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6 Business Email Examples You Can Copy Right Now

Jen Dziura  |  March 27, 2024

Need some professional writing help? These business email examples will help you send the right message every time.

There are many different types of business emails you may need to send over the course of your career. These are tried-and-true professional email examples you can use to get sales and referrals, ask for freebies, and deal with unprofessional communications.

Here are six templates that will make sure your next awkward ask sounds cool, calm, and professional. Use each of them as they are, or tweak to impart your own voice.

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1. “I Don’t Know You, But You Should Buy From Me”

The Email Situation: You want strangers to give you money, but you don’t want to be a spammer.

Sending an email is a little less nerve-wracking than cold-calling people, but you still don’t want to spend time crafting a personal email to a prospect only to get a one-word reply: “UNSUBSCRIBE.”

How do you avoid that? Try not to send a template email that sounds like it went out to 10,000 people at once. Ideally, you want to sound like a human being and a peer your prospective client would enjoy doing business with. To do that, share your personal involvement in the product to show you’re not only a salesperson. Use lead-ins like: “I’ve spent the last year working on X,” or “My team and I have just launched version 2.0.”

Even with the following professional email example, LinkedIn is often a more appropriate venue, since everyone is there to do business.

Use This Business Email Example:

Dear [Person’s Name],

Hi, I’m [name], from [company]. I don’t think we’ve met yet, but we’re both members of [networking group].

I’m emailing you because I’ve spent the last year working on an offering I think might be right for [your company] — this is a [example: CRM software package] specifically for [your type of business].

Compared to the top three providers in the market, we are more than $300 cheaper per month, while still providing all the features smaller businesses need. If I’m right that switching to us would help you save money, I can personally assist you in transferring over.

(If you don’t currently use CRM software, this might not be a match, although we do have an onboarding process for smaller businesses just getting started with CRM.)

Thanks in advance for considering this, and I hope to meet you in person at [networking group] one of these days.

[Your Name]
[LinkedIn link]
[physical address, showing you are a real company and not sketchy at all]

2. “Give Me Free Things”

The Email Situation: You want to use an event space and you don’t want to pay for it. Or you might want a software package that costs $250 a month, and you don’t have the cash because you’re not a nonprofit. Why should anyone hand you over free stuff?

Requests for free things are usually a long shot. That’s OK, since there’s nothing stopping you from asking 20 event spaces for a freebie in the hopes of getting one “yes.” So how can you increase your chances of success?

Don’t just ask for something for free. In fact, try not to use the word “free” at all. Ask a business to “comp” you or request an “in-kind sponsorship.” Even better, ask a business to “collaborate” with you, “sponsor” you, or become a “partner.”

These kinds of pitches also work out better when you can offer something in return. You could offer to write reviews for the company on Yelp and other platforms or allow yourself to be used as a testimonial or before-and-after study. The fact that you don’t have much money, power, or influence actually makes your recommendations more valuable, since you’re a real person.

Use This Business Email Example:

Hi [software founder]:

We are a startup that [does exciting and awesome stuff]. It looks like [software] would be perfect for our needs. It really looks like you’ve thought of everything!

We are currently in the process of seeking investment, which is a bit of an extended process. Would you be able to offer us an extended free trial of 10 months, rather than one? By that point, we should be able to upgrade to the Standard or Premium version.

Thanks for considering this. By the way, I’d be happy to review the software on [software site] and on our own blog. Let me know!

[Founder, AwesomeCorp]

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3. “I Want All the Referrals, Please”

The Email Situation: You met someone at a networking event and you want her to send you business. So far, your entire relationship with her is a 10-minute chat while you wore name tags and drank wine out of plastic cups — or worse, you may have only talked through a screen. Not much to build on.

But if you had a quick chat explaining your business then one of you joked about the cheese plate and you moved on, don’t send an email suggesting that she send all her clients to you right away.

Instead, keep the email subtle, light and friendly, trying to offer a useful resource. Then jam your pitch and links into your signature. This puts your offer in front of her without shoving it in her face or forcing her to write an awkward reply email. When interested parties click on the links in your signature, they feel like they’re checking you out, not like they’re doing an annoying chore.

Use This Business Email Example:

Hi [Name],

It was a pleasure meeting you last night at [networking event]. I just wanted to send a quick email (and LinkedIn invite!) to keep in touch.

Oh, and that website I mentioned that I thought might be useful to you is [URL]. Hope that helps.

See you at the next event!

[Company Name/URL]
[A descriptive tagline, like “Home to sell? Call us first!”]
[All your contact information]
[Another link to a specific offer, article about you in the press, etc. Really go for broke down here.]

What if you met someone online? We’re sure there have been Zoom meetings, group chats, or other connections where you may have crossed paths online. Here is a revised version of the above email if you met virtually but still would like to get your referrals out there.

Hi [Name],

It was a pleasure chatting with you the other evening on [name of platform you connected on or with and which group]. I just wanted to send a quick email (and LinkedIn invite!) so that we might keep in touch, and eventually meet up in person.

Oh, I wanted to also send along a website I thought might be useful to you [URL]. Hope it helps.

Let’s be in touch soon to plan something in person when we can!

[Company Name/URL]
[A descriptive tagline, like “Home to sell? Call us first!”]
[All your contact information]
[Another link to a specific offer, article about you in the press, etc. Really go for broke down here.]

4. “We’re Raising Our Rates”

The Email Situation: Your rates are reasonable — so reasonable that no one ever complains or says no. Guess what? That means it’s time to raise your rates.

Do NOT make excuses for raising your rates. Don’t even give reasons. Definitely don’t complain that the rent is going up, or you’re having trouble paying the bills.

But you don’t want to make your clients feel unappreciated or out of the loop, so don’t spring major cost increases without ample notice, and be sure to reward clients for their loyalty.

Use This Business Email Example:

Dear [Client Name],

I’m writing to let you know that as of [date 30 days from now], our rates will be increasing from [old rate] to [new rate].

However, to thank you for your longstanding relationship with us, [your firm] will be grandfathered in and will be able to keep booking us at the current rate until [date six months from now] — that’s an extra five months before the rate increase kicks in.

Thanks for helping make us a success, and we look forward to continuing to work with you.


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5. “Could You Stop Being Such a Jerk?”

The Email Situation: Your client is verbally abusing you or your employees. He makes unreasonable demands. He wants extra services without paying for them and will shout at you if he doesn’t get them. You’re probably better off without him, but first let’s try a warning shot.

You must hit this situation head-on. Avoid being passive-aggressive, like sending the client an email telling him to submit all his future requests through an online form instead of calling. Don’t:

  • Look desperate to keep the client’s business.
  • Avoid using “I feel” language (“I feel that our working relationship has taken a bad turn”, for example).
  • Throw your own employees under the bus or condone abuse against yourself or your employees.

Instead, be direct about the fact that there is a problem, the situation is not sustainable, and you’re comfortable with the fact that you and the client might need to break up.

At the same time, give the client a face-saving way to shape up. He doesn’t need to apologize (although it would be nice). He just needs to say, “No, let’s keep things the way they are. I was just having a bad day.”

Use This Business Email Example:

Hi [person],

I heard from [Tara, our lead designer,] that we got an angry phone call from you the other day. It’s important to us to make sure our projects are being executed as per our agreements, and also that our employees are able to work in a cordial and positive environment.

Let’s schedule a meeting to talk about workflow. It seems as though you are requesting rounds of revisions that are out of scope as stated in the contract and our team isn’t authorized to use additional time. If this is the case, we can move you to an hourly billing arrangement. If that isn’t suitable, we may unfortunately have to remove ourselves from your projects.

Is this afternoon good? I’m available [whenever time you can talk].

[The Boss]

Note that this email doesn’t undermine Tara in any way, nor does it suggest that the customer is always right. It does suggest that a contract is in place and the company will fulfill the terms of that contract. It also makes it clear that the company will be just fine without this guy’s money.

That said, plenty of unreasonable clients back down when you threaten them with hourly billing or some other way of making them pay for their own unreasonableness.

6. I’m Firing You as a Client

The Email Situation: Your client continues to be awful.

Is working with jerks the reason you went into business? We doubt it.

Don’t keep horrible clients, no matter how good the money may be. Regardless of how long you spend interacting with a bad client, how many hours do you devote to that person emotionally? How many times have you run back over negative conversations in your head? Even if you’re desperate for business, firing the client may still be the right move. It’ll free up bandwidth to find new clients. Don’t:

  • “Explore the possibility” of breaking up.
  • Talk about how you feel.
  • Lie or avoid the issue (“We just have too many clients, so we’re cutting back — nothing personal!”).
  • Leave an opening for the client to argue or try to change your mind.
  • List the client’s sins.
  • Try to get the client to agree with you about how wrong he is.
  • Provide a referral to someone else.

This is one business email where you must be concise, unemotional and unimpeachably professional. Just say, “I’m writing to terminate our contract” or, if you want to be a bit nicer: “I’m resigning as your accountant.”

Refund any money the client is due and keep it classy. If there’s any question at all, give them their money and get out cleanly.

Use This Business Email Example:

Dear [Horrific Client],

I’m writing to let you know that, unfortunately, our arrangement isn’t working out, and I am terminating our professional relationship.

I’ve attached your [February bookkeeping] to date, and all the documents I have that your next [bookkeeper] might find helpful. I’ve also refunded your February retainer payment.

I wish you the best of success in your future endeavors.


READ MORE: 6 Ways To Win People Over at Work

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