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

  • Alain Greaves

    I understand why people feel the need t use stock phrases in this very busy world.

    However, I spend most of my time trying to educate people into being creative, and to think about what they are saying, so that they write something which actually connects with the reader.

    Most stock phrases by their very nature, reduce thinking and end up making emails banal and unconnected.

    Sorry but, more time needs to be devoted to creating communication rather than cut-and-paste.

    I trust that this meets with your approval.
    Yuck!

  • 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?

  • 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”

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