As English is the Lingua Franca of the world for the moment, non-native English speakers, i.e. most of the world, are often faced with the daunting task of writing emails in English. (I would say that even the French have to do so from time to time, but as they would say, J’ignore.)
In fact, business emails are easy to write. Unlike personal letters, they are intended to be short, to the point, and simple. So, the writer does not have to and should not write Shakespeare (or Orwell, whom I prefer).
Begin with the simple phrase “Dear …). Add Sir or Madam if you don’t have the actual name of the person, i.e. the customer relations department. A man is referred to as Mr. while a woman is addressed as Ms. For business purposes, her marital status is irrelevant.
At this stage, to avoid forgetting to attach the required documents, I always add my attachments before going on.
If you are have written often to the person, are continuing a previous matter, or just want to create a friendly feeling, make the first line a salutation such as Good morning, Good evening, or even Happy Holiday if that applies.
The first real paragraph states directly why are writing: I am writing in response to your notice on the forum or As requested, I am attaching the proposal. Make it short and sweet. You don’t have to use fancy words. People receive hundreds of emails a day. They want you to get the point quickly.
The next paragraph or paragraphs go into detail concerning what you have to say. Once again, write short, direct sentences. If you are applying for a job, begin with one sentence why the company should consider you, such as I have expertise in C++, as you require.
The last sentence should say what you want them to do: Please confirm receipt or I await further instructions. As for the salutation at the end, see my previous posting on that issue.
The final step before sending the mail is to reread the text and check for any grammar or spelling errors. Those make bad impressions, as any girl who received a note saying “I luvs yu” would know.
By writing short and simple sentences, non-native speakers can simplify vocabulary and grammar while ensuring that their meaning is transmitted as intended. Also, it reduces “language stress” when thinking about writing the email. Here’s for reducing stress!