Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Breaking the Ice: Business/Formal Emailing Intros

Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to start writing an email, especially when it is addressed to somebody whom we have never met before.  The first few sentences can sometimes even paralyze us.  Here are few examples to get you going!


  • Unknown recipient:
    • To Whom it May Concern
    • Dear Sir or Madame
    • To + title (Ex. To the Director of Human Resources)
  • Recipients for whom you have a name:
    • Dear Dr./Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss + surname
      • Note: Mrs. is used only for married women.  Ms. is used for married and single women.  Miss is used for single women.  However, Miss is very outdated and hardly used.  Ms. is used for business correspondence rather than Mrs., even if the woman is married. 

Openings (Breaking the Ice):

Established Contact:
  • I hope this email finds you well.
  • Thank you for your quick response/prompt reply.
  • It was... a pleasure meeting you / great to finally meet you.
  • It was great to finally touch base with you... the other day/last week/yesterday. 
  • I greatly appreciate(d) your help in + gerund (Ex. sending, sharing, meeting, convening...)
Unknown Contact Given by Colleague or Friend:
  •  I was given your name from an organization that...
  • Your name was passed along to me by a colleague who knows you from...
  • I happened to receive your name from ____________, the Vice President of SOS, while I was attending a conference in London. 
Unknown Contact:
  • I'm writing you to learn more information about + gerund (Ex. acquiring, collaborating...)
  • By chance, I became aquainted with your work/organization through a conference/workshop I attended. 
  •  I am familiar with the work you have done in the area of + field (Ex. medicine, law, biology...)
Job Announcements:
  • I'm writing this email to inquire about the position available as + title (Ex. Development Manager, Salesperson, Marketing Director...)
  • I found an opportunity for employment via your website as + title (Ex. Web Developer, Associate Professor, Junior Copywriter...)
  • I am writing to express my interest in the current opening as + title (Ex. Analyst, Researcher...)
I hope this helps--feel free to leave any questions or suggestions...

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