Starting out an email with the right email greeting is crucial. It gives recipients their first impression of you, and it sets the tone for the rest of the message. It can mean the difference between your recipient closing the email right away (and condemning it to the trash folder), or reading on.
In short, you need that first impression to be a positive one.
Table of Contents:
Starting an Email the Right Way
There are no hard-and-fast rules about how to start an email. In the past, there were strict rules about using “Dear” followed by a surname in any formal letter or email. Under no circumstances would you reach out to a perfect stranger and say “Hey!”
Nowadays, the lines are more blurred. It all boils down to how well you know the recipient, the context of the message, and what you’re expecting to achieve as a result of your email.
From a punctuation point of view, there are still some rules that are worth following. Start by putting a comma after the email greeting, and then capitalize the first letter of the opening sentence. For example:
“Dear Mrs. Smith,
I’m writing to you in response to …”
Upgrade Your Email Account with Right Inbox
With so much of our communications taking place over email, it can be challenging to keep our inboxes under control. That’s why we created Right Inbox – a simple plugin that can help you spend less time in your inbox and more time being productive.
For example, with our email reminders feature, you can snooze emails and ensure they’ll pop back up to the top of your inbox when you’re ready to reply, forever removing the risk of forgetting to follow up. In addition, our email tracking feature allows you to view exactly how many times your email has been viewed and by whom, so you can plan your follow-ups accordingly.
Cold Email Greetings
When you’re reaching out to a contact with whom you have no prior connection, it’s important to get the tone right. If you’re overly familiar, you’ll turn them off right away and probably end up in the junk folder. So, in those cases, whether or not you know their name, it’s always best to stay formal.
If you don’t know their name:
It’s tricky if you’re reaching out over email but don’t have a specific name. Do your best to find a contact name, even if it’s not the exact person you’re trying to get ahold of. However, if you really can’t find it, then the following are still broadly acceptable greetings:
1. “Dear sir/madam”
2. “To whom it may concern”
3. “To…” e.g. “To the Financial Director”
If you do know their name:
4. “Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. [surname]”
5. Dear [first name]
Cold emails are always best if you’ve done some research beforehand. That way, you can add some personalized context immediately after your greeting. For example:
“Dear Mr. Smith,
I really enjoyed your last article about …”
Any form of personalization softens your cold email greeting, and makes it much more likely that the recipient will read on.
Informal email greetings are those we use every day: with our bosses, our families, and our friends and acquaintances. That said, relaxed email greetings are increasingly being used in traditionally formal contexts like the cold outreach emails we’ve just discussed. How and when you use them entirely depends on your brand style and voice:
6. “Dear [first name]”
10. “I hope this email finds you well”
11. “I hope you enjoyed your weekend”
12. “I hope you’re doing well”
13. “Hope you’re having a great week”
14. “How are you doing?”
15. “How’s it going?”
16. “I’d love to get your advice on …”
17. “Long time no see”
18. “It’s been a while”
Follow-up emails are easy to start, because you’ve got the perfect prompt to kick you off. They also allow you to get to the point quickly:
19. “As we discussed on our phone call …”
20. “As promised, here’s …”
21.“I’m checking in on …”
22. “Following up on our meeting …”
23. “Can you please provide me an update on …”
24. “Here’s more information on …”
25. “It was great to meet you at [event]”
Replying to an email is similar to writing a follow-up email. It allows you to ping back a response with a straightforward greeting:
26. “Thanks for the quick response”
27. “Thanks for getting back to me”
28. “Thanks for the update”
29. “Great to hear from you”
Time of Day
Using the time of day as a message opener is always a winner – it’s friendly, yet relatively formal:
30. “Good morning” (Before midday)
31. “Good afternoon” (Midday until 6 p.m.)
32. “Good evening” (6 p.m. onwards)
33. “G’day” (used in Australia)
A Response to a Trigger
When something has triggered you to write an email, you can often get away with not using a salutation like “Dear” or even “Hi.” It’s perfectly acceptable to make the thing you’re writing about form the greeting itself. For example, if your contact has just won a prize, it would be odd to write:
Congratulations on winning the top prize at …”
Instead, this would seem more natural:
“Congratulations on winning the top prize, Sarah! I knew you could do it!”
So, if you’re about to start about an email, think about the context in which you’re writing it, and consider using that contextual trigger as your opener:
34. “Congratulations on …”
35. “I hope you enjoyed your [vacation/event]”
36. “I love your recent [article/social post/photo/video]”
37. “I was just thinking about you”
38. “This reminded me of you”
39. “[Mutual friend/contact] reminded me to get in touch with you”
Writing to Several People
You have a few choices when writing to more than one recipient at a time. Try starting your message with “Hi everyone,” or:
40. “Hi [first name 1], [first name 2], and [first name 3],”
When someone sees their name in a list, they’re more likely to open the email and read it.
These greetings should be reserved for people you know well and with whom you share a more colloquial lingo. Often these greetings are the domain of younger generations, but not necessarily:
44. “ ‘Sup ”
Reaching out with humor can be a useful way of breaking the ice. This style is often used in promotional sales emails to increase open and read rates.
But you should be sure of your audience, or it could make things awkward. Best to use a lightness of tone, rather than a full-blown joke:
45. “Happy Hump Day”
46. “Only x days til Friday”
47. “Happy Fri-YAY!”
48. “Hope you’re surviving”
49. “Had your coffee?”
50. “Me again …”
It might also be worth getting creative with your greetings, using emojis ✋ or gifs to add something extra.
5 Best Practices on How to Start an Email in 2023
1. Find the Right Contact
When sending a cold email, it’s important to make an effort to personalize your message – it’s no secret that a personalized email is more likely to be opened, read, and acted upon than a generic mailshot.
Whenever possible, do your research and find out exactly who you need to be sending your email to. For starters, try to find a direct email address rather than a generic help desk email. Then, do your best to find the most relevant person to reach out to. If you’re hoping to promote email marketing software but reach out to the head of public relations, you’re reducing your chances of success.
2. Determine the Goal/Purpose of Your Email
Whether you’re carrying out a mass email marketing campaign or writing a bespoke email to a known recipient, it’s always useful to keep the purpose of your email in mind.
Your goal might be to introduce yourself or your business for the first time (cold outreach); recover a lost lead or dormant customer; or simply to send out your monthly newsletter. If you are sending out a monthly or weekly newsletter via Gmail it’s important your sending it out the right way. You want to get the most opens and engagement so make sure you follow the best method. Whatever it is, knowing the purpose of your email and its context will help you to start it in the most appropriate way.
3. If in Doubt, Err Towards Being More Formal
A personalized email is generally more engaging than a formal one, but sometimes being too relaxed can rub people up the wrong way. If you’re not sure what tone to take, your safest bet is to be a bit more formal rather than overly friendly. Then, you can adjust your tone based on the response you receive, if necessary.
4. Watch Your Grammar
A surefire way of giving your recipient a bad first impression is to mess up on your grammar. When it comes to starting your email, the main punctuation you need to worry about is the comma after the recipient’s name.
Whether or not you choose to include a comma is not important. Consistency is. As a rule of thumb, if you use a comma after the salutation, then use one at the end of your letter when you sign off.
5. Consider the Context of the Message
Lastly, for your email to make sense (and therefore make an impact), the greeting should be in keeping with the rest of your message. The tone, purpose, and style of your email must be reflected in the way you address the recipient. If there’s a mismatch, then you risk causing confusion.
Say you’re sending a message to a loyal customer to announce they’ve been carefully selected to benefit from an exciting new promotion. The context of the message would suggest you’d address the email in a personalized and friendly manner, such as “Hey [first name]!” To start it with “Dear sir/madam” would be incongruous and confusing.
Additional Reading: 5 Introduction Email Templates That Work in 2022
When you’re kicking off an email, you need to be conscious of who you’re writing to and the context of the message. Both will determine how you craft those all-important opening words.
A well-written salutation will determine how well the rest of your message will be received, regardless of whether you’re contacting a potential client or your best friend. Hopefully this list will help you pick the right words to fit the right circumstances, so feel free to use these ideas in your day-to-day correspondence.
How do you start a mass email greeting? ›
When writing an email message to two or more people, you have a few options. “Hi everyone,” “Hi team,” or “Hi [department name] team” are informal yet professional ways to greet a group of people.How do you greet multiple recipients in an email? ›
- Dear, Tom, Mia, and Jim.
- Good afternoon Jose and Camila.
- Step 1: Pay attention to the subject. Email subjects are often taken for granted. ...
- Step 2: Write proper greetings. ...
- Step 3: Use an appropriate structure for the email body. ...
- Step 4: Use an appropriate sign-off. ...
- Step 5: Make sure your writing is on point.
- I hope you're well.
- I hope this email finds you well.
- Hope you're having a great week so far.
- Hope you had a lovely weekend.
- Hope you had a lovely vacation.
- Thanks for letting me know.
- Thanks for reaching out.
- Thanks for getting in touch.
Good morning/afternoon/evening. I hope your week started well. Thank you for the timely response. I'd be eager to get your advice on...Can I start an email with greetings everyone? ›
First of all, don't feel like you don't need to address every member in a group email individually. It'll just feel tedious and silly. "Hello everybody," is your best bet in a formal setting. "Hi everyone," is a little more casual and completely acceptable.Is it professional to start an email with greetings? ›
“Greetings,” is a safe, polite and conservative start to an email. It can be used for emailing a single recipient or multiple people at once. Starting emails this way is a generic, but acceptable, option for professional and personal communication.What is a professional salutation for email? ›
Salutation: The salutation of a formal email is similar to the salutation of a letter. When writing to someone you do not know by name, you put “To Whom it May Concern.” When applying for a job, you would address the person by, “Dear Hiring Manager.” If you do know the recipient's name, you put “Dear Mr./Ms.How do you greet a group of people? ›
How have you been doing? / How have you been?
- Great, thank you. And you?
- Very well. How are you?
- Good thanks. How about you?
In a business letter, write the first person's name, then a comma, then their title at the company after the comma. On a new line, write the next person's name, title, and so on. Include all names, if possible. If you're sending the letter to one address, try to include all names.
What is the best email 2022? ›
- Gmail: Best for Offline Accessibility.
- AOL: Best for Interface Organization.
- Outlook: Best for Multiple App Integrations.
- Yahoo! Mail: Best for Lots of Storage.
- iCloud Mail: Best for Data Encryption.
- Mozilla Thunderbird: Best for Managing Multiple Accounts.
- Proton Mail.
- Always start with the sender's address.
- This is followed by the date.
- The receiver's address comes next. ...
- The subject of the letter is very important. ...
- The salutation can be Dear Sir/Ma'am. ...
- The body of the letter can be written in 3 paragraphs.
In most business correspondence, you can start with “Dear Mr / Dear Ms” + surname. You should end the letter with “Yours sincerely”.What is a good opening sentence? ›
Start with the chase. A good hook might also be a question or a claim—anything that will elicit an emotional response from a reader. Think about it this way: a good opening sentence is the thing you don't think you can say, but you still want to say. Like, “This book will change your life.”What are some good opening sentences? ›
- The only way to ___.
- Would you rather have ___ or ___?
- There are two types of people, ___, and ___.
- The more you ___, the easier ___ gets.
- Do you think you understand how to ___? Here is why you're wrong.
- I always told myself that ___. ...
- Five years ago, I ___.
- ___ is the perfect way to ___.
- Good morning/afternoon/evening. These are classic, formal phrases to use when greeting someone, whether it's the first time meeting them or if you've already met them before. ...
- Pleased to meet you. ...
- It's nice to meet you. ...
- It's good to see you. ...
- How are you? ...
- Hey. ...
- What's up? ...
- What's new?
The Best Email Opening Lines If You Are In A Formal Mood
I hope the pandemic hasn't been too harsh on you… I hope you are well in these interesting times… I hope the week is going great so far… I hope your day so far has been pleasant…
- Allow Me to Introduce Myself.
- Good afternoon.
- Good morning.
- How are you?
- Hope this email finds you well.
- I hope you enjoyed your weekend.
- I hope you're doing well.
- I hope you're having a great week.
- If it's a group of people you know really well, you can use something more informal such as “Hi all,” “Hi team” or “Hi everyone.”
- If it's a more formal email, you can use greetings such as “Dear Coworkers,” “Dear Colleagues” or “Dear Hiring Committee.”
Smith and team." In some cases, you can also use less formal email greetings such as "Hi everyone," "Hello everyone," or even "Hey guys" when addressing a group of people, as long as you are certain that everyone in the group knows each other well enough to feel comfortable with this level of familiarity.
How do you use greetings in a sentence? ›
[plural] a message of good wishes for somebody's health, happiness, etc.
- Christmas/birthday, etc. greetings.
- My mother sends her greetings to you all.
- We extend our greetings to you and thank you for listening to us.
"Hello, my name is [name] and I am writing to you about [matter]." "I would like to introduce myself." "I got your email from [name]." "My name is [name] and I am reaching out about [matter]."What are some examples of professional email? ›
I would like to take a moment to introduce myself and my company. My name is [name] and I am a [job title] at [company name]. Our company provides customers with cutting-edge technology for all their email signature needs. At [company name], there are a number of services we can offer, such as [short list of services].How do you write a good email example? ›
- Subject line. This is the crucial part of your email which defines if a person actually opens it. ...
- Email greeting. ...
- Email body. ...
- Formal email closing. ...
- Signature. ...
- Email example 1: Announcement. ...
- Email example 2: Business follow up email. ...
- Email example 3: Request.
“Good morning / afternoon / evening” “Hello” / “Hi” / “Hey” “How are you?” / “How are you doing?” / “How is it going?” / “How's everything?” “Greetings”How do you greet and end an email? ›
- Thank you.
- Please let me know if you have any questions.
- Looking forward to our meeting.
- Thank you for your consideration.
When you are writing to someone for the first time, use a formal address: Mr or Ms + the person's last name if you know it. If you can't find the last name, use a generic title such as Sir or Madam.What is greeting and introduction? ›
(= ways of saying hello to someone when you meet them) Introductions. (self-introduction – when you introduce yourself. introduction – when someone else introduces you to another person)What are two appropriate greetings for formal letters? ›
- To Whom It May Concern: Use only when you do not know to whom you must address the letter, for example, when writing to an institution. ...
- Dear colleagues, Use when writing to a group of people. ...
- Hello guys, Use when writing to a group of people you know very well. ...
- Your sincerely, ...
- Kind regards, ...
Beginning: Most formal letters will start with 'Dear' before the name of the person that you are writing to. You can choose to use first name and surname, or title and surname. However, if you don't know the name of the person you are writing to, you must use 'Dear Sir or Madam,'.
How do you start a professional letter other than dear? ›
- "Hello, [Insert team name]"
- "Hello, [Insert company name]"
- "Dear, Hiring Manager"
- "Dear, [First name]"
- "To Whom it May Concern"
- "Hi there"
- "I hope this email finds you well"
What is the most widely used email service? According to Statista, Gmail is the most popular email client in today's world, with more than 1.5 billion active users globally. If you're going to focus on designing your emails for one email provider, Gmail is a good place to start.What is the best closing to an email? ›
- 1 Regards.
- 2 Sincerely.
- 3 Best wishes.
- 4 Cheers.
- 5 Best.
- 6 As ever.
- 7 Thanks in advance.
- 8 Thank you.
This trend ultimately positioned Gmail as the thought-leader of the space, and adoption followed. By the time Millennial and Generation Z consumers were old enough to join the email market, Gmail had established itself as the obvious provider of choice, which is reflected in its popularity today.What is the new format of letter writing in 2022? ›
Salutation: For formal letter, the salutation to be used are Sir / Respected sir / Madam. Body: Write the matter of the letter here. You can divide it into 3 paragraphs. First para of the body: Introduce yourself and explain the purpose of writing the letter in brief.What is the letter writing format of 2022? ›
Write the designation of the receiver in the receiver's address. Write the date in the DD (Month) YYYY format, i.e. as 21 September 2022. Underline the subject of the letter when submitting a written formal letter. Keep the salutation simple and polite like “Sir”, “Ma'am” or “Dear Sir/Ma'am”.How do you start a sentence in a formal letter? ›
The best option for an opening line in a formal letter is to tell the person why you are writing the letter: --Dear Mrs. Smith, --I am writing to + verb.... The sentence should state your reason---I am writing to inform you... I am writing to complain..How do you start an email for the new year? ›
- Use a subject line. Subject lines are an important aspect of emails, as they're the first thing a customer sees when they receive an email. ...
- Start with a friendly greeting. ...
- Personalize the email. ...
- Give a call to action. ...
- Add a farewell phrase and signature.
- On your computer, go to Gmail.
- At the top left, click Compose.
- In the "To" field, add recipients. You can also add recipients: In the "Cc" and "Bcc" fields. ...
- Add a subject.
- Write your message.
- At the bottom of the page, click Send.
Best email salutations
Hi (first name) - When it comes to an email greeting, it's hard to beat “Hi (first name)”. It's suitable for any situation where you know and use the recipient's first name. If you're addressing the recipient with Mr./Ms. + last name, however, choose one of the more formal options below instead.
How do you start an official greeting letter? ›
Salutations for business letters
The most formal salutation is Dear, [title], then the last name. If you're unsure of the person's pronouns, it's a good idea to use Dear [First and last name] or Dear [First name]. When you don't know the recipient's name, you can use Hello or Greetings.
Formal letters always have a greeting at the beginning of the written content as a cue that your message is about to begin. This is known as the salutation. Most salutations begin with “Dear” and then the name of the recipient. All salutations use title capitalization and end in a comma.What is a fancy way to start a letter? ›
- If you are writing a love letter, try using “To my Dearest” or “To my Love” to sound more romantic.
- Feel free to jazz up your greeting if you are writing to a close friend. ...
- If you want to be quirky, try something like “Greetings from *insert place*”.
“May you have a prosperous New Year.” “Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year.” “May the New Year bless you with health, wealth, and happiness.” “In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want.”What is the proper way to start the New Year? ›
- Do a self-review. You do it for your career, so why not apply a self-review to your life? ...
- Finish tasks. ...
- Reach out to loved ones. ...
- Clean up. ...
- Set new goals. ...
- Put yourself at the top of the list.
- Health and happiness to you and yours in the new year ahead.
- Warmest Wishes.
- Out with the old, in with the new. Happy New Year!
- Peace love and happiness.
- Cheers to new beginnings.
- Have a joyful new year.
- Peace & Love.
- Bonne Année! ( French)
“Greetings,” is a safe, polite and conservative start to an email. It can be used for emailing a single recipient or multiple people at once. Starting emails this way is a generic, but acceptable, option for professional and personal communication.Does every email have to start with a greeting? ›
Although salutations are not required, they are highly recommended. This is especially true when you are writing an email to someone for the first time, writing the first email in what is likely to become a string, or dealing with a difficult or awkward situation.How do you email professionally? ›
- The right greeting. Greetings in an email are important. ...
- Understand your intention. What's an email for? ...
- Explain your intention. ...
- Get to the point. ...
- Send your best regards. ...
- Sign off properly. ...
- Write an appropriate email signature. ...