Phrases You Should Never, Ever Use in a Professional Email

Email is one of the basic modes of communication on the internet today. Practically everyone uses email, and many services and websites require you to have at least a basic email account so that they can send you account-related information and updates.

Email is also used as the primary method of communication between two people, and it is also widely used for professional needs. We often need to email other peers, colleagues, clients, or even other businesses and these emails are not just for communicating, but also for applying for jobs, exchanging contracts, sending invoices, notifications, project updates, etc.

Using email for professional needs seems obvious, but there are several ways you can go wrong in doing so. It is quite common to see some people make easily avoidable mistakes when sending out emails for job applications, or when contacting a busy person about a potential deal without first understanding how to write a formal email. It’s also disappointing to see many people make silly mistakes in the very little text they use when emailing journalists with a pitch.

Don’t worry though! As makers of the fantastic email app Spark, we’re here to tell you about some of the phrases that you should never ever use in a professional email.

1. Hey

Whenever you’re emailing someone for any kind of professional work, it’s important to always remember how to start an email and begin the email and address them with either a “Hi” or “Hello”. “Hey” is best left for family, friends, and colleagues you’ve worked with for a long period of time. Take a moment to consider the purpose of the email. When you understand how to write business email, avoiding “hey” in it is a no-brainer.

2. Thanks!

A quick “Thanks!” in your email sounds great, but can often be read as rude or even sarcastic. It is good practice to always use “Thank You” whenever possible, and leave the “Thanks!” to when you’re emailing a good friend about something.

3. I hope you’re well / Trust you’ve been well

It’s advisable to skip the formalities and get straight to the point. When sending out a professional email, avoid using phrases like these, as you are not just wasting your own time, but the reader’s time as well.

4. Sorry to Bother You

If you’re taking the time and effort to write an email to someone, you’ve already asked for, or speaking more practically, claimed some of their time. Emailing someone about something professional is important enough, so saying that you’re sorry about bothering them comes off as weak. It’s fine if you’re emailing a friend and asking for a favor, but definitely avoid using this phrase in a professional email.

5. To be honest

This is something that is commonly used in our casual conversations, but should be explicitly avoided in all professional communication. It is assumed by default that you’re a professional and are always honest. Saying “To be honest,” before something implies you weren’t necessarily being honest any other time.

6. I am the [designation] at [company name]

Beginning any professional email example by mentioning your designation at the company comes off as very authoritative, and quite simply arrogant. It is recommended that you simply mention that you’re from [company name], if at all relevant to the conversation.

Designations or titles are best seen in your email signature.

7. Sincerely Yours / Yours Truly

These phrases are leftovers from the bygone era and don’t really find a place in today’s day and age. Using them in your professional email sign off make you seem like you’re trying too hard for the recipient to like you, and may even work against your intended use in most cases.

Instead, simply signing off your email with “Best,” or “Regards,” is highly recommended.

When tasked with sending an email to a client or contractor for the first time, it is good practice to take the help from someone on your team. Asking a teammate to go through your draft — simply having a different set of eyes read through the content — helps clean out any silly errors or typos.

Spark for Teams offers a much better way of doing this by allowing you share a draft with your team so that you can collaborate together on the same draft and make any corrections required, before sending it off.

Now that you’ve learnt how to write a professional email, download Spark for Teams and invite your team members so that you can all start crafting that perfect email.

Preshit Deorukhkar Preshit Deorukhkar


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