Nowadays, information is a worthy asset to the modern business world. They are the key factor which helps businessmen make decisions. No matter who you are: a CEO, a manager or just an employee, you always need information. But where and how to get the facts and data you need? Using an inquiry email to ask for information is a must-have skill for office workers recently.
Let us help you write perfect business inquiries email!
Firstly, what is an inquiry email and to whom do you send it?
1. The definition:
The word inquiry means an act of asking for information. So, business inquiries email are email used to ask for information. It is very simple: you write an email to ask people for the information you need.
Most of the time, you use inquiry email to express your interest in a specific product. You have seen an advertisement or received a sales call earlier. You want to know more about their services. Hence, you write this inquiry email.
Information help create a basis for businessmen to evaluate the options they have. After that, they can decide which company to work with or which supplier to buy from. There are many different types of information. For inquiry email, there is no limit as well. You could ask for anything.
Try thinking of some examples. You can ask for:
- A fashion brand’s Spring catalog so you can choose which one to sell in your store
- Sample product of a supplier to check their quality
- Milk tea ingredients price when you want to open a drink shop
- An agency’s campaign aid to launch your company’s new product
- A studio’s photography service for your customer
This list can continue forever!
Moreover, you can use business inquiries email to ask for a job vacancy of a company. As long as you write them properly, they are your tool to get literally any information.
2. The recipient:
Similarly, your recipients could be anyone.
To begin with, the types of company you can inquire about are diverse. It can be a wholesaler, supplier, a firm or an agency. Then in that company, many can be the one receiving your email. It could be the Sales, Marketing or HR Department. If it’s a person, he or she can be a manager, team leader or an executive.
Whoever it is, they are all your potential partners.
So, writing an inquiry email is extremely important. It helps you create a good impression and moreover, a credible image. To write a nice email, you can try our guide on business inquiries email below. We also prepared an inquiry email sample for you!
The basic format of an inquiry email
Before it is an inquiry email, it has to be an email. And every email should follow some plain, traditional email etiquettes to show the sender’s professionalism. You can read our guide for email etiquette. Make sure to give it a look before writing any kind of email.
After you have mastered the email etiquette, here are 5 steps to write an inquiry email:
The subject is one of the first 2 parts that directly show up to the recipient’s sight. (The other one is your email address). Hence, you should make use of this chance to save their time. In the subject sector, state directly what this email is about so they can have some initial clues about what to do next.
Don’t skip this part: a no-subject email can leave your reader confused, even irritated. As a result, they might even choose to ignore it! It probably only takes you one minute to type down simple subjects such as A Company | Product inquiry: frozen mango or BB Ltd. | Inquiry about strategy consult service.
There is a surprisingly simple yet very effective flow you can use at the beginning of an inquiry email: Greet – Introduce – Reference. This makes sure your opening satisfy the basic requirements: polite, short and straight.
Firstly, greet your recipient using traditional salutations:
– If you don’t know the recipient’s name: write Dear Sir/Dear Madam/Dear Sir or Madam. You can also address the whole company or department: Dear Sales Department.
– If you know the recipient’s name: use Dear + courtesy titles (Mr., Ms., Mrs.) + their last name.
Secondly, kindly introduce yourself so your recipient know who they are talking with. This will make it easier for both of you to do business. You should include your name, job title, department as well as your company’s name.
Try these phrases:
– I am [name], [title]/from … department of … company. Our company is a retailer/supplier specialized in ….
– My name is [name], [title] from … company. We are one of the biggest company in … dealing with ….
– Our main products are …
– Our main industry/market is …
Thirdly, tell them where you get their contact. It could be from an advertisement or a sales call. If someone in your network refers to this company, say it as well.
Based on your reference, the recipient can identify which type of partner you are. Consequently, they can deal with your request in the most suitable way.
You can use these examples:
– Mr. A of X company, one of your current customers, gave us your name.
– We were referred to you by Ms. B from ABBank, your exclusive partner.
– Mr. C, your former supplier, suggested that we should contact you.
An effective body should always be easy to read. Moreover, in this case, they should be able to help your recipient collect information and answer some basic Ws and Hs:
- Why: Why are you writing this email? What is your purpose? How can they be of help?
- What: What kind of information do you need? How much/How many of that?
- How: How do you want to receive your information? Do you need a document, a call, or a brief meeting? If you want to make a call or hold a meeting, then When and Where?
Answering the questions above can help your inquiry email be perceived properly. After that, write the email body one by one:
Firstly, start by stating the reason you write this email. Briefly introduce your company’s business. Tell your recipient you are interested in collaborating with them.
For example, you can write: We are a beverage manufacturer and would like to know more about your products. They are our main ingredient sources. Or My company is launching a new cosmetic product and we are interested in your marketing service.
Point out very, very clearly the type of information you want. You can also use a numbered list or bullet list like this:
I would want to inquire some details about your company’s service, listed as below:
1.Your service proposal/profile/brochure
2.The portfolio of previous campaigns executed
3.The current price list
This will certainly increase your chance of getting sufficient response.
Suggest how you want them to deliver your information. You can ask them to send it as a document or in a package. You can also invite them for a call or meeting. Leave your contact details so they can easily reach out to you whenever needed.
We suggest you use the below sentences:
-We prefer that you send our requested information all-inclusive in one file, if possible.
-Could you please set up a meeting with us for further discussion on this matter?
-We would be really happy if you could provide us with detailed information through a video call in a convenient time.
-Should you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me at [phone number/email address].
End your email with a simple closing part. Remind them of your request and politely say thanks:
- Thank you for your time.
- I look forward to receiving the information.
- We look forward to hearing from you.
Then, choose a proper closure (Yours faithfully, Yours sincerely, Best Regards), followed by your name.
Finally, don’t forget a standard signature. The signature should include your full name, job title and contact information.
Useful notes while writing an inquiry email
While the guide above is quite detailed already, it is always practical to keep in mind some helpful notes:
1. Be short, sharp and concise
The first thing you must do to respect others is not to waste their time. Time is valuable to everyone. So, you would not want to spend time tracking a lengthy and complicated email right? Likewise, nobody wants that.
Therefore, always keep your email simple and on point. However, as a short email can become rude, remember to maintain courtesy as well. Write clearly, use basic structure, don’t go off topic – make the reader understand your message in the shortest time.
2. Make your needs clear
You need to make sure the recipient fully understand your request. By that, they can provide a proper response.
Let them know which and how much information you look for. Describe the item you need as specific as possible. Avoid lengthy sentences. Try using a list so they can easily check if they have satisfied your needs.
You can check out the sample email (right below!) for a detailed example. We used a numbered list and described exactly the items needed.
3. Set up next steps
For things to operate smoothly, you better set out some deadlines or next steps. Instead of just letting it be, mentioning an expected deadline can create reminders for the recipient.
For example, you may say It would be great for us to get this information within the next 10 days to maintain the rate of our process. Because of that, the recipient will be more likely to try replying to you within 10 days. If there is no time limit, they would put your email aside and might only come back after everything else is done.
Beside deadlines, suggesting a brief call or meeting is also a nice choice. In this case, leave your contact and mention some time ranges you think would be convenient for both sides.
Business inquiry email sample
Last but not least, I would like to provide you with a business inquiry email sample. You can use this sample as a model to write your own:
Subject: M Company | Product inquiry: Frozen mango puree
” Dear Sales Department,
First of all, I am Kath Vu, Purchasing Officer of M Company. Mr. Dane Nguyen from N Company, your current customer gave us your name. He also referred to your high-quality frozen fruit and beverage ingredient.
Our company, M Company is a beverage manufacturer. I would like to express our interest in doing business with you.
We are broadening our product range. Because of that, we are looking for new suppliers. Your product is also one of our main ingredients.
Hence, we would like to inquire about the frozen mango puree product. We have listed below the details we need:
- The frozen mango puree’s information: origin, manufacturing process, nutritional facts and quality standards
- The frozen mango puree’s wholesale price list
We prefer you send the information above in PDF format. It would be great for us to receive the package within the next 10 days as it will help maintain our process rate.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
Business inquiries email is so important, as it is the very first step to a new, potential partner. Moreover, it is undoubtedly a helpful tool to get the information you need. I hope this post brings you enough knowledge to write an effective inquiry email.
Also, take a look at our Business English blog for more great posts! If you want to improve your English, try using a handy, convenient app like eJOY while reading the posts. It helps you search for words meaning right away:
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