How to Start an Email?

December 9, 2021

Giving your emails a good start is important because they leave a good impression on the reader and make you sound more confident.

Think of it: why would someone want to read the rest of your email if the introductory part isn’t convincing enough? It is precisely why learning to start your email correctly and without making it sound boring/unprofessional is highly important.

So, buckle up your seat as here we’ll touch every aspect of how to start your email, including the top three elements of a professional email introduction as well as all the Dos and Don’ts of starting an email.

Shall we begin?

How To Start An Email: The Correct Format

The key to writing a practical email introduction is to use wording that “convinces” the audience to read further. It means beginning with a polite greeting, wishing the reader well, and then stating your purpose.

So, without further ado, let’s move further to the three crucial elements of a professional email introduction!

1. Greeting

Whether you are a student emailing your teacher, a job seeker applying to a vacancy, or anyone writing an email, it is always best to start with a greeting. You get only one chance to convince your client, and a greeting can create a good impression. Furthermore, it also sets the tone of your email, and thus, pay attention to the following.

Writing To One Recipient 

It can be your boss, a client, or a college professor; just make sure you know their “professional” name well. Look at the following examples:

  • Hi [Name],
  • Hello [Name],
  • Dear [Name],
  • Hello,

If you are wondering, it is OKAY not to put a comma after the greeting; you can also end it with a dot. Secondly, the best practice is to begin with, Hi/Hello, and use Dear as an attempt to pay respect to the other person (for instance, when writing a senior).

Also, keep in mind the proper format of using Dear in an email: Dear + honorific + last name + colon (:). For instance, “Dear Lady Catherine:” or “Dear Mr. Edgar:” would do the job. You can also use a full name if the person’s last name is unknown but remove the honorific in that case. Lastly, avoid the gender-revealing honorifics, such as Mrs. (replace it with Ms.).

Writing To Multiple Recipients 

It means the email will be received and read by multiple persons, and thus, you cannot use any name in the greeting. If so, start your email with:

  • Hi there,
  • Hi everyone,
  • Greetings,
  • Hello everyone,
  • Hello all,
  • [Group or team name],

Again, a dot at the end is perfectly fine.

Unsure About The Recipient Name

Here comes the tricky part; you don’t know the receiver’s name, yet you have to write to them. You can always use the following to save the day:

  • Hi,
  • Hello,
  • Greetings,

 

2. Thanking / Well Wishing

After initiating a proper greeting, it’s time to make your reader acknowledge your respect towards them. Of course, the level of formality varies depending on your familiarity level with the reader, and to make things easy for you, here are the best possible statements for different familiarity cases here.

Formal 

If you are emailing someone for the first time or are replying to their previous response, you should use these:

  • Hope this email finds you well…
  • I hope you’re doing well…
  • It’s great to hear from you…
  • Hope you are having a great day…
  • Thank you for your response…

Following Up 

This is when you have already contacted the receiver a few times, and now you are following up on your last meeting. Do remember the following well-wishing thanking when you are emailing to someone’s response:

  • Thank you for the update…
  • Thanks for the quick response…
  • Thanks for getting back to me…
  • Thank you for your prompt reply…
  • Thanks for getting in touch…

Of course, you can also start your email with the phrases mentioned in the “formal” part when following up, but the statements mentioned above do leave a good impact on the reader.

Somewhat Familiar

You can straightforwardly start your email as well, but only if you and the reader are familiar well with each other, for instance:

  • Hi [Name],

I hope it was a pleasant experience for you at the [place/event/vacation]…

  • Hey [Name],

I remember you were selected for the [project], how did it turn out?…

  • Hello,

Congratulations on your [recent achievement]…

  • Hi there,

I hope you’re having a great week (/ a wonderful day)…

 

3. Stating Purpose

In professional terms, it is highly appreciated when you explain your purpose for writing without wasting the other person’s time. So, make sure you state your intentions right away:

  • I’m writing in response to your job posting for the [position/vacancy]
  • I’m eager to get your advice on [question]…
  • I’m reaching out about [query]…
  • As we discussed on our last call…
  • As discussed earlier, I’m looking forward to…
  • Can you kindly share an update on…
  • I’m getting back to you about [query]…
  • To follow up on our recent meeting…

How To NOT Start An Email

Just like there are excellent phrases to begin your email with, writing the following can be the worst-case scenarios for an email introduction:

  • A Misspelled Name

A red flag at the very first word; you better double-check the spellings of the receiver’s name. You can generally start with “Hi” or “Greetings” if you are unsure.

  • An Exclamation Mark

Never write an exclamation mark at the end of the greeting part of your email introduction because it sounds desperate, unprofessional, and highly inappropriate (unless you are writing to your friends and family). For instance, “Hi Professor Darcy!” isn’t an appropriate way to call your teacher.

  • Dear Sir/Madam

You don’t want your impression to be of someone who cannot even look up to the recipient’s name, do you? If you cannot find the receiver’s name, you can always begin with a general greeting.

  • Time

You won’t know when the receiver will read the email. Thus, avoid writing like “Good Morning,” “Happy Sunday,” or any other informal greeting because you don’t have to be cute (/informal) to be professional (unless it’s for your friends, of course).

  • Hey [Nickname]

Again, it sounds rude and informal. You should not call someone by their nickname if they are not familiar to you.

  • To Whom It May Concern,

The reader is most likely to think, why did you even bother writing it because it sounds highly irresponsible and rude at the same time. Your goal is to grab the reader’s attention, not disappoint him.

Conclusion

Emailing has become a primary source of communication in the digital world, yet it also raises the importance of writing a practical introduction to catch the reader’s eyes immediately. A practical, convincing email introduction comprises three elements: greeting, thanking or well-wishing, and then stating the purpose.

You should also make sure not to write phrases/words that are offensive or inappropriate in the context. Unless you are frank with your recipient, avoid calling them with their nicknames, Sir/Madam, and always double-check the spellings. Also, do not put an exclamation mark after greeting nor use timely expressions in your email introduction.

Lastly, you should also focus on creating an eye-catching conclusion to leave a strong, lasting impression along with writing a practical email introduction. Thankfully, you can use Hatima to create your email signature in less than a second!

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