How to Start a Business Email

Business emails can replace face-to-face interaction with customers
Business emails can replace face-to-face interaction with customers (Image: maxkabakov/iStock/Getty Images)

An important aspect of business management is communicating with individuals such as vendors, employees, and customers. Face-to-face interaction often can be replaced by business emails for routine business correspondence. As with writing business letters, convey thoughts with professionalism and conciseness to get your point across.

Preparation and Formatting

Consider the audience of the business email before composing a message. An email to a trusted and longstanding vendor will differ in tone than one intended for a potential customer. The subject line should clearly identify the email's purpose without being vague. Begin your email with a professional salutation such as "Dear," including the recipient's full name, or "Sir" or "Madam" if it is unknown. After initial contact, the recipient may be comfortable with a more informal salutation.


Effective business emails focus on a central idea, so the message should be as short as possible. Since facial expressions cannot be conveyed in emails, avoid ironic or sarcastic statements that may lead to misunderstandings.Write in complete sentences. Abbreviations, slang, and colloquialisms may confuse the reader and even decrease credibility.

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