When working in an office in a company, you will normally have to write emails or letters to customers, work colleagues or suppliers. There are many different reasons why you have to write an email for work (e.g. to ask for something, to say you can't go to something, to complain about something etc...), and for each the email that you send is different in some way (in its structure, what you say and in the vocabulary you use).

To help you know what you have to write when you have to send a business email (or even letter), below you'll find examples of 17 different types of business emails.

You can copy these emails and adapt them for the situation you are writing to somebody. But if you want to learn more about how to write them yourself and what vocabulary you should use when doing it, click on the link below the example of the email to do an online exercise which I have created for each.


A formal email of request

You would use this type of email is used when you write to somebody to ask them for something and they are not expecting the email.

Dear Mr Mitchell,

I am writing in reference to the current situation with the Skipton Airport Project. We have a number of questions which we hope you could answer.

First of all, could you please provide us with an update on where you are on the Skipton Airport Project. We would also appreciate it if you could clarify what the current issues with the delivery system are, and confirm when you expect them to be resolved.

In addition, at the end of our last meeting we requested a copy of the latest project update report. Unfortunately, we have still not received it. We would appreciate it if you could forward this to us.

Could you also please confirm whether the post-installation support covers the equipment 24 hours a day? And what is actually included in the support? In particular, we would like to have confirmation if the cost of parts and labour are included in the package? We require this information as soon as possible.

And lastly, we are considering extending the period of the post-installation support from your company from 6 months to 12 months. We would be very grateful if you could provide us with a quote for this extension.

I would really appreciate it if you could deal with these matters urgently.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,


Ian McAdam
Development Manager

A less formal email of request

This is like the formal email of request (you use it when you write to somebody to ask them for something and they are not expecting the email), but this is used when writing to a work colleague or somebody you have a good relationship with.

Hi Dave,

I hope that everything is OK over there. I just have a few questions about the Skipton Airport Project.

First, can you give me an update on where you are on the project? I'd also appreciate if you could explain what the current issues with the delivery system are? And confirm when you expect them to be resolved.

Also, at the end of our last meeting I asked for a copy of the latest Project Report. I still haven't received one. Can you forward it to me?

Can you also confirm if the post-installation support covers the equipment 24 hours a day? And what is actually included in the support? We'd especially like to know if the cost of parts and labour are included in the package? We need this information as soon as possible.

And lastly, we're thinking about extending the period of the post-installation support from your company from 6 months to 12 months. Can you give us a quote for this extension?

Please get back to me with the information as soon as possible.

Thanks,


Ian McAdam
Development Manager

A formal email of response/reply

You would use this type of email is used when replying to an email (or even a telephone conversation or conversation) where somebody has asked you for something.

Dear Mr McAdam,

With reference to your last email regarding the current situation with the Skipton Airport Project, I can confirm the following:

We successfully completed stage 2 on Monday and at present we are preparing to start stage 3. On the whole, the project is going well. We have not encountered any problems with the machinery but there are still some minor issues with the delivery system.

As was pointed out in our last meeting, the problem with the delivery system is due to the software. It is a very common software issue and we just need time to correct the code. Rest assured that this issue is being looked into and we are confident that it will be resolved by the end of the month.

Please accept my apologises for not receiving a copy of the updated project report earlier. Please find attached a copy of the report at the end of email.

Concerning your question about the post-installation support package, I can confirm that we provide both remote and call-out site support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This covers remote monitoring, a service every 3 months, service engineer visits and the cost of all parts and labour.

With regards to your request to extend the period of post-installation support from 6 months to 12 months. May I suggest that we discuss this matter at the next project update meeting?

I hope that this answers your questions.

If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me on my mobile, 07340 7602133.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,


David Mitchell
Project Manager

A less formal email of response/reply

This is like the formal email of response (you use it when replying to an email (where somebody has asked you for something), but this is used when writing to a work colleague or somebody you have a good relationship with.

Hi Ian,

Everything is going well at the moment. We're a little bit busy, but that's good.

In answer to your email about the current situation with the Skipton Airport Project, please find the answers to your questions below:

We successfully completed stage 2 on Monday and currently we're preparing to start stage 3. In general, the project is going well. We haven't had any problems with the machinery but there are still some minor issues with the delivery system. As was said in our last meeting, the problem with the delivery system is because of the software. It's a very common software issue and we just need time to correct the code. Don't worry, we're looking into it and we expect that it will be resolved by the end of the month.

I apologise that you haven't received a copy of the updated Project Report earlier. I have attached a copy of the report below:

I can confirm that the post-installation support package we offer includes both remote and call-out site support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This covers remote monitoring, a service every 3 months, service engineer visits and the cost of all parts and labour.

Regarding the quote for an extension to the period of post-installation support from 6 months to 12 months. I think we should discuss this subject at the next project update meeting.

I hope that this answers your questions.

Give me a ring if you need anything else.

Regards,


David Mitchell
Project Manager

Emails to give bad news

The first email is formal and used to politely make somebody aware that something bad that affects them has happened. The second email is less formal and used to tell somebody that you now can't do something that you had promised to do.

Email 1

Dear Mrs Ryder,

I regret to inform you that due to a mistake on our computer system, your credit card account with ourselves has been cancelled. As a result, you will not be able to use the credit card. I apologise on behalf of our company for this situation happening.

Unfortunately, due to banking regulations we are not legally able to change your account's status from cancelled to active. In order to change the status to active, you will have to reapply for the credit card account again. Once you have done this, we will re-issue you with a new card as quickly as we can.

Please find below a link to the web page to reapply:

www.bankcards.com/creditcard/appform.html

As a way to recompense you for any trouble this has caused, we will credit your account when active with £35.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me by email (on jbeever@bankcards.com) or by phone (on 0242 7433123).

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Yours sincerely,


James Beever
Customer Services Analyst

Email 2

Good Afternoon John,

I'm afraid I won't be able to help you to do the report for the holiday park. Something very important has just come up and for the next two weeks I'm going to have to focus all my attention on it.

I appreciate that it's very late to tell you that I can't help you and I can only apologise for that.

Have you thought about asking Karen Taylor to help? She has experience of writing these types of reports.

Sorry again for not being able to help you.

Regards,

Emma

An email of feedback

This email is used to give somebody (e.g. a work colleague) some feedback on something they have asked you to look at.

Hi Simon,

I hope you are well?

As you asked, I've been using your new software application for adding customer information for the past couple of days. Overall, I've been very impressed with how easy it is to learn. Within 5 minutes of opening it, I knew what I had to do. I wish other applications were so easy to learn.

Also, I love the design of the application. It looks modern and simple.

There are a few things which I think could be improved:

I'm not sure that it's necessary to have so many input fields for the information. It took me nearly 10 minutes to complete the form for each new customer. I don't think that it's necessary to know if the customer is married or what their nationality is. The longer we keep new customers on the phone when adding their personal details to our database, the less likely they are to return.

In addition, have you thought about making some of the input fields automatically complete information? You could use the post/zip code to automatically add the street name, town and country for each customer. Making the form quicker to complete.

A couple of times I couldn't see what I had written. For me, the size of the letters/fonts isn't big enough. If I were you, I would consider making the letters/font bigger.

Although I think experienced staff will find it easy to complete the form with customers' information on the application, new staff may struggle. As you know, new staff often don't know exactly what information to take from a customer or they complete fields with the wrong type of information. Can you think of a way to help new staff complete the form correctly without them having to ask other staff in the call centre?

As I said before, overall I think the application is very good. I just think with some minor changes, it could be even better.

Contact me if you want to go over what I've suggested.


Take care,

Chris

An email of apology

You would use this formal type of email when you want to apologise for something that you or your company has done wrong.

Dear Mr Smith,

Further to your email of the 17th December 2009 regarding your order (ref no. 34ED12QP). First of all, please allow me to apologise for Peter Taylor not responding to your email. I can confirm that Peter has been on sick leave for the whole of this week. And although this explains the issue, it does not justify it.

It transpires that there was a miscommunication in his department and the person who should have been taking care of this issue, did not. I have already taken all the necessary measures to ensure that this does not happen again in the future. Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.

With regards to the issues about your order, I have taken personal charge of them. First of all, let me apologise for the late delivery. We should have made you aware about the delay at the time.

Regarding the damaged components, I can confirm the following:

It is normal policy here that we do not accept liability for problems with components if we are not notified within 7 working days of delivery. And due to the fact that you did not notify us until after 15 working days of the delivery, the Customer Service Department followed procedure.

But as we view you as a valuable customer, and we have worked together for over five years, rest assured that I will sort out this issue as a matter of urgency. I have already spoken to the Production Director here and he will confirm tomorrow when we can send the replacement components to you. I will update you about the situation with the components by the end of tomorrow at the latest.

Could you please confirm if this is adequate?

I do hope that this situation has not damaged your confidence in working with us.

Once again, please accept our apologises for any inconvenience caused.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me by mobile on 07995 348236.


Yours sincerely,


Mrs Sally Boswell
Rugger Sales Director

An email of complaint

You would use this formal type of email when you want to complain to somebody (normally at another company or department) about something you think they or their company or department is responsible for.

Dear Mrs Boswell,

I wish to draw your attention to an issue we have with a recent order from yourselves (ref no. 34ED12QP). Not only was the delivery four days later than agreed, but when we tried to use the components, we found that 40% of them were damaged and basically useless.

As is normal, I spoke to your Customer Service Manager, Peter Taylor on this matter. I expected that you would replace the damaged components, but this has not been the case. When I last spoke to Peter, last week, he informed me that the components were undamaged when delivered to us and that it was our fault. To make matters worse, he has still not replied to an email I sent to him on Monday. Not very professional customer service.

As you are aware, we have been a customer of your company for over 5 years. The damaged components are severely impacting our production at the moment. We have orders which we can not send because of this problem with the components.

Although, I appreciate that you are all very busy. I believe that I am entitled to an explanation why Peter Taylor has not answered my email, and is refusing to replace the components.

Unless this issue is resolved promptly, then unfortunately, we will be forced to take further action.

I expect an email from yourself by 5pm today at the latest, to inform me how you are going to resolve this issue.


Yours sincerely,


Craig Smith
EGO Production Director

An email to ask for help

You would use this less formal type of email when you need to ask a work colleague or somebody you know well to help you to do something.

Hi Simon,

I hope you are fine and had a good holiday?

We went to Portugal two years ago. It's a beautiful place and the people are very friendly.

I was wondering if you could do me a favour. I'm writing a presentation on 'changes in modern marketing' to give at the international marketing conference next week. I've nearly finished it and I think it sounds ok. But I think that the PowerPoint slides for the presentation look terrible.

I know that you are very good at creating slides on PowerPoint (your slides always look very professional). Would you mind having a look at them?

I just need you to have a look at them and suggest how I can make them look more professional. There are about 12 slides for the presentation. It shouldn't take longer than an hour to do it. I'd really appreciate it if you could help me.

I would have asked Kevin in my team to check them for me, but he's on holiday until after the conference.

It's no problem if you can't, but could you let me know as soon as you can?

Sorry for asking you to do this, but I wouldn't ask you if it wasn't important.

Regards,

Ian Flynn



An email to disagree with somebody

You would use this formal type of email when you want to strongly (but politely) disagree about something that a person has said to you by email.

Good Afternoon Peter,

Further to your last email regarding the proposed changes to the design of the company's website. I can confirm that no decision has yet been taken and will not be until next month.

With regards to your concerns about the cost of the new design of the website being excessive, I'm afraid that I cannot agree with your opinion. I appreciate why you believe that spending $600,000 is excessive. I can reassure you that we have done everything possible to reduce the overall cost of the project. In fact, the original offers we received for the project were around $750,000.

Taking into consideration both the size of the website and the work involved in redesigning and updating the website, in my opinion, $600,000 is a very good price.

You yourself agreed that the current design of our company's website looks old and the website is difficult to use. If we do not carry out design changes in the near future, we will not only lose more potential customers, but it will also damage our brand image in the market.

I would be happy to forward to you a copy of the project plan and the estimated costs. May I suggest that you look at these first and if you have any suggestions of how the cost can be reduced further, I would be pleased to hear them.

I hope this addresses your concerns.

If you want to discuss this matter further, don't hesitate to contact me on my mobile, 676 005 451.

Best regards,


William Smith
IT Web Manager

An email to invite people to a meeting

This less formal email is used to directly invite work colleague, supplier or customer to a meeting. It can easily adapted to invite groups of people.

Hi Ian,

We're holding a meeting on the current problems with the computer systems and I'd appreciate it if you could come. Having somebody like yourself there from the legal department is important because of the problems we've had with the loss of customer data.

The meeting will take place next Thursday at 2pm in meeting room 3 in the Corley Building in Leeds.

If there's anything you would like to discuss in the meeting, send it to me by email and I'll include it in the meeting's agenda.

Let me know as soon as possible if you can attend.

Regards,


David Mitchell
IT Project Manager

An email to invite people to an event

This formal email is used to invite customers (or potential customers) or suppliers to events (e.g. a conference etc...) organised by your company.

Dear Mr Smith,

My name is Sue Jenkins and I am writing on behalf of Reef Technologies plc.

We are pleased to announce that we are sponsoring a series of presentations on the future of renewable energy. The presentations are going to be performed by world-renowned experts in the field (for example Dr Josh Bartlett from MIT and Mrs Jennifer Woods from Clean Future inc.) and will consider future advances in the technology of renewable technology.

Due to your company having worked with Reef Technologies plc in the past, we would like to invite you to the event. The event will be held at the Randalls Conference Centre in Leeds between 3pm and 8pm on the 12 April 2017. If you require directions to the venue, please let me know.

If you would like to attend, please confirm your attendance by replying to this email by the 18 March 2017.

If you have any questions about the event, please don't hesitate to contact me by email (on sjenkins@reeftech.com) or by mobile/cell (on 07867 7433123).

I look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours faithfully,


Sue Jenkins
PR Manager
Reef Technologies plc

Emails to say you can't attend a meeting

Three formal and less formal emails that can be sent to say that you can't attend a meeting.

Email 1

Dear Mr Smith,

Thank you for the invitation to the review meeting on the 12 July. Unfortunately, due to a prior commitment that I am unable to change, I will not be able to attend the meeting.

If you need to contact me, please do not hesitate to do so on my mobile, 6902341899.

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Yours sincerely,


T Berridge

Email 2

Hi John,

I hope that everything's going well over there?

I'm afraid that I can't make tomorrow's meeting. Something very important has just come up and I'm going to be very busy tomorrow.

I'm sorry for the short notice, but I just found out this morning.

Is there any chance we can put the meeting back until Friday?

Let me know if that's OK for you.

Regards

Will

Email 3

Dear Miss Garland,

With reference to the upcoming review meeting on Thursday the 13 November, I am afraid that due to personal reasons, I will not be able to attend.

Would you object if we postponed the meeting to next week? If this is appropriate, what day would be convenient for you?

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on my mobile, 1902341892.

Allow me to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,


D Mitchell

Emails to convince somebody to go to a meeting they said they can't go to

These three less formal emails can be used to convince somebody to attend a meeting after they have said that they can't go.

Email 1

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for getting back to me about the meeting.

I appreciate that you're very busy at the moment. As I said in the invitation I sent you, in the meeting were going to be looking at the problems we've had with the loss of customer data. To be honest, we still don't know the full extent. We may have lost the data for 1,000 customers or 500,000. In addition, there is also some indications that it could have been stolen.

As you can imagine, no matter what the cause, it's going to have major consequences on the company. That why we need to be fully prepared for any eventuality. And that's the reason why we felt that your attendance was necessary.

If you could reconsider attending the meeting, we'd all appreciate it.

Regards,

Sue Jenkins

Email 2

Hi Dan,

Thanks for getting back to me about the meeting.

It's a shame that you can't attend the meeting on Thursday. You'll be the only person invited that won't be attending (The director of customer services has also asked to attend).

It would have been an excellent opportunity to have all the relevant areas together to see how we can quickly deal with this problem and limit the consequences.

It's highly likely that we'll have to organise another meeting when you can be available. I'll discuss this with the attendees in the meeting and let you know what they think.

Regards,

Sue Jenkins

Email 3

Hi Sally,

Thanks for letting me know that you can't attend the meeting on Friday afternoon.

I've spoken to the other attendees (Paul Daniels, Keith Richards etc...) and we've all agreed that we can move the meeting to a time and date which is more suitable for your schedule.

Please advise me of a time and a date which is more suitable for your schedule.

Regards,

Sue Jenkins

Emails to thank people

Three different emails that can be sent to thank people for doing something. The first is to a customer/supplier, the second is to the whole company or a department/team, and the last is to a work colleage.

Email 1

Dear Mr Trotter,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for showing myself and my colleague around your factory on Monday. It was both a very informative and productive visit for both myself and my colleague. I really appreciate that you took time out of your busy work schedule to show us around and meet with us.

It was a pleasure to meet with you and your staff. All of whom treated us with the utmost kindness and respect during the whole of our visit. If you could pass our thanks onto your staff, it would be very much appreciated.

Once again, thank you for the visit.

Yours sincerely,


Eric Banner
Account Executive
Merlin Components plc

Email 2

Dear all,

I would just like to make you aware that our company has won the contract to supply photocopiers to the American government for the next 3 years.

I would like to thank you all for the hard work you have done over the last four months. The winning of this contract is a recognition of all your hard work and dedication that you have made over the years to make our company great. This wouldn't have been possible without you.

Thank you,


Ron Lowe
CEO
Runners Ink inc.

Email 3

Hi Peter,

Thanks a lot for sending me a copy of the report. It's really appreciated.

Regards,

Sally

A proposal email

You would use this type of email when you want to recommend to somebody (normally your manager) that something be bought or changed where you work. This is normally only used when the thing that will be bought or changed will cost a lot of money or will require a lot of resources.

Hi Sally,

Further to our conversation yesterday about the sales training course for the members of my staff, please find below the proposal that I would like you to consider:

As you are aware, all staff in the customer services department are now expected to promote our company's products and services when speaking to existing customers by phone. Since the beginning of this year, the performance of the department is now partly based on how many sales are generated.

As you yourself have said, the results since we started promoting have been disappointing. We have not met any of the sales targets which have been set for the call centre. No matter what we have done to improve sales rate (increasing commissions per sale, punishing staff who don't try to promote etc...), they have not increased.

After conducting an extensive investigation into the issue, through monitoring incoming customer calls into the call centre and performing interviews with staff, I have created a report (a copy of which is attached at the bottom of the email). This report identifies that the problem lies with the staff.

It shows that it's not that the staff don't want to sell and promote the products or services, but that they don't know how to do it. Few have any prior experience of selling any type of products or services. They don't understand how to persuade/convince people to buy or identify what products or services would be of most use or interest to the person they are speaking to. No matter what we do, until they learn how to do this, sales conversions are going to continue to remain low.

That is why I propose we undertake a sales training course to teach essential sales skills to the customer services staff in the call centre. After contacting a number of different companies, I have found a training course which would be the most suitable for our needs. It's run by APC Sales Training. Not only do they have one of the best reputations in the industry (they are used by Barclays, HSBC, ING etc...) but one of my ex-colleagues used them in the customer services department which she runs and said sales conversions more than doubled as a result.

I have already contacted APC Sales Training and they have devised a three day sales training course designed specifically for our needs (their proposed course outline is attached at the bottom of the email).

The cost of the three day course they are proposing is £1,200 per participant. That includes all materials, food and drinks, and room hire.

I appreciate that money is a concern. And I admit that the three day training course is not cheap. That is why I propose that we initially limit the number of staff who undertake the course to four customer service assistants. We can then monitor their performance when they return to see if the course has lead to a significant improvement in their sales conversion. If it does, we can talk about enrolling the rest of the customer service assistants in the call centre on to the course.

I really believe that this proposal is both the most effective and quickest way that we can improve our sales performance. If we don't train the staff how to sell, the chances of meeting the sales targets for the call centre are extremely low.

I'd appreciate to hear what you think about the proposal.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me by either email or phone (07930 522356).


Regards,


Peter Smith

Emails to reject a business offer

The first email is formal and used to tell a company that you are not interested in an offer they have made. The second is also formal, but it is used to tell a company that they have not won a contract they made a bid for.

Email 1

Dear Mr Boxall,

Thank you for your enquiry about supplying our company with new photocopying equipment.

Unfortunately, we are currently not in need of replacing our existing photocopiers. We recently entered a new 2 year contract with our existing photocopier provider.

You would be more than welcome to contact us again when our current contract is up for renewal.

Yours sincerely,


Jeff Thompson
Office Manager

Email 2

Dear Mrs Robinson,

Thank you for submitting a bid for the re-design of our website. After careful consideration of all the proposals we received for the contract, I regret to inform you that on this occasion your bid has been unsuccessful. We have decided to offer the contract to one of the other bidders.

Although your proposal was very professional and well-thought out, we felt that the design didn't focus enough on the social media channels our company uses and it was a little over complicated and confusing to use.

We will be more than happy to consider you for any web development or redesign projects we have in the future.

If you require any further feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me by email on dmitchell@powersports.com or by phone on 01535 6547196.

Yours sincerely,


David Mitchell
Project Manager





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