Structuring Your Business Email

Business emails generally have six major parts: greeting, opening statement, body, closing statement, sign-off, and signature.


A formal greeting looks like this:

Dear + title + last name (family name/surname)

Dear Mr. Hyde,

Use Ms. for women, unless you know she is married. In that case, use Mrs. If you’re not sure if she’s married, use Ms.:

Dear Ms. Thompson,

Dear Mrs. Jones,

If you do not know the person’s name, use the title + Sir/Madam:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Dear Sir,

Dear Madam,

If you are unsure of the person’s gender, then use the title + first and last name:

Dear Dana Brown,

Other common greetings with alternate titles that can be used for both men and women:

Dear Professor Jefferson,

Dear Dr. Jekyll,

Dear Senator Nichols,

Dear Judge Sampson,

Dear Captain Kirk,

Do not use title + first name:

x Dear Mr. Tom,

If you have a casual business relationship with the person, it’s okay to use only the first name:

Dear Bill,

Opening Statement/Small Talk

Among other things, the opening statement can be used as an introduction, a thank you, or as a way to help the person remember how you two met.

For example:

  • My name is Barnaby Jones. I am the senior vice president of sales for Uptown Pharmaceuticals. I am writing to …

  • Thank you for meeting with me last week to discuss …

  • It was a pleasure meeting you at the conference last month.

  • Hello. My name is Christina Baker. I work with Julie Fischer at Chiefland Chemicals. Ms. Fischer suggested I contact you to discuss …


The body of the email gives details of the reason you are writing. It typically includes one or more of three options. You are writing to give information or make a statement, to ask a question, or to make a request.

Information: The annual Christmas party will be held on December 20th this year.

Question: Are you planning to attend the Christmas party?

Request: When you come to the Christmas party, will you please bring potato chips?

Closing Statement

The closing statement is a great way to bring an email to finish the email with one final thought. Here, you can confirm an appointment, submit a due date for an assignment, say thank you again, or express anticipation of a future meeting. Keep it simple.

For Example:

  • I will see you on Monday, June 30th at 10:00 am.

  • Please send me the report by the end of the week.

  • Thank you for your time.

  • Thank you in advance for (verb-ing)…

  • I’m looking forward to meeting you.


Formal options are:

Best Regards,


In a casual business relationship, you can use:




The signature is very often determined by your company. If not, a formal signature will include your full name, title, and company name:

Jill Ross

Director of IT

IT Solutions, Inc.

Additionally, you can include your contact information:

Richard Wright

Human Resources Manager

Triumphant Co.

(214) 555 – 1212

www. triumphant .com

rwright @ triumphant .com

Put it all together

[greeting] Dear Ms. Trumple,

[opening statement/small talk] It was my great pleasure to meet with you yesterday to discuss the possibility of helping your company revamp its brand image.

[body: information/statement] As we discussed, Marketing Solutions will create a new marketing package for your company to include an updated logo with accompanying stationery and business card templates. My team will also create a new slogan for your company. Per our agreement, your first draft will be completed by Friday, September 21st, which I will submit to you via secure email. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

[closing statement] I look forward to working with you.

[sign-off] Best Regards,

[signature] Jennifer Maxwell

Sales Manager

Marketing Solutions, Inc.

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