paper to be more formal than we would expect a letter from a friend.

So, is it ok for business writing in email to be so laid back? Is that the norm now? Should you be writing formally or casual?

The truth is that you can almost never be too formal, but you can certainly be too casual. So it´s probably better err on the side of formal. You want to make a good impression and “hey” isn´t a good way to do that. Start your letter off with a “Dear Sir/Ma´am” or even just the person´s name.

Proper business writing calls for an introduction, body and closing paragraph. No matter what tone you write your email in, these are three things that should always be remembered and incorporated into business writing. Or, as I´ve heard many a time, “Tell them what you´re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you said.” It may seem redundant, but it´s a good way to clarify things and be sure that everyone understands what you´re talking about.

Business writing in email doesn´t necessarily have to be as formal as paper, but it also shouldn´t be as casual as what you would write a friend. Use your judgment and base your letters on the formality you use on your website. That´s probably the best way to go, since people will no doubt be clicking on your link to check out your site before replying.