How to start an email can be almost as much of a brain ache as ending one can be. There are plenty of formal and informal choices out there but knowing which one to use in the right way can be a challenge in itself. You don’t want to end up choosing the wrong start to the email because that’ll set the tone for the rest of the content.
If you’ve already put your correspondent off before they’ve even read the bulk of your email what good was sending it in the first place? Let’s talk through some of the most useful starts to an email that will set you up for success.
How to Start an Email
There is no one-size-fits-all to starting an email and everyone conveys a different tone (both in speaking and in writing). Use this tone to your advantage to figure out exactly what is going to work best for you when it comes time to start an email address. Figure out your audience too. Is it more of a formal setting like a workplace and applying for a job? Or is it more informal and you only need to discuss something with a friend?
Whatever the case may be, starting the email right sets you up nicely to continue on with it, so get it right with our examples!
Starting an Email Example
It’s simple. It’s easy. Everyone can do it. It might sound silly that we’ve included it, but if you’re really lost for words, then a simple “hi” will go a long way. It’s direct and friendly, though it should be avoided in the most formal settings. You can still get away with this common start at your workplace though.
The more formal cousin of the simple “hi” is a sure-starter for even the most formal emails. Always use “dear” when you’re trying to address someone with respect, as a manager. However, try and avoid using it in the more informal emails as it can seem a bit pretentious.
Greetings are only ever good to use when you don’t know the name of the person you’re writing to. It’s fun and witty and should be reserved for more informal emails than anything else.
It’s a good alternative to using the “hi (name)” starter when you don’t know the name of the recipient. It’s also excellent for sending in mass emails like advertising as it seems just personal enough without having to worry about actually having names written down.
This one is found somewhere between the more informal “hi” and the more formal “dear”. Use this if you’re unsure how your recipient might initially take the tone of your email. You’re sure to get it right with a simple “hello“.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can try and start an email. Most of them use a simple greeting that we would use in our usual everyday lives and there’s no reason that an email should be any different from that. You’re still trying to get the attention of the recipient of your email after all.
Learn more: how to write an email in English
How to Start an Email | Infographic
How to Start an Email