Email Greetings for Creating Positive First Impressions
In this article, we will share the tips for writing email greetings that leave good first impressions and set the right tone for your conversations.
It takes about three seconds to form a first impression, and one of the first things people will see in your email is the greeting. While a relevant subject line may get the recipient to open your email, what you say next is extremely important.
If you don't appear engaging and respectful, the person you are emailing might not read your email or care enough to respond.
Read on for the best practices and examples of email opening greetings you can use in various situations!
Why Email Opening Greetings Are Important
How you greet people in an email can set the tone for all your future conversations. It can mean the difference between landing your dream job, closing a deal, or ending up on a blacklist. People's perceptions of you are important. They tell the recipients who you are and what kind of relationships you expect to build.
Generic greetings can make you seem lazy. On the other hand, appropriate email etiquette with careful wording can go a long way. It shows you want to make a connection and are detail-oriented and professional. Furthermore, it provides consistency across your brand.
What to Consider When Choosing an Email Greeting
To choose the right email greeting for your correspondence, you need to consider a few factors such as the recipient, prior contact, your goals, and even the time of day.
Single Recipient vs. Group
If you're addressing one recipient, you can make your greeting more personal by including the person's name. When you don't know their name, you can use the title or position they hold in an organization. When you aren't sure who will be on the receiving end, you can use a more generic greeting.
When addressing a larger group, it often isn't feasible to include every person's name or position in the email opener. Instead, you can include a common denominator for this group or keep it simple and non-specific.
First Contact vs. Prior Correspondence
First-contact or cold emails require a dose of formality, especially in a professional setting. If you use an informal greeting in your first email, you risk sounding disrespectful. Avoid using first names or nicknames and trying to be witty with your greeting — unless, of course, you are applying for a job that demands that dose of creativity.
When you've had prior communication with the person you're emailing, you can consider using their first name or a nickname, especially if they've used it in their email signature. This can show that your relationship is evolving and that you are genuinely interested in getting to know the person.
Times of day can be used as email greetings when you know the time zone of your recipient. This is a great example of a greeting that is not overused, and shows respect and attention to detail.
Your goals or what you hope to achieve is another factor you should consider when starting an email. If you're just letting your friends know what you're up to, you can use a semi-formal or an informal greeting. However, if you're applying for a job or looking to make a business deal, you'll want to keep your salutations professional.
What Types of Greetings Can You Use?
Based on the factors mentioned above, there are different types of greetings you can use for different situations.
Email replies often don't require a greeting since you will be referencing a prior conversation. Much like a follow-up message, you can show your enthusiasm and thank the person for writing back.
Informal greetings are used in daily communication. Usually, you'll be less formal when you're writing to a coworker, a manager, a family member, or a friend. Note that within a professional setting, you should still maintain a dose of respect and formality. On the other hand, if you address a family member or a friend using their full name and professional title, they will likely take it as a joke.
Formal Email Greetings
Formal email greetings should be used for first contacts and professional emails. They're also great to default to when you're unsure which type of greeting would be appropriate. It's better to start off formal and then adjust based on the flow of the conversation, if necessary.
Time of Day
Based on the time of day you're sending your message, you can use different greetings. Time-based salutations such as "Good morning" sound more personal than a simple "Hello," if you're confident they will open your email at that time. What's best, these aren't overused, so your message can stand out in a sea of other generic emails.
Cold emails are somewhat challenging to start on the right note. An average email user will send and receive 71 messages per day. This lowers the chance that your message will be read. Strive to know your recipient and make the initial communication engaging, yet more on the formal side. Avoid typical introduction email mistakes like resuing the same template too often.
When you're sending emails to multiple people, your greetings need to be generic enough to address the entire group and specific enough so the recipients feel like you're talking to them personally. For smaller groups, you can include each person's name in the salutation.
Follow-up emails are similar to replies because they reference a prior contact. Whether the contact was online or in-person, your opener will write itself. Mentioning previous communication can urge the recipient to open the message and read more.
Mehdi Hussen the head of marketing at ZoomShift says — starting a follow-up email with a greeting can be tricky. Thus when he follows up on Monday the opening line could be 'I hope you had a great weekend.' Whereas for the rest of the week, it's 'I hope you are having a great week'. A simple tweak adds personalization to the opening message.
A response to a trigger is the type of email where an event has prompted you to message a person. The trigger might be something that reminded you of that person, something they did or achieved. In this case, you can drop the initial salutation and open with what motivated you to reach out.
You can use slang in informal and casual correspondence with people you know well. Starting a business email with "Yo" or "Howdy" is inappropriate and shows a lack of respect.
Humorous or funny greetings are often used as ice-breakers to boost engagement. Marketers know how to leverage these to stand out. However, these types of email greetings should only be used when you know enough about your recipients to be sure they won't be offended.
What to Avoid
You can and should adapt your tone based on your recipient and situation. However, there are certain openers you should avoid at all costs.
- The biggest mistake you can make is misspelling the recipient's name. Also, if a person has an honorific attached to their name, omitting it is another sign of disrespect.
- The next thing you need to be cautious about is being overly informal. Some people may appreciate your personalized attempt to connect, but most won't.
- It's easy to start an email with "To whom it may concern" or "Dear sir/madam," but it can make you look lazy. Whenever possible, try to address specific people.
- Sounding sarcastic can seem witty, but few will understand your intentions the right way. The same is often true for full-blown jokes. Avoid sounding offensive or annoying.
- Finally, asking personal questions may not be received well. Instead, use a statement as an alternative. For example, you can replace "How's your health been lately?" with "I hope you're doing well."
Email Greeting Examples
Use this list of opening greetings to start your emails based on your situation:
Hi/Hello [name], [name], and [name]
Hello [organization name] team
Hello/Hi/Dear [honorific] [last name]
To [position] at [organization]
Good morning [name]
Good afternoon [name]
Good evening [name]
Hope this email finds you well
I hope you enjoyed your weekend/vacation
Long time no see
How are you doing?
I'd love to hear your opinion on
Hello/Hi/Dear [honorific] [last name]
To [position] at [organization]
Allow me to introduce myself
I'm reaching out because
I hope this email finds you well
It's great to hear from you
Thank you for reaching out
I appreciate your prompt response
Thank you for your help
Thanks for getting in touch
Thank you for the update
It was great meeting you at
I'm following up on
I'm checking in on
It was nice talking to you about
As promised, I am providing
Here's more information on
As discussed on the call
Congratulations on [achievement]
I saw your article/speech on
This immediately made me think of you
I loved your recent [post/talk/article]
I was just thinking about you
[person] reminded me to get in touch
I hope you enjoyed your [vacation/event]
Happy Hump Day!
Only [number] days until [event]
Did you have your coffee today?
Yo! / Hey! / Hey there! / Hiya!
To whom it may concern,
Hi Paulne [misspelled name]
How's it going?
Dear sir or madam,
Hope This Blog Post Finds You Well
Choosing appropriate salutations is important for setting the tone of your conversations. To get your message across, people need to understand exactly what you're trying to achieve. They also need to feel respected. With proper openers, you can spark interest and prompt the recipients to read and respond to your messages.
Consider the factors mentioned in this article, such as your familiarity with a recipient, how many recipients will get the email, and other factors, and you'll be able to choose the right salutation for every occasion. Use the examples above as templates and soon you'll be crafting your own personalized openers for both formal and informal correspondence.
With these examples in your emailing toolkit, you'll never struggle with email greetings again. So, start making those positive first impressions today! And if you need an email client to manage all your emails, no matter what email provider you use, consider giving Mailbird a try.
FAQs about Email Greetings
How do you start a professional email?
Start a professional email with a formal greeting. Try to find out the name or at least the position of the person you're writing to. Here are some examples of professional email greetings:- Hi [Name],- Dear [Name],- Greetings,- Hello, or Hello [Name],- Hi, everyone.
What are some good greetings?
Good greetings to use in your emails heavily depend on the situation and your intentions. However, there are some email greetings you can't go wrong with:- Hi/Hello [Name],- Dear [Name],- Greetings,- Good morning/afternoon/evening,- Hello, everyone. (to a group)
How do you write a formal email?
When writing a formal email, use a formal email address and start with a relevant subject line. The next thing the recipient will see is your greeting, so keep it formal. Next, make sure the content of your message is relevant and follows a proper structure. Finally, optimize your signature to inspire a response.