How to Address Business Letters That Are Sent by Email

by Lynn Lauren ; Updated September 26, 2017
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Many employees in the business world are well versed in how to write a formal business letter. However, when it comes to email versions of that same letter, the style and format change slightly. Knowing the proper etiquette for a business letter sent via email will not only help the employee to look more professional, it will help him to get his point across in a clear and professional manner.

Create a simple and concise subject line to the email. Avoid common spam triggers to keep the message sent to the recipients inbox. Common spam triggers include: "Free," "Information You Requested" and "Great Offer." Also avoid using all capital letters.

Format your email in the same manner as a formal business letter. First, insert your contact information. Then, insert the date of the letter. Next, include the recipient's address. Insert the salutation and then include the underlined subject line, which can be a repeat of Step 1. Write the body of the letter and insert a closing line and your signature. Remember to place a space between each part of the letter.

Create your salutation based upon your business contact. For the most formal contacts, include the honorific (Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc) and the recipient's last name, followed by a comma. If the recipient is a co-worker, his first name followed by a comma is acceptable if he is normally addressed by the sender in that manner. For unknown recipients, the formal "To Whom It May Concern:" is acceptable.


  • Most email correspondence is not this formal between co-workers and common contacts. Inserting the address and contact information should only be included if the sender and recipient are new contacts, as opposed to frequent email corresponding partners.

About the Author

Lynn Lauren has been a professional writer since 1999, focusing on the areas of weddings, professional profiles and the banking industry. She has been published in several local magazines including "Elegant Island Weddings." Lauren has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration, both with marketing concentrations from Georgia Southern University and Mercer University, respectively.

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