How To Start a Professional Email? Starting an email with a proper salutation and a compelling opening line is crucial to making an excellent first impression. In this article, we’ll be showing you all you need to know about how to start a professional email.
How to Start an Email
How to start a professional email is pretty easy if you know the basics. Many people believe that the subject line is the only important part of an email because it determines whether your email is opened.
However, you must begin with the proper salutation and opening line so that when someone opens your email, they want to take action.
I’ll go over a few pointers on writing appropriate salutations and effective opening lines to help you start your emails off right.
Salutations to Use
A greeting or salutation is an essential component of any email. The greeting you choose for a business email, marketing email, or cover letter will set the tone for the rest of the message.
Here are some examples of professional email salutations:
1. Dear [Name]
How To Start a Professional Email in this regard is vital. This greeting is suitable for formal emails. If you’re writing a cover letter, for example, you can address the recipient by their last name, such as “Dear Ms. Blair” or “Dear Mr. Brown.”
Avoid using honorifics such as “Mrs.” that imply someone’s marital status. However, traditional honorifics that indicate professional status, such as “Dr.” or “Dear Professor,” should always be used.
If you are unsure of the recipient’s gender (or pronouns), use the gender-neutral honorific “Mx.” You can also start with “Hello Taylor” if your recipient is your age or younger and does not outrank you professionally.
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2. Hi / Hi There
While these email salutations would not be appropriate in a business letter, they are perfectly acceptable in professional emails. The most common of these is a simple “Hi (Name).”
Unless the email is extremely formal, this greeting is usually appropriate for a personal or business email.
Although the greeting “Hi there” is frequently used in marketing campaign emails (for example, to newsletter subscribers), people are more likely to read an email when their first name is mentioned rather than a generic greeting.
3. Hi Everyone
It would be far too awkward to list everyone’s name in the greeting when addressing a group. If you’re emailing a group of people, such as your work team, you can use a greeting like “Hi everyone.”
“Hi everyone” is preferable to “Hi guys” because the latter implies a gender. If you’re only emailing two or three people, you could list their names separated by commas.
“Hello, Lee, Mary, and Ann,” for example. These greetings are more appropriate than the abrupt “Hi all,” which sounds like it came from a generic email template.
This is a common salutation to use when emailing a large group or just one person. You can also use “Greetings” when sending a professional email to a business email account and don’t know who the recipient is.
When sending business emails to an email address like support@(company name).com, for example, “Greetings” is an appropriate opener.
Let’s look at some more email greetings that work well in professional settings.
Opening Lines to Use
After you’ve decided on the best way to greet your email recipient, you’ll need to add an intriguing opening line. This will encourage the recipient to read the entire email.
The best email opening lines meet one or more of the following four requirements, regardless of the type of professional email you’re writing:
- Offer value.
- Start a conversation.
- Ask a relevant question.
- Boost the ego.
Here are a few opening lines you could choose from:
1. Allow Me to Introduce Myself
You wouldn’t walk into a business meeting and begin talking right away, especially if you’ve never met the other attendees. So why do it via email?
If you’ve never emailed or met the person you’re emailing, introduce yourself before proceeding with your message.
But keep in mind that you should keep the introduction brief — don’t use this as an opportunity to go into great detail about yourself, your company, or your qualifications. A brief introduction will suffice.
2. I Hope You’re Doing Well
This is one of the most commonly used opening lines because it is a safe bet.
Although this phrase is unlikely to earn you any points for creativity, it is an acceptable and cordial way to begin a professional email.
“I hope you’re doing well,” you’d say to someone you don’t know well but have a connection with, such as a coworker.
3. I’m Reaching Out to You About
The person you’re emailing probably gets a lot of emails every day.
You can make it easier for them to determine the importance of your email by mentioning why you’re emailing them right away. This opening line is effective because it is direct, which busy professionals will appreciate.
4. I Hope You’re Having a Great Day
If you know the person you’re emailing, use this opening line (for example, a work colleague, family member, or friend). It conveys a sense of friendliness and may elicit a conversation about the email recipient’s day (or week).
However, keep in mind that this is not an opening line you’d use when emailing someone you’ve never met, such as for a job interview or a potential customer.
How You Should Not Start an Email
Have you ever received an email that started so awkwardly that you didn’t bother reading the rest of it?
If you received an email with the following greetings or opening lines, you probably wouldn’t pay attention to it, and neither will the person you’re emailing.
1. To Whom it May Concern
They Consider this greeting too formal and vague for business emails. It gives the impression that you were too lazy to figure out who should have received the email.
Before emailing, try to find out the person’s name, just as you would when writing a formal letter. Alternatively, choose a more friendly opening sentence.
Assume you’re emailing company XYZ about a job application and you can’t find the name of an HR team member. Instead of “To whom it may concern,” you could use “To Team X” or “Dear Hiring Manager at Company XYZ.”
2. A Misspelled Name
A misspelled name ranks alongside the worst possible greeting. Always double-check your emails to ensure that the spelling of your recipient’s name is correct.
If the person’s name appears complicated, simply copy and paste it from a reliable source. If you’re not sure about the spelling of the name, leave it out and stick with a greeting like “Hello.”
This is uncommon, but it may occur at events where an attendee sent you an email from their company or team instead of handing you their business card.
3. Dear Sir or Madam
“Dear sir or madam,” like “To whom it may concern,” is a stiff and often ceremonial salutation that was once reserved for formal letter writing. However, it can appear slightly out of date in modern business writing.
It shows that you did not bother to check the recipient’s name.
In countries where men and women are addressed as “sir” and “madam,” they still use this email greeting in business letter writing. These formal salutations, however, are inappropriate for an email.
4. It’s Me Again
While this opening line is appropriate for casual emails, it is inappropriate for professional emails.
You may appear to be reminding the person of a previous conversation or email you sent them in a lighthearted manner, but you may come across as a bother.
The recipient may feel as if you are bugging them and disregard your email entirely. It is inappropriate for any type of business communication.
5. I Am Sorry to Bother You by Popping Up in Your Inbox
You may believe you are being courteous to this email. However, it comes across as insincere and immediately undermines your credibility.
Because if you were truly concerned with not bothering them, you would not have sent the email.
Instead of this opening line, get right to the point by explaining why you’re emailing them — the recipient will appreciate your candor.
Actionable Tips For Writing the Perfect Email
Knowing how to start professional emails is essential, but it’s not the only thing you need to know if you want to write better emails.
Let’s look at five pointers to help you write the perfect email:
1. Choose Your Style
Consider who your intended audience is before writing an email. This will assist you in selecting the salutation and determining whether to use a casual or professional tone.
While many businesses used to communicate in a formal style of writing, today’s companies and startups prefer a more casual and friendly approach to business writing.
This is because a formal email writing style can appear stiff and unfriendly.
2. Be Mindful Of Your First Sentence
Many people make the mistake of starting their sentences with something boring or unimpressive. The first sentence of your email message, like the greeting, determines whether your recipient reads it or ignores it.
As a result, don’t be afraid to jump right into the point with your opening line. If you have a common contact with the recipient, begin your email with a reference to that person or organization.
This could help your email connect with your recipient more quickly. However, get right to the point of your message.
3. Remember to Thank Your Recipient
When responding to an inquiry, you can usually begin with something like, “Thanks for getting in touch.” However, most people are unaware of the significance of thanking a recipient in an outgoing email as well.
Thanking your recipient is not only a courteous gesture, but it also increases your chances of receiving a response.
After you’ve finished writing the body of the email, include a line at the bottom thanking your recipient.
4. Add a Closing Remark
Your last remark can be as simple as a thank you or as elaborate as, “Please contact me if you have any concerns.”
A suitable sign-off usually follows this, such as “Best regards”, “Sincerely”, and so on. While it may tempt to include this sign-off in your automated email signature, it is best to refrain.
Including your parting phrase in the signature panel is impersonal and communicates to your recipient that you are not sending genuine regards.
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How to start a professional email can confuse sometimes. The way you begin an email has a significant impact on whether recipients respond or simply ignore it.
Use the tips in this article to improve your email opening skills and create the perfect email. When combined with a powerful email tool such as GMass, you can easily streamline your outreach efforts.
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