The ability to write clear, friendly and professional emails is a foundational skill for your career. Starting and ending your emails properly can help you build relationships and get work done.
In this article, we’ll cover how to start an email including tips and several email starters you can use in your next correspondence.
Related: How To Write a Professional Email
Why starting your email well is important
Email is an important form of communication, just like phone calls and video conferences. You should treat each email as an opportunity to develop a mutual respect with your colleagues. By writing a great beginning to your email, you are more likely to make a positive first impression. Such an impression can encourage your audience to read the full message of your email and take any required actions.
Professional email salutation tips:
1. Avoid gendered language
2. Avoid exclamation points
3. Avoid casual language like “Hey,”
4. Avoid overly formal language like “Sir” or “Madam”
5. Avoid using “To Whom it May Concern”
6. Avoid using times of day, such as “Good morning” or “Good evening”
7. Avoid using “Dear [Job Title]” if possible
How to start an email
There are a few key best practices to keep in mind when composing the beginning of your email:
- Spell any names you use correctly. Misspelling the name of your recipient can make them feel disrespected—if you haven’t taken the time to learn their name, they are unlikely to trust you’ve paid attention to other important details. To ensure your entire email is read with care and to build relationships with your recipients, be sure to spell their name correctly. If you have been emailing back and forth with them, their name is likely already in their email and/or signature. If not, do a bit of research to ensure you’ve got their name right.
- Keep it professional. It might be tempting to seem friendly or excited in an email greeting by using a fun greeting, smiley face or exclamation points. Keep in mind that it’s always best to err on the side of professional and minimal.
- Know your audience. You should tailor your greeting to your audience. If you know the recipient(s) well, it can be appropriate to use a more laid-back greeting. Your greeting can also change if you are addressing a single person, a few people or many people. Make sure your greeting matches the people you’re writing to.
What to include at the start of your emails
The beginning of your email should contain the following:
To start an email, you should begin with a greeting. You might do this in a variety of ways depending on your reason for writing and who you’re writing to.
2. Well wishes (optional)
After your greeting, it is optional to include a quick, positive note like “Hope all is well” or “Hope you had a terrific weekend.” This is appropriate if you haven’t written to the recipient for a lengthy amount of time or if you have a close relationship with the recipient. If you know your audience appreciates a concise note with only key information, you might leave this part out.
3. Reason for writing
Then, be sure to include a concise sentence or two about why you are writing. Informing the recipient about the goal of your email can help set the tone for the rest of your correspondence.
Let’s take a closer look at email greetings you might use depending on the email.
Email greeting examples
Here are several examples of greetings you can choose from to start your email. As discussed in the tips above, be sure to select a greeting that applies to your audience and reason for writing:
When writing to one or two recipients:
- Dear [Name],
- Dear [Name] and [Name],
- Hello [Name],
- Hi [Name],
When writing to three or more recipients:
- Hello everyone,
- [Group or team name],
- Hi team,
- Hello all,
- Hi there,
- Good morning,
- Good afternoon,
- Good evening,
When you are unsure of the recipient’s name:
- Dear Sir,
- Dear Madam,
- Dear Sir or Madam,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
Ways to start an email with examples
Here are examples of ways you might start an email in various scenarios applying the tips and methods above.
When applying for a job:
I hope this finds you well. I’m writing in response to your job posting for the Reception Associate position…”
After completing an interview:
Thank you again for taking the time to meet with me about the Accounting Manager position today. I’m following up with the additional information you requested regarding my portfolio…”
When setting up a meeting:
I’m reaching out to set up a meeting about the upcoming project…”
When introducing new team members:
Hello! I’m writing to introduce you to the newest member of our HR team, Helen Farber…”
When accepting a job offer:
“Hi there Kiran,
Thank you so much for getting back to me. I’m excited to learn about the offer…”
Writing emails is an important part of any job. Be sure to take some time to consider your audience and exactly why you are writing. Doing so can help you construct a clear communication that builds relationships and moves projects forward. Starting your email in a professional manner can create a positive first impression.
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