How To Respond to Emails Professionally (With Examples)

Updated October 31, 2022

Emails are one of the most common methods of correspondence used in a professional setting. Employees often share information and respond to requests via their email. Understanding how to respond to emails effectively can help you stand out as a professional. In this article, we discuss how to respond to emails professionally, provide a general template to guide you, and explore examples to help you craft your own professional email responses.

Related: 20 Best Practices for Professional Email Etiquette

How to respond to emails professionally

Follow these steps to learn how to respond to emails professionally:

1. Start with your salutation

Choosing an appropriate salutation that's respectful and cordial can make your recipient more likely to cooperate with you. As you respond to an email, it's often best practice to follow whatever tone the initial email has established. If the initial email used a formal salutation, for instance, it makes sense to respond with one. In certain instances, you can use a different type of salutation. For example, a customer emailing for a complaint might use a formal salutation. Regardless, addressing them by their name, though informal, is often more effective in this situation.

Related: The Best Ways To Start an Email for the Desired Response

2. Write the body of the email

The body of your email is the longest and most important part of your email. When writing the body of your email, ensure you maintain a cordial tone. The first part of your body is the introductory paragraph, where you respond to any greeting from the initial email and acknowledge the main purpose of the message. Then you can use additional paragraphs to address the purpose of the email in detail.

In general, the email body is where you provide any details that the recipient needs. At the end, you can add a closing paragraph that summarizes your points and invites the sender to contact you for any clarifications.

Related: How To Write an Effective Email Introduction

3. Include your closing remarks and signature

The closing remark is the short phrase that precedes your signature. Various rules of formality also apply to the closing remark. When responding to formal emails, it's best to use formal remarks such as "Sincerely." In instances where you're responding to a semi-formal email, you can use less formal alternatives such as "Best regards" or "Regards." After your closing remark, include your full name and your job title, if applicable.

Related: How to Professionally Format an Email in 6 Steps

Template for responding to an email professionally

Here is an example of a general template to guide you in responding to emails professionally:

Hello [Name of recipient],

[Use the first paragraph to respond to their greetings and acknowledge the main reason for their email.]

[In the second paragraph, respond to their request in detail, providing any necessary information.]

[You can use as many paragraphs as you need to respond to each request or area of concern. The best practice is to respond to each issue in a different paragraph or mirror the paragraphing that your recipient used in their initial email.]

[Use the closing paragraph to confirm whether the recipient understands you and invite them to reach out for any further clarifications.]

[Closing remark],
[Job title, if applicable]

Examples of professional email responses

You can encounter emails in different contexts, each with its appropriate method of response. Here are some examples to show you how to respond to emails professionally in different situations:

Accepting an application

If you're the hiring manager of your organization or a human resources professional, you're responsible for accepting application requests. Here is an example of a professional response via email:

Hello John,

Thank you for your application for the role of senior data analyst at GDS Consultancy.

After going through your application, I'm pleased to inform you that you're the professional we'd love to have at GDS. We were impressed by your extensive work experience and skill set. If you're available on Thursday, I'd love to have a phone call with you and discuss the details of the position.

Kindly reach out to me via email if you have any further questions or clarifications. Thank you for your application. I believe congratulations are in order.

Yours sincerely,
Casey Jones
Human Resources Manager

Related: How To Write a Job Application Email (With Templates and Tips)

Declining an application

If you're a hiring manager or human resources professional, you may also have to decline application requests that don't meet the necessary standards. Here is an example of a professional response via email:

Hello James,

We were glad to receive your application for the position of marketing intern at Enterprise Marketing Agency.

Unfortunately, we currently don't have any slots open for that role. You can reapply for this position in late June when we open applications for our summer internship program. You can also look at our resources for applicants on our website if you haven't already.

Kindly let me know if you have any other inquiries or feedback. Again, thank you for your interest in Enterprise Marketing Agency, and we hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards,
Dave Pinscher
Head of Human Resources

Related: How To Write Rejection Mail After an Interview

Responding to a request for information

As a professional, you may receive emails requesting information from colleagues, customers, and supervisors. These questions may be to ask for extra details on a service you offer or a company policy. When you receive such requests via your email, here's an example of a professional response you can send:

Hello Anita,

We are excited to learn you're considering our services. Thank you for contacting us at Diego's Appliances.

We have carefully considered all the details you provided about the number of supplies you'll be storing, and we're confident that our D103 super cool refrigerator is more than capable of meeting your needs. In addition, if you purchase the refrigerator through our website, you get free delivery and installation.

We hope to welcome you soon as a part of the Diego family. Do reach out if you have any more questions or need any extra information. Thank you!

Alyssa Davidson
Customer Relationship Manager

Declining a task

Often, colleagues or supervisors ask us to complete additional tasks without being fully aware of our schedules. Someone may attempt to delegate a task to you when you're busy with other work or unavailable. When a supervisor or colleague requests that you handle a task via email, here is an example of a professional response to decline their request:

Hello Elizabeth,

I hope you've had a wonderful week. I understand that this task is for an important client, and it seems like an interesting one. I also appreciate you considering me the best person to take up the job.

Unfortunately, I have two other urgent deadlines this week, each for equally important clients. As a result, I'm unable to take up any additional tasks at this time. Sarah and I worked on a similar task last year, and her input was invaluable. If she's available, I'm sure she'll be an excellent alternative to take up the project. I can consult on the project when time permits me.

Thank you again for thinking of me, and do let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.

Yours sincerely,
Henry Jameson

Acknowledging an email

While professional etiquette dictates that you reply to an email within a day, you may be unable to due to reasons beyond your control. For example, you may not have the information or authorization that the person needs. In such cases, it helps to let the person know you have seen their email and you're working on a solution. In addition, include a timeline within which you expect to get back to them. Here is an example of an acknowledging email:

Hi George,

I hope you've had a lovely week. Thank you for sending the details I requested promptly.

Unfortunately, I'm occupied with some deadlines at the moment. However, I can review the document and return it before the end of the week. In the meantime, you can go ahead with the outline for the project.

Please let me know if any new situations emerge that require my attention. It is an honour to be working on this project with you, and I hope to resume working with you soon.

Kevin James

Responding to a request for materials

If you're a teacher or vendor of online courses, you may receive emails requesting that you forward materials a person needs. Often, you need to attach the materials and let them know that it's included in the email. Here is an example of a professional sales response to a request for materials via email:

Hi Mike,

Thank you for reaching out to me regarding my free digital marketing PDF. This is a very informative introductory course to the complete course program, which you can access via my website for the very affordable sum of $59.99. While the free PDF is definitely enough to give you relevant insights to get started, the complete course trains you in every aspect of digital marketing.

Once again, thank you for reaching out. Kindly find the attached PDF file. Also, do contact me if you have any additional questions or need help signing up for the full course.

Yours sincerely,
Dave Bradley

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