How to write a formal email?

A formal email It is one that we need to write for an important matter, such as applying for a job, communicating with an institution, doing business or expressing information in a respectful and official way, not colloquial.

As in other types of writing, formal emails follow a protocol and respect certain regulations regarding the use of the language, so when writing them it is important to take into account basic aspects such as the following:

  • Use a professional email account. Use an account whose address has to do with your first and last name, and not something full of numbers, signs and other people’s references, that is difficult to transcribe or that is childish.
  • Don’t use colloquial expressions. No rudeness, no emoticons, colors or gifs. Formal communication is very different from what you would normally do on social media or your personal messaging service. Also, do not use signatures with images or animations.
  • Use polished language. Write carefully and use appropriate language that the other can easily understand. Do not use your own expressions, or colloquial turns. Bet on something cultured and simple.
  • Get to the point as much as possible. Avoid unnecessary information. A formal email is not a letter to a friend, but a communication that tends to the professional. Respect the time of whoever reads you on the other side of the screen.
  • Be courteous and follow protocol. Use courtesy formulas and address the other person in a formal way, without trusting.
  • Always check your spelling and grammar. Read the text aloud at least once before sending it to reduce the margin for errors.

Parts of a formal email

Taking into account these general considerations, we can proceed to the writing of a formal email. All formal mail must include:

  • Addressee. It is the person or institution to whom we address the mail. If there is more than one address, it is advisable to use the Bcc field (blind copy) instead of “to”, so as not to reveal the addresses of others to those who receive the mail. In addition, it does not look good to send a collective email if we expect to have a personalized response. It is best to send an individual email to each recipient.
  • Affair. It is the subject of the mail, the reason for sending it. In this case, we must be brief, specific and complete, that is, we must say in a sentence what we want. If our email is about a specific request, we should put in the subject “request for xxx”. If it is to look for a job or a place of study, something like “application to the position of xxx” or “application to the program of xxx” should be appropriate. If we want to deliver a document, let’s simply go for the description of the document in question: “sales report” or “presentation for tomorrow.”
  • Email body. It is where we will write the content of the email. Always try to be brief and as professional as possible. This segment can be subdivided into:
    • Salutation or salute. All mail begins with a line to say to whom the mail is addressed. The phrase “esteemed” or “respected” and the name of whom or whom we are addressing is often used. For example: “Dear Professor Montoya” or “Respected members of the jury”, or “Dear Enrique Zuloaga”. This line must go alone at the beginning of the email.
    • Content. Starting a line below the greeting, this is the segment in which we say what we want or what our mail is about. It is advisable to use a distant but friendly tone, with short sentences and to the point, forming short paragraphs, each of which addresses a specific issue. We can use phrases like “I am pleased to address you.” or “I write to you this time to”. In addition, if we send attached documents, it should be mentioned in this section.
    • Closing. It is also part of the formal protocols of the mail, and tends to be a solitary phrase at the end of the mail, leaving a blank space when the content ends. It is usually a courtesy phrase with which we invite the reader to respond, such as “Sincerely”, “No other particular to refer to”, “Thankful for your attention” or “Waiting for your prompt response.”
    • Firm. The signature is the last thing that goes in the body of the email, and includes our full name, or in case the email is part of a string or an exchange, our initials. In some cases, the signature may be accompanied by our document number or the description of our position, for example: “Miguel Yepez” and below: “Sales coordinator”, and then our telephone number in case the reader wishes to establish another type of communication.
  • Attached files. We must always attach what we announce in the body of the email, so it is advisable before sending the email to check that we have attached it and that it is, in effect, the indicated file.

Examples of formal mail

  1. Formal mail to request an academic report

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Academic report request

Dear gentlemen of the National University:

I have the pleasure of writing to you to request the issuance of an academic report in my name, with which I aspire to compete for the allocation of a scholarship for the internship program during the next school year. For that reason it would be very convenient to have the report as soon as possible.

Thankful in advance for your attention and good offices,

Marco Rabanal
Student # 846593

  1. Formal mail to apply for a quality inspector position

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: For the position of quality inspector

Respected Messrs. from Exxon:

My name is Ana Mendez, I have a degree in international trade with extensive experience in tax matters, and I am interested in the position of quality inspector, which I understand is currently vacant. I attach my curriculum vitae to you, to be taken into account in your selection processes. I am sure that my experience and training will make me a suitable candidate for your recognized organization.

With no other particular to refer to,

Very truly yours,

Ana Mendez
Phone: +99 3923 1734

  1. Formal mail to notify the rejection of a credit application

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Your request for credit consideration

Dear Miguel:

I am writing to you to greet you and to inform you that the credit evaluation committee has considered your case and has made the decision to reject your credit application (application number # 345648) dated 08/15/2021. The reasons given by the committee for making this decision were:

192 – Lack of credit support

Note that you can make a new request through the regular channels, without this result in any way affecting the future considerations of the committee.


Jorge Pereira
Credit Executive
Branch 004 – Investment Bank


  • “Linguistic registry” in Wikipedia.
  • “How to write a formal email” in Infobae.
  • “How to write a formal email?” at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.

What is formal language?

Is named formal language or formal linguistic registration to one of the modes of use of the language, in which more attention is paid to the rules of correction and courtesy protocols, since the situation requires respectful treatment. It is the recommended registry to communicate with institutions, people of greater hierarchy or in social events of great importance. Broadly speaking, formal language is characterized by:

  • Use cultured words and complex sentences.
  • Use courtesy formulas that we do not use in informal speech.
  • Avoid the use of rudeness and colloquialisms.
  • Pay attention to diction and pronunciation, if it is an oral communication. If it is written, attention is paid to style.