How To Write Effective Email Reports (With Template and Example)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published March 25, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Many jobs require employees to write reports to monitor key business operations, provide details about a project or ensure their processes are efficient. Some modern businesses require you to email these reports to their leaders, including managers, executives and owners. By learning how to write email reports, you can enhance the quality of these documents and improve your overall writing skills.
In this article, we discuss the types of reports you can email, how to write an email report, provide a template to guide your writing process and include an example to review.
Types of reports to send via email
Depending on your job, these reports can have varying purposes and fulfill different duties. A few of these reports are:
When an unexpected or unfavorable event occurs in a business, employees may write incident reports to describe and document these events. Companies may ask all witness employees to write a concise email that includes key details about any event relevant to a supervisor or manager, such as which individuals it involved or how it affected a business operation. These reports also include a first-person account of what an employee experienced, plus the emotions they felt. By including the latter information, companies can understand the incident's impact on personnel implement new strategies to enhance their work environments.
Some employers may ask personnel to track the tasks they completed during workdays and present simple reports via email. Such reports can include an individual's schedule, one that discusses each task separately and describes the steps they completed during these activities. Manager workday reports may also include the tasks of multiple employees in a department, rather than the manager's tasks alone.
Progress reports detail the development of a specific task or project. Companies may ask for a detailed explanation that discusses steps an individual took during these processes to archive this information for future projects. These reports may include descriptions detailing a project's scope, its current status compared to its long-term goals and information on potential future steps a team plans to take after the email's submission date.
Analytical reports help companies make important decisions by presenting detailed evaluations of specific business data. Information presented in these reports includes sales numbers with complex investigations from the report writer and other personnel involved. You might include explanations and conclusions in your email report that allow business leaders to make an informed decision. For example, if you write an analytical report to compare sales data from one quarter to another, business leaders can better determine which marketing initiatives worked effectively.
These reports present unbiased facts without analysis or explanatory details. You may use them to provide key business information, like employee counts, profit margins, product stock, sales numbers and service requests. Informational reports may include information charts and typically include simple language without unnecessary description or discussion. You may find yourself writing multiple informational reports every week or two, depending on your job.
Research reports provide detailed studies, multiple analyses from many people and a deeper explanation of this information. Businesses may prefer research reports as they provide in-depth investigations of a specific topic. They may include multiple pages, charts, graphs and other visual data. Others may add photos and other visual designs, like company logos, to enhance the readability of these reports.
Related: Q&A: What Is Email Marketing?
How to write email reports
Follow the steps below to write an email report:
Introduce the topic of your report. When writing an email report, use the subject line to introduce your report, such as writing John Doe's Progress Report for January 4, 2022. It's helpful to use simple language that briefly explains the report's purpose to the reader using key details.
Choose your report's structure. Each report you write may require an original structure, so choose which to use before you begin. For example, many reports include a brief greeting, body paragraphs that detail relevant information and a formal salutation at the end.
Write your report content. Use any information gathered for your report, including personal testimony and research information, to write your email report's body paragraphs. To ensure your content remains concise and includes all important details, it may be helpful to use short sentences and simplified word choices.
Edit and proofread the report. Email reports may include official documentation that managers store in a workplace's records, so it's important to proofread the text and edit any typos. Consider running a spellcheck and grammar program on your email program to catch any undiscovered issues.
Keep your language professional. Us ing full words rather than abbreviations and formal language choices can enhance the professional quality of your reports. Consider reviewing your document for any idioms or slang, then replace this content with more precise language.
Pick the right email addresses. Many business email accounts may include multiple similar email address names, so check your address line to ensure you've picked the right one. Be sure to only include the people who requested the email, such as a manager.
Save your email template. If your job requires regularly sending multiple similar reports, save any preferred templates you use. This step can make it easier to write email reports later by allowing you to input new information into that specialized format.
Adjust this process in any way necessary to improve your email writing process. This may include writing the body first and adding formatting later or integrating HTML elements into your emails, like graphs, photos and company headers. Formatting options like these may make your email easier to read and enhance its professional appearance.
Template for email reports
You can follow this template when writing many types of email reports:
[Recipient's email address]
[Your email address]
[Write a salutation appropriate for a business' culture]
[Brief text explaining the purpose of your report]
[Discuss the report's findings briefly]
[Describe the findings in more detail]
[Add extra descriptions, as required]
[Insert any photos or graphical elements that explain your findings, when applicable]
[Include your opinion or insight before the conclusion, when applicable]
[Write a concluding paragraph to summarize your findings]
[Express gratitude for the reader in a closing statement]
Related: 4 Types of Internal Email Templates
Example of an email report
The following example uses the format above to create a detailed incident report:
Subject: Incident Report - Holly Jones' Accident on 2/27/2022
Dear Office Safety Director Jane Smith,
Please read the incident report below for February 27, 2022, regarding Holly Jones' slip-and-fall accident:
At 10:34 a.m., I was working at my desk when I heard a loud crash to my left. I turned and noticed Holly laying on the ground about 10 feet away, between Larry Johnson's desk and that of Harry Brown. I stood up, concerned, and heard Larry shout, "Holly just fell down!"
He ran from the room to the front office to alert Greg Phillips, the office manager. Holly was sitting on the ground, her hands to her side, her knees drawn up. There was blood on the back of her head, likely from where it hit the ground, though I did not see her head hit the ground. Upon asking others, I discovered that no one in the office saw this incident happen either.
She looked confused as I arrived and said "what just happened?" to me as I stood above her. She tried to stand up, but I encouraged her to stay seated until medical help arrived. Jenny Benson brought Holly a glass of water, and she drank it as she sat. Jenny and I sat with her while others watched or went back to work. We talked with Holly to keep her awake, per office protocols on how to address concussions in the workplace. During this time, Holly occasionally rubbed the back of her head and winced at the pain.
By 10:45 a.m., Holly seemed to have recovered from the shock and we could hear paramedics outside. They came into the room a few minutes later and performed tests, bandaged her head wound, and put her on a stretcher to take to the hospital. They left at 11:04 a.m. Janitor Mike Stern appeared by 11:08 a.m. and cleaned the bodily fluids from the carpet.
It is my opinion that Holly slipped on this water and fell, striking her head as she landed. If you need any more information, you can call me at 555-555-5555 or email me back at this address. Thank you.
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