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Anyone who is used to crafting business emails knows that there are some expressions that the professional world relies on. They can be useful as they are well-rounded and understood by many. However, depending entirely on these phrases can make it seem as if your vocabulary is limited. To avoid this, try using the alternative phrases found in the following list.
Business Email Phrases and Alternatives
↓I appreciate your patience.
“I’m sorry for the delayed response” immediately points out a mistake on your behalf. It’s a busy world, and emails can sometimes slip through the cracks. Instead, thank the recipient for their patience.
↓I am writing to…
“I hope you’re doing well,” or “I hope this email finds you well” is an email cliché. Are you really sitting around hoping the reader is okay? Probably not. As we mentioned earlier, it’s a busy world. While some people appreciate the kind formalities, most would prefer if you got straight to the point and explained what the email is about. However, if you feel you must include a friendly greeting, try a different or more personal approach, like: I really like your input in today’s meeting…
↓Can I get an update/status update?
“I’m just following up” is a common phrase that makes it easy for your email to fall to the bottom of someone’s to-reply list. Not only is it widely used, but it doesn’t offer any sense of urgency.
↓[restate/reiterate previous message]
“As I mentioned before” and “per my last email” are two of the most passive-aggressive email phrases you can send. Avoid using them at all costs, especially if you’re dealing with a customer or potential client. It comes off as saying, “Did you not read what I just sent?” Instead, just find a way of restating your previous message. If it’s gotten to a point where you feel the need to use this phrase, consider making a phone call instead of sending another email.
Not only is “thanks in advance” wordy, but it can come off as rude. It’s as if you’re demanding, not asking, the recipient to do what was requested. A simple “thanks” will suffice.
↓I appreciate your prompt response.
There’s nothing wrong with writing “I’m looking forward to hearing from you,” except that it’s incredibly overused and doesn’t indicate a sense of urgency. A phrase like “I appreciate your prompt response,” tells the recipient that you’re waiting for a response sooner rather than later.
↓Let me know what you think.
The issue with “please advise” is that there are various ways in which it can be interpreted. It can come off as redundant (if you’re asking them to advise you on a specific question that’s explicitly stated in the email), passive-aggressive, or even demanding. Try a more friendly, casual phrase like “let me know what you think.”
Formal Opening Lines
There are a handful of email greetings that are suitable for professional emails.
However, when it comes to opening lines—the sentence you write before you jump into the point of your message—there are several options to choose from, depending on the purpose of your email.
A few options include:
I trust you’re having a productive day.
I’d like to circle back to our previous conversation about…
I’m writing to share some important updates about…
I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for…
Professional Email Sign-Offs
Similarly, there are a few email sign-offs that are appropriate for business emails. Some of them are:
And if you’d like a closing line for your email that succinctly summarizes the point of the email, consider:
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Let’s plan to touch base in our next meeting to discuss progress.
I’m confident we can achieve great results together.
Have a great weekend ahead, and let’s reconvene on this next week.
Remember, these are just a few examples of what a professional closing line looks like. The options vary depending on the message you’re conveying.
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