When it comes to composing business emails in English, some people may find it a little difficult. However, English business emails have standard phrases and templates for each message, so once you get the point, it's not that difficult.
Here, we will introduce the points of email creation for each scene so that you can smoothly compose business English emails in case of emergency.
Business email structure
First, let's look at the structure of business email.
The composition is as follows regardless of Japanese or English. Remember, it's the basis of business email.
- This article
- Closing sentence
- Best regards
How to write business emails by scene
First, let's see how to write a business email for each of the five scenes of "greeting," "request," "thank you," "apology," and "confirmation and question."
Here, we will mainly introduce the subject, export, and text, which have different expressions depending on the scene.
For greeting emails
This is the case when sending a self-introduction greeting email to a person with whom you make a transaction for the first time or a person introduced in a business relationship.
It is common to use "Introduction" which means "nice to meet you". Be sure to continue with your name, the name of the person who introduced you, the company name, etc., and be careful not to make the subject "Introduction" only.
- Introduction --Hanako Tanaka
- Nice to meet you, this is Hanako Tanaka
- Introduction --Hanako Tanaka in Sales
- Nice to meet you, I'm Hanako Tanaka from the Sales Department.
- An introduction by Shota Kimura
- Introduction from Kimura Shota
If you want to send an email to say hello to the company, it would be nice to have a department name as well. Also, when greeting with a referral from someone, there are cases where the name of the person who introduced you is included in the subject line.
When you send or reply to an email for the first time, start by writing something like "Sudden email, I'm very sorry".
- I truly apologize for this sudden e-mail.
- I am very sorry for the sudden email.
- Thank you very much for your time reading this message.
- Thank you for reading the email.
If you have exchanged emails several times, you may want to include words like "Thank you for your help" like Japanese business emails. However, since this is a culture unique to Japan, there is basically no problem even if it is not included. If you still want to add something, the following phrases are common.
- Thank you always for your ongoing support.
- I am always grateful for your help.
- Thank you for your patronage.
- We become indebted to.
However, since it gives a stiff impression, it is better to avoid including such words in close business partners.
Here, we will introduce an example of a phrase for sending a greeting email to a person who has completed a transaction.
- Thank you for your contract. I am ________, a person in charge of this project.
- Thank you for your contract. I am ________ in charge of this project.
- I am ________ of ________corp. I am here to say hello to Mr.________.
- We asked Mr. □□ for his new greetings. My name is ________ of ________ Co., Ltd.
- It will be my pleasure to be a partner whom you can trust.
- We hope that you will be able to work with us as a reliable partner in the future.
- I would like to ask your continuous support.
- Best regard.
In the case of request email
There are many occasions when you send a business email asking for something, such as sending a sample or quotation, or requesting payment. Let's see the points to create a request email in English.
Basically, the phrase "Request for" is used in the subject line of emails requesting something.
- Request for Product Samples
- Request for sample
- Request for Payment
- Request for payment
When writing a request email, briefly explain the purpose of sending the email.
- The purpose of this e-mail is to________.
- The purpose of sending this email is for.
- The reason I am writing this e-mail is________.
- The reason for writing this email is.
Here, we will introduce an example sentence when requesting a quote.
- Could you give us an estimated of price?
- Can you give me a price quote?
- Please quote for the following items.(I would like a price quote on the following items.)
- Please give me a quote for the following products.
In the case of a thank-you email
There are many scenes in which business emails express gratitude, such as thank you for closing a transaction or for a meeting. Let's take a look at the points of composing a thank-you email in English.
In the subject line of the thank-you email, we basically use the phrase "Thank You for" which means "Thank you". Be clear about what you are thankful for.
- Thank You for Your Reply
- Thank you for replying to the email
- Thank You for Your Visit on May 12th.
- Thank you for visiting us on May 12th.
- Thank You for Your Order
- Thank you for your order
As with the subject, writing often starts with "Thank you for ...".
- Thank you for your e-mail.
- Thank you for contacting us.
- Thank you for your time at the last meeting.
- Thank you for the meeting the other day.
- Thank you very much for visiting our company.
- Thank you for visiting us.
You can give a brief thank you and then add the nuanced phrase "I would like to know your opinion" that encourages you to consider "how about then?" ..
Here, let's look at an example sentence to say thank you for closing a transaction.
- Thank you very much for extending the opportunity for us to do business with you.
- Thank you for taking the opportunity to trade with us.
- We are very pleased that we were able to complete the deal.
- I am very happy that the transaction has been completed.
- We would like to express our gratitude for your accepting our proposal.
- Thank you for accepting our suggestions.
- We succeeded in trading with Mr.________'s negotiations.
- Thanks to Mr. ________, we were able to complete the transaction.
In the case of an apology email
There are many scenes in which we create emails that convey our apologies, such as defective products, delayed delivery, and late replies. Let's take a look at the points of composing an apology email in English.
In the subject line of the apology email, use "Apology for" which means "apology for". Also, if casual nuances are acceptable, the expression "Sorry for" is fine.
- Apology for My Late Reply
- Sorry for the late reply
- Apology for Defective Product
- Apology for defective products
As with any email, it's a good idea to add a word to your apology email before you get into the main apology wording.
- Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to email me.
- Thank you for contacting us while you are busy.
- I really apologize that I was not able to reply your message soon.
- We apologize for not being able to reply to the email immediately.
Here, let's look at an example sentence of an apology for a complaint about a product or service.
- I am so sorry about the dent of package of our products.
- I am very sorry that the package of our product was dented.
- We apologize if we did not meet your expectations.
- We apologize for not meeting the expectations of our customers.
- I am sorry again of our customer service staff.
- We sincerely apologize for the rude response of the customer center.
- I think the staff in customer service was not used to his work and I will give him further education.
- Since the people at the customer center are also unfamiliar, we will continue to educate them in the future.
- There may arise unexpected problems.
- Unexpected things may happen.
For confirmation or question emails
In many cases, you will be asked to confirm or ask questions about the meeting schedule or products by e-mail. Here, let's look at the points to create an English email regarding confirmations and questions.
Use "About" or "Regarding", which means "about", in the subject line of the confirmation/question email, and continue to clarify the confirmation/question. There is also the expression "Question about".
- About Project Meeting on October 10th
- About the meeting on October 10th
- Regarding Product #001
- About item number 001
Instead of suddenly confirming or asking a question, it is helpful to add a greeting before entering the main subject, or to provide guidance on confirmation and questions.
- Thank you for your support as always.
- Always I am indebted.
- We are planning to have a get-together at our company.
- We would like to hold a social gathering at our company.
Here, let's look at an example sentence when confirming the schedule of the other party when holding a social gathering.
- Let us know the schedule on 10/10 of Mr.________?
- How about your schedule for October 10th?
- Could I have a schedule of 10/10 of Mr.________?
- We would like to inform you of the schedule for October 10th for Mr. ________.
- Please let us know whether you can attend the sales meeting.
- Please let us know if you are likely to attend the sales meeting.
Here are the closing phrases that will be added after the body of the email. By adding a closing word instead of ending the text suddenly, you will be able to make the text look like a formal business email.
- If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
- If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
- I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
- We look forward to hearing from you (when you want a reply).
- We really appreciate your prompt reply.
- Please reply as soon as possible.
- Please say hello to Mr.________.
- Please give my best regards to the manager.
- Please take care of yourself.
- please take care of yourself.
Best regards phrase
Finally, I will introduce the phrase of the best regards used as a closing greeting after the body of the email. There are several types of best regards, so use them according to the person and the scene.
It is the most commonly used phrase in the business scene and means "from the bottom of my heart." You can get a more polite impression by adding your full name after "sincerely" or by saying "yours sincerely" or "sincerely yours".
If it is more casual than "sincerely", use "regards". It means "with respect" and is used in a closer relationship. By expressing "best regards" or "kind regards", the meaning of thinking about you is strengthened, so it is one of the expressions that can be used in the business scene.
In addition, "cordially" and "respectfully" are used in the business scene. Instead of using just one many times, why not try using different words for each email?
Precautions when writing business emails in English
When composing a business email in English, there are some points to be aware of, such as wording, expression, and timing of reply.
Wording and expression
Here, we would like to introduce some points to note about English phrases and expressions that Japanese people should pay particular attention to.
How to use Please
Japanese people tend to think that if you add "Please" when requesting something, you can make it a polite expression. However, it does not mean that you should add "Please" to every phrase. Depending on the other party, the "Please" statement may be seen from above, which can be rude.
If you want to ask for something, the polite phrases such as "Would you ~?" And "I wonder if you could ________" are appropriate.
Use gender-neutral words
With the advancement of women into society, there is a tendency to avoid saying gender-restricted job titles, such as "nurse" becoming "nurse". Especially in Europe and the United States, this tendency is strong, and many people are sensitive to discrimination. It is important to keep gender-neutral expressions in mind, not only in regular communication but also in email.
Some examples of words that should be paraphrased are:
- businessman → business professional
- foreman → supervisor
- salesman → salesperson
- workman → worker
This can be said in both Japanese and English, but it is good manners to reply to business emails as soon as possible. If you are busy and it is difficult to get a detailed reply immediately, such as checking the schedule, we will reply by stating that you have confirmed the email and when to contact you in detail.
- I will email you back when I come back to my office on October 20th.
- We will reply to you as soon as we return to the company on October 20th.
It is convenient to prepare a template for each scene!
If you suddenly try to compose an English business email, it may not be possible to compose it smoothly.
By preparing a template that can be reused to some extent for each scene in advance, you will be able to send an English email immediately in case of emergency.