Useful Stock Phrases for Your Business Emails

By Ali Hale

When I wrote a post on email etiquette, one reader, Juan, left a comment to ask for some advice (I’ve changed his punctuation a bit for clarity’s sake):

I just discovered your page and I love it. Please teach me before we sign off the mail with “warm regards” etc ,we also always using some phrasal sentences such as “please look into this matter” or “thank you in advance”, “I would be very appreciate on your help in this matter”, etc. Could you please write some more like those in different contents of mails?

What Juan’s describing here are stock phrases. If you write a lot of emails, you’ll often find yourself facing the same sorts of situations again and again, and you’ll often see stock phrases used in business emails to convey a professional, helpful and friendly tone. I agree with Juan that it can definitely help to have some ready-crafted sentences on hand for including in your emails – either just keeping them in mind, or creating a document on your computer to hold them ready for copy-and-pasting.

The trick is to make them heart-felt rather than copied-and-pasted. There are a few phrases which I see constantly in emails from huge technical support firms, government offices and similar organisations: used carelessly, they can feel distancing or insincere.

I’ve listed some options below for different types of email situations, such as:

  • When you’re initiating email contact with someone new
  • When you’ve answered someone’s question
  • When you’re asking the recipient to take some action
  • When you need a response (but not necessarily any action taking)
  • When you’ve heard nothing back and want to chase up a reply

Unless your boss is particularly uptight, why not try going with the more informal ones? I work in a small technical support team who have a great reputation for being friendly, helpful and accessible – in part, because we use everyday language and remember that we’re writing to people, not just trying to knock another email out of the queue. Here’s some examples you might want to use, or modify, for your own email messages … feel free to bookmark the page, or print it out for easy reference.

When you’re initiating email contact with someone new

Very formal

“Might I take a moment of your time…” (to begin the email)

“Please may I introduce myself…” (to begin the email)

“Many thanks again for your time.” (to end the email)

More informal/friendly

“I’m just emailing to ask…” (to begin the email)

“I’m a friend of Bob’s…” (to begin the email)

“Just let me know if you have any questions.” (to end the email)

“Drop me an email, or give me a ring, if you want any more information.” (to end the email)

When you’ve answered someone’s question(s)

Very formal

“I trust the above resolves your queries. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

More informal/friendly

“I know that’s a lot to take in, so let me know if anything I’ve said doesn’t make sense.”

“Hope the above helps, but email again if you’re still having any difficulties.”

When you’re asking the recipient to take some action

Very formal

“I would appreciate your help in this matter.”

More informal/friendly

“Could you look into this?”

“Would you mind checking it out for me?”

“Thanks in advance.”

“Can you get back to me once you’ve had a chance to investigate?”

“I’d love to hear your advice on this one.”

When you need a response (but not necessarily any action taking)

Very formal

“I await a response at your earliest convenience.”

More informal/friendly

“Can you drop me a quick word so I know you’ve received this?”

“Look forward to hearing from you.”

When you’ve heard nothing back and want to chase up a reply

Very formal

“In reference to my email of June 20th …”

More informal/friendly

“Just wondered if you got my email (June 20th)?”

“When you get a moment, could you drop me a line about my last email?”

Do you have any favourite stock phrases that you use in your work emails? Add yours in the comments!

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32 Responses to “Useful Stock Phrases for Your Business Emails”

  • Jaguar

    One phrase I see a lot in emails is: “Please advice”. But this is incorrect. “Advice” is a noun. “Advise” is a verb. So the correct usage is “Please advise”.

  • Dan

    When I send out an email in reference to a user issue I normally try to include:

    “Sorry for the inconvenience.”

    “Thanks for your patience.”

    …or some combination of the two.

    When I send emails that amount to permission marketing about new features I usually include, “As always, please feel free to send your comments and issues to me.”

  • Ali

    Great additions, Dan, I find myself using “Sorry for the inconvenience” quite a bit — especially if the problem’s been ongoing.

  • Becky

    I don’t like “Thanks in advance” or anything of that ilk. It feels presumptuous and insincere. I wouldn’t mind so much for small tasks, but it’s inappropriate for large tasks which require numerous follow up questions and clarifications. It’s as if the person sending the message can’t be bothered to send another message that says “Thanks! I appreciate your help.”

  • Susabelle

    One thing that I used to teach people in email classes was to ALWAYS sign your name! Even if it’s a simple “Joe” or something more formal, always take the time to sign your name at the bottom of the email. It makes you look a hundred times more professional to do so.

  • Lauw

    Great tips on email.

    I like to start my emails with Hi Joe .. Hello Dave .. etc.
    Cause to me that makes the email much more friendly and you respect the person.
    What do you think? Is this necessary? Thanks !

  • Andrew Lightheart

    A friend and I were having a conversation about email sign-offs.

    Warm regards, kind regards, cheers, all the best, many thanks…

    You can see why ‘your’s sincerely’ and ‘yours faithfully’ worked so well.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about this aspect too!

  • Andrew Lightheart

    please ignore the rogue apostrophe…

  • sachin

    I have bookmarked this. Whole lot of useful tips.

  • PreciseEdit

    Very interesting topic.

    Many of our business e-mails ask for attention to a matter or for some response. We typically close these with “Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.”

    Most of our business e-mails begin simply with the recipient’s name, followed by a colon, as in “Mr. Thomas:” Using “Dear” seems a bit too familiar for business communications and for the impartial tone of formal e-mails.

    After we have established a relationship with a client, we may begin with some version of “I’m pleased to hear from you, and I hope that you are doing well.”

    We also carry a set of stock phrases for many occasions, such as “Thank you for inquiring about Precise Edit’s services” and “In response to your request, I have attached the following items to this message:” Using a consistent set of stock phrases helps us to communicate clearly, professionally, and consistently, especially when initiating services with a new client, sending billing information, or returning completed work.

    These are all quite formal. However, once we have established a relationship with a client, we take shortcuts and adopt a more familiar tone. With every e-mail we send, we ask ourselves, “What is the image we wish to convey?” Our word and phrase choices should reflect the answer to that question.

  • Sandy

    Great work all. I like this post very much as this helps to understand the manner in which we need to start and end the emails. Like this can we have some stock phrases which are helpful to reject/say no to something which we can not do due to tight timeframes/not suited to our profile likewise.. IN short how to say no politley to someone.

  • Sikta

    All this is great stuff!! i am looking for some tips and phrases for technical troubleshooting for a call center. could u help??

  • sheriba

    Useful to us..

  • Imelda

    To address someone you don’t know (informal/friendly):
    Hello Albert,

    To address someone you don’t know (more formal):
    Hello Ms. Jones,

    To ask for advice:
    Your thoughts? or
    What are your thoughts on this?

    To thank someone in closing:
    I would really appreciate your help on this,
    Would you please help me out on this?
    Thank you for helping me solve this problem

  • Dan

    I think you should drop “would really” from “I would really appreciate….” Instead, consider adding “truly.” The way you use it now is noncommittal. Either the omission or the substitution would clean it up and add weight to the statement.

  • Prajakta Radke

    To reply someone,
    I am ready to take up this task.

  • tamanna

    I lerat a lot reading the page.Could you tell me know the pattern of the professional mail which can attract people or some words .

  • harman

    Thank you all. Your suggestions has helped me alot.

    I am a hotelier and taking care of reservation department, where i receive most of the mails from the same companies and same person for room reservations. It becomes very boring for me to send the same mail format (only change will be the name of company and contact person) and even for the recipient also. Can anyone advise me how can i make my mails different and formal. So that recipient should feel a difference and should not feel sick of my same mail.

    Would you please help me out on this?

  • Vipin Sachdeva

    thanks a lot!!! I think these phrases will help in writing to my colleagues in UK..I have Bookmarked this web page!!!

  • qiao

    I am sending around 20 email every day, really sometime i have a lack of phrase to write, is there anyone can give some more inforamtion, like book which can be downloaded, so it can help me out the issue. thanks.

  • janet

    Please provide us more knowledge about business phrases that can be use for emails. Thanks and more power to your website.

  • saurav

    I often follow up with someone with the help of following sentences:

    “I would truly appreciate if you can check into this and provide the right direction”.

    “Any updates so far”.

    “Could you please advise for the below request sent on 8 Mar 11”

    “Drop me an email when you will have an update per previous mail”

    I don’t know if this is the correct way to frame the sentences for follow ups.

  • Mateen

    I use these a lot:

    “Please revert for any clarifications!”
    “Kindly revert at the earliest”
    “Let me know if any questions”

    ” I am yet to receive an update from your end ! Request you to revert asap”

    “Please acknowledge on receipt”

    “Best Regards-Mateen”
    “Kindly give me a ring if my explanation is unclear”

    “I would appreciate your advise on this issue”

    “Hi- With regards to our conversation over the phone, could you please”

    “I am indisposed and on leave!”

    “PFA the copy of sales report for techflames”

    “Please find attached the copy of sales report”
    “FYI”—For your information

    “PFB” Please find below.

    “Please find my comments in blue”

    “If you recall, last quarter we agreed upon”
    “Please expedite!”
    “Kindly send it asap, we’ve already breached the deadline”
    “Apologies, missed the attachment”
    “Please ignore my previous mail”
    “Sorry for the confusion. Consider the attached as latest”
    “This is to inform you that Techflames has been chosen as the provider”

  • Nick Davies

    “Revert” means for eomething to go back to it’s previous state. Ice reverts to water for example.

    If you want your correspondent to “reply” or “respond” you should say so and refrain from showing your ignorance by using words you don’t understand.

    I accept that ‘please revert’ is in common use but it is wrongly used.

  • Linda

    Please do not use “revert” to mean “reply” or “respond”. It has a completely different meaning, viz:
    verb: go back to a previous state (“We reverted to the old rules”)
    verb: undergo reversion, as in a mutation

  • Arpaxad

    One phrase I use often when asking for a favor and the like:

    “Please let me know if you can accommodate this request.”

  • Nasreen

    Basic rules to write an email or letter.
    Foraml – Respected Sir,
    Inofrmal -Dear Nora,
    It is alway better to use simple sentenmce and simple words,
    And more over the suject should be – to the point with a clear message or Querry.

    Alway end the letter with Acknowledgement

  • Nicole

    This has helped me so much. Thanks a lot everyone. My co-workers laugh at me and my boss embarass me because I dont write emails professionally or as he always said “I dont word emails properly” so they make fun of me

    So I was looking for some help and I’m glad I heard everyone examples

    Again thanks much

  • Hamoudi

    There is one phrase I like to use in my emails
    “I’ll keep you posted as soon as the task has been treated.”
    This phrase give a positive felling to your correspondant , and tend to give an importance to his requests, as kind of your N°1 priority. looks very much professionel.

  • Tarek

    Is there anything wrong when replying to some one by ‘ Please exercise some patience’ ?

  • SaraSmilez

    Here are some of my common phrases in emails/messages at work!

    “Thank you for your prompt response” – I like to make sure I compliment people when they reply quickly so they are more prone to do so in the future!
    “I look forward to your response”
    “Please disregard my previous message” -When I solved a problem on my own or what not.
    “Thank you for your time and attention”
    I like to sign off my emails with “Best Wishes” or “Best”
    “Best Regards”

  • Blondell

    I do not drop many remarks, but I glanced thrfough a ffew remarks here Useful Stock Phrases
    foor Your Business Emails. I do have 2 questins for you iff you do not mind.
    Is it just me or do some of the responses look like they are written by brain dead visitors?

    😛 And, if you are writing at additional sites, I’d
    like to follow anything new you have to post. Could you make a list of the complete urls of your social networking pages like your Facebokok page, twitter feed,
    or linkedin profile?

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