How to Start an Email

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Regardless of the subject you are going to write about, knowing how to start an email plays a significant role in whether the recipient will keep reading the message or not. It’s fundamental to be polite, and analyze your target audience, and the purpose of the message.

The way you open an email can impact directly the rate of success of an email marketing campaign, for instance. Check out the article and discover more about the opening lines you can use, and what you should avoid.

Why Knowing How to Start an Email Is Important

Every email you write, mainly when it is for professional purposes, is an opportunity to engage with your audience and strengthen your relationship with them. The way you start the email can set the tone of the conversation and determine if the person wants to dedicate part of their time to reading your message. 

In a world where people receive tons of emails per day, it’s a challenge to get them to open yours. Then, you need to know how to start an email so they won’t move to the next in line. Give them reasons to pay attention to what you have to say, this enhances the chances to make them follow your call to action. 

For example, when you enter a place you will greet everyone who is in the room politely, and introduce yourself if you are meeting them for the first time, right? Because the first impression matters. Besides, you probably would be seen as rude if you started the conversation just by stating what you want, with no regard for others. With an email, it isn’t different, the reader needs to connect with you. 

5 Tips on How to Start an Email

1. Be Professional

If you are writing an email to a customer, a co-worker, your boss, or a partner, it’s always essential to be professional. Starting an email with greetings like “hey buddy” or abbreviations such as “wassup” is inappropriate to the context. 

You don’t need to be too formal. But, you shouldn’t write the email the same way you would talk to a friend. Depending on the brand’s identity and tone of speech, you can be more casual, but be careful not to exceed. 

2. Spell the Names Correctly

Every time you write an email, double-check if you have written the recipient’s name correctly, with no spelling mistakes. When the subject is how to start an email, it’s great to use the person’s name because it makes it more personal. 

However, if you misspell it, you may hurt how the person sees your company. It shows that you don’t pay attention to what you are writing and that conceives a message that you are sloppy. 

3. Consider Who You Are Talking to

In the image it's written "Audience".

Before you start an email, consider who your target audience is. That will influence immensely on how to set the tone of your message. For example, you won’t write the same opening line for a newsletter addressed to the customers and an email to your boss. 

You need to consider what’s the purpose of the message, and the characteristics of the readers. When you write emails for a marketing campaign, it’s necessary to align them to the brand’s identity and the audience profile.  

For example, if your target audience consists of young adults between 25 to 30, you may be more casual to drive their attention. On the other hand, if you are writing to a company CEO, it may require you to be more formal. 

4. Start with a Greeting

It may seem obvious, but it’s very important to start an email with a greeting. Otherwise, it may sound impolite. There are several ways to greet someone, choose the one that suits the situation best, and include the person’s name if you know it. 

5. Explain the Reason for the Email

Most people don’t have much time or patience to read extremely long messages. Therefore, you should be clear and direct in your email. Don’t stall at the beginning of the email. After greeting the recipient, explain why you are contacting them. 

6 Opening Lines You Should Avoid 

In the image it's written "Think Twice".

Some greetings should be avoided when the subject is how to start an email: 

1. To whom it may concern

It sounds too formal, and it’s impersonal. It gives the impression that you didn’t bother on knowing who the recipient is. 

2. Can you do me a favor?

The purpose of the message may be to ask a favor, but opening the email this way sounds rude. Insert a greeting first and show consideration to the reader.

3. Let me introduce myself

That sentence is redundant and a waste of the recipient’s time. You don’t need to narrate what you are going to say Instead, just introduce yourself, and be direct.

4. Hey 

This greeting is too informal for a professional email. it’s better to avoid it, so you don’t risk being perceived as impolite. 

5. Emojis

Using emojis along the email isn’t a problem, if you work in a more casual company or if you want to send a funnier message to the customers to become closer to them. However, emojis shouldn’t be used to start the email. 

6. Greetings

Just saying greetings sound outdated. It’s more advisable to use other expressions, such as “Hi” or “Hello” followed by the person’s name. 

21 Email Opening Lines Examples

The image shows a tablet screen illustration, in the screen there is an open letter, and above it the are 3 envelopes.

Formal Email Greeting

1 - Dear (name of the person)

2 - Hi (name of the person)

3 - Hello (name of the person)

4 - Hi team

5 Hi (department name) team

6 -  Hi (name of the person). I hope your week is going well.

7 - Hi (name of the person). I hope you had a nice weekend.

8 - Dear (name of the person). Thanks for…

9 - Dear (name of the person). I’m reaching out about…

10 - Good morning/ afternoon/ evening

11 - Hello all 

12 - Hi (name of the person). It’s great to hear from you.

13 - Hello (name of the person). Hope this email finds you well.

Following Up Email

14 - Hi (name of the person). To follow up on our meeting…

15 - Dear (name of the person). As promised, I'm…

16 - Hi (name of the person). Can you give me an update on…

17 - Hi (name of the person). As we discussed on our call…

18 - Dear (name of the person). I’m getting back to you regarding the …

More Personal Greeting

19 - Dear (name of the person). I hope you enjoyed your (name of the event)

20 - Hi (name of the person). Congratulations on…

21 - Hi (name of the person). It was great to see you at (name of the event).

Keep the Tone of Speech Aligned with the Brand’s Identity

To know how to start an email, it’s indispensable to consider the message, the target audience, and the brand’s image, mainly when the email is addressed to customers. In the case of email marketing campaigns, the recipients should be able to recognize the brand’s traits from the subjetct line to the end of the message. Keep that in mind when writing and make A/B tests to find the best way to write opening lines for the different types of emails.

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