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8 Comments

Improving English for business emails

Hi,

As a non-native speaker, how do you improve your English for business emails? I'm usually checking all my emails on Grammarly and googling a lot about what phrases to use when opening and closing emails, etc., but is there a forum or website out there which you could recommend for this?

As a concrete example, I have the following line, which I find a bit cold. How would you improve it? "Thank you for your interest in the MyCompany Enterprise plan."
This "Thank you for your interest" is exactly what I'd like to say, but I find it so overused today in emails that it feels cold. I'd like to emphasize that I'm not just from the customer service team of a big business, but the founder of the business they contacted.
Can I say "I'm happy/glad to hear that you are interested in the MyCompany Enterprise plan."? Isn't that a bit cheesy that I'm saying I'm happy? Of course, a business founder is happy if someone is asking them about an Enterprise plan. What would you use?

About greetings, I basically came up with the following rule:

  • If they use something (Hi, Hey, Hello, etc.) I reply with the same one.
  • For "To whom it may concern" I use Hello.
  • For no greetings from a web form, I use Hello.

When using Hello, I say goodbye with "Kind regards". When using Hi I use "Best regards".

What do you think?

  1. 1

    A few more questions, not about grammar but more about the business side. How do you come back to potential customers who've been in discussion with you but disappeared? What should I say? Also if you have some articles about this I'd love to read them.

  2. 1

    Hi there! If this is something you're struggling with, maybe have a look at https://www.positiviteach.co.uk/ - they specialise in helping non-native speakers improve their confidence in English :)

  3. 1

    Try to check on https://eangel.me/

    They proofread everything. Your email, social media post. Articles.

  4. 1

    As a native English speaker, this is just difficult in general, so I feel your pain.

    I don't think you should be afraid of the cheesy line anyway. Especially if you have a signature that lets them know you're the founder.

    Another way when you're struggling with a line like that is just to not use it. Find something else to say that indicates you're happy without actually saying it. Ask a question about what prompted them to contact you (you can also learn what's working).

    Any friendly response is going to let them know you're engaging with them.

    Kind regards and Best regards can be a little bit formal. I usually use 'Cheers', and if it's the second or third email just - Luke. I don't think anyone has ever gone "Oh no, they said Kind regards, I'm not dealing with them again" though, so fine-tuning this might not be worth the effort.

    I tend to mostly use Hi. I don't know that there is any hard and fast rule, but if you say it out and it rolls off the tongue, it's a fair bet it's fine. Hello <Name> is probably less common in emails I receive, except in emails from my German colleagues 😅.

    Another option with greetings is just to use your native greeting and then switch straight to English. e.g. Hola or Bonjour or Hallo (though maybe Guten Tag is a better option with German since Hello and Hallo are quite close). If necessary put an * pair and at the bottom, Greetings from <insert city/country>. <product> is built with love in <country>. This allows you to stand out, AND break out of the Hi/Hey/Hello problem.

    1. 1

      Great advice!! Thanks for sharing this

  5. 1

    I am not native too, interesting to hear opinions about this theme.
    Now I try to catch the phrases from emails from native.
    For example, "sorry for radio silence" when you don't reply fast

    1. 2

      Yep, that's a good example of metaphors that help smooth emails. Not sure if it's just a typo here, but for the record, it's "sorry for THE radio silence"

      1. 1

        Thank u! Always sloppy with that! Remember it

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