our everyday life

How to Write an Email to a Friend

by Tamara Runzel

Writing an email to a friend is an easy way to quickly share information, express your feelings or just say hello. The technicalities of composing your email depend on the mail service you use, but all emails have the same components and follow certain rules of etiquette.

Bring up your email service on the computer.

Click the necessary option to compose a new email. Depending on your service, you might click “Compose” or “New.”

Enter your friend’s email in the “To” field. As you begin to enter the email address, your mail service might suggest addresses using autocomplete.

Fill in the “Subject” field with the topic of your email. The subject conveys the main point of your email. It’s better to be more specific so your friend immediately knows what the email is about. For example, “Following Up on Friday’s Get-Together,” is better than “Follow Up.”

Write a greeting to begin the email. An email greeting doesn't have to be as formal as a letter. You can use “Dear” and the person’s name, but you can also use “Hi,” “Hello” or even “Hey” as other options. It is important to use your friend’s name in the original email as well as the first reply, but isn’t necessary after that, according to The Emily Post Institute’s website.

Compose the introduction of your email. The introduction should include basics such as inquiring about your friend’s health, thanking him for a previous email and your reason for writing.

Write the body of the email. You might think about, write down and organize what you want to say ahead of time so you don’t forget anything and it isn’t confusing for your friend to read. Separate each different thought or topic into a new paragraph to keep your email organized.

Close your email with your name and by expressing what you expect from your friend in response. You might ask for a phone call or an email reply with answers to your questions or more details or just a simple “I look forward to hearing from you.”

Proofread your email to check for proper spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Click “Send” when you’re ready to send your email.

Items you will need
  • Computer

Warnings

  • Avoid using too many emoticons or online abbreviations, such as LOL (laugh out loud) or TTYL (talk to you later), unless you’re sure your friend understands them.
  • Watch your choice of words even if you’re just joking. Since your friend can’t actually hear your tone of voice, it’s easy to misunderstand emails.

About the Author

Tamara Runzel has been writing military, parenting, family and relationship articles since 2008. Runzel started in television news, followed by education before deciding to be a stay at home mom. Her articles have appeared in military publications as well as numerous online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from University of the Pacific.

Photo Credits

  • John Lund/Marc Romanelli/Blend Images/Getty Images