Professionally Start an Email The Do’s and Don’ts

How to professionally start an email

It can be tough when writing an email. Your end goal is to get your message across. In this blog post, I show you how to professionally start an email and make your intentions clear from the outset?

You don’t want to confuse people or have them read your email multiple times. The last thing you want is for people to have to read your email over and over to get the gist of your message.

I heard this saying a few months back and it has struck a chord with me.

“A confused mind always says no”

Writing a great email has many moving parts that need to be just right to get your message across.

When writing a professional email. You need to be careful about how you word things. The subject line, the greeting, how you end an email, most importantly the start of an email.

That’s what this blog is about. Helping you start an email using the right words.

Let’s first start with the structure of an email that can create an impact on the recipient.

Five Ways To Professionally Start An Email

1 – Hi (Name),

2 – Dear (Name),

3 – Greetings, or Hi there (when you don’t know the name of the recipient)

4 – Hello (Name), [A little less formal than ‘dear’ but nicer than ‘hi’]

5 -Hello Everyone, (When sending to more than one person)

Grammar and punctuation is important in professional emails. Make sure you are adding a comma in the correct places.

We all know how important first impressions are. This is true with emails too.

3 Opening Lines To Professionally Start An Email

Next, start your email by doing one of three things

1 – Start the email with a fact or subject that the person can relate to

2 – Get straight to the point of your email (people sometimes appreciate directness)

3 – Share some kind words or something positive and warm

Email Greetings To Avoid At All Costs

You may not be bothered how an email starts. A lot of professionals will.

Think of it like this. We are bombarded by emails these days, people are looking for any excuse not to open and read an email.

Don’t give them the opportunity of discarding what could be a brilliant email. Just because you skipped over the greeting.

Here’s what to avoid:

1 – Hi (Misspelled name), [there is nothing worse than spelling a name wrong, trust me on this]

2 – Hi (Nickname), [If they have asked you to call them by their nickname, great. However, if this is the first time you are emailing, don’t use their nickname]

3 – Hey (Name)! [Adding an exclamation here is wrong. The person you email will wonder why you are so excited]

4 – To whom it may concern/ Dear Sir or Madam, [This just shows that you didn’t think it was worth your time to look up the name of the recipient.]

5 – Dear (job title). [Better than the previous one, shows you have done a little digging but it’s too generic]

6 – Good morning/afternoon/evening, [They may be in a different timezone than you. Just skip this altogether]

7 – To (Name), [Awkward and sounds like someone applying for their first ever job]

8 – Yo! [Do I even need to explain this one?]

Best Templates On How To Professionally Start An Email

Managers/Leaders

Dear (Name),
Hope you are having a great day.
This email is about…
Hey (Name),
The meeting with you went really well. Thanks for being a part of it.
I wanted to…
Hi (Name),
I read your blog on (subject). Thanks for sharing it. I loved it.
I also wanted to let you know…

You know that communication is key in any team or working environment.

It’s key to your role to send critical information to your boss or other business leaders. You may be sending over a project specification or update relating to your team. Or reporting on last month’s KPI’s.

You need to make sure you start your email to your boss by making a great impression.

3 Key Tips To Professionally Start An Email To Your Boss

Your boss probably gets hundreds of emails each day. Make sure you email them the important information only. So they can make quick, effective decisions.

Summarise your email content in the subject line. It gives your boss an idea of what the email will be about.

Stick to the point. Don’t worry about stating the obvious to refresh their memory. Give them the key info and forget about the rest.

Clients

Hey (Name),
Hope we are serving you well.
This email is regarding…
Hey (Name),
Hope you are liking our services so far. In case of any doubt or query, you can always reach out to me.
Also, I wanted to let you know…

Normally when you are emailing one of your clients. More often than not you’re trying to close a deal or get new/more business from them.

Unfortunately, this puts a bit of pressure on your email. There is no room for error. It can be very expensive if the deal falls through because of a mistake in an email.

So, how do you professionally start an email to a client?

3 Key Tips To Professionally Start An Email To A Client

First, write an interesting subject line and personalise it. Give them a reason to open your email before everyone else.

Make sure you include some documentation like a portfolio, rate card, presentation. This gives the client all the relevant information and shows you value their time.

Lastly, if you are trying to sell them something. Sell the solution, not your product or service. Give them a success story with facts for example another companies profit margins went up by X% after working with you.

These three points will make your email stand out and people will read it. It will also help you close more deals.

Recruiters

Hey (Name),
I read your LinkedIn post regarding the (position).
I am a…
Hey (Name),
Hope you are having a recruitment drive at the moment.
I have an experience of…

There is a little less pressure when emailing a recruiter, say than with a boss or a client.

Still, giving an amazing first impression is very important. After all, you want the company to think highly of you from the start.

You want to show them that you are smart but also proactive.

3 Key Tips To Professionally Start An Email To A Recruiter

Check, double-check, and triple-check your spelling and grammar in your email. The email should be grammatically proper and all the spelling should be spot on.

Make sure you are clear with what you are asking the recruiter to do. Are you asking them to have a look at your CV or resume? Do you want to go for an interview? Whether that be on a call or face to face.

Have a clear end goal in mind and structure the email around it.

Senior Executives

Hi (Name),
I'm looking forward to seeing you tomorrow (Wednesday) at 9am at your offices.
Just a couple of things you may want to review beforehand:...

This is a great example of how you can professionally start an email.

Sending a ‘pre-meeting’ email before an in-person meeting, say a day before, is a brilliant way to build a professional relationship with senior management.

The person is probably extremely busy and will appreciate that you have made it very easy for them to be prepared for the meeting. Feeling that they aren’t wasting their time.

3 Key Tips To Professionally Start An Email To A Senior Executive

Using “tomorrow” if the meeting is the next day is better than giving the date. It’s easy for the recipient to frame in their mind when the meeting is.

If the meeting agenda is short, say 3/4 bullet points, then include them in the email. It will give the person a clear idea of what the meeting is about and how it benefits the business.

Try and include links to things like documentation, reports, links to stats. This makes you look organised even before the meeting has begun. 99% of people will never do this.

Strangers

Hi (Name),
Greetings from a fellow UMIST graduate and alumni!

It can be tough cold emailing. This is a good way to build an instant connection with someone.

Taking time to do a bit of background research on the person is vital.

Try to find something that you have in common.

3 Key Tips To Professionally Start An Email To A Stranger

Try to find something that you have in common. It’s a good way to connect. It could be something simple or a bit dull. However, they will appreciate the effort.

Keep the email brief. Make sure you focus the second paragraph on them and how you think their skills or knowledge would help you out.

Be direct in what you want the outcome to be. For example, asking them a couple of questions. However, you need to give them options.

If you would like to meet for a coffee to ask the questions, great. Say that. End the email giving them an option saying you would be more than happy to email the questions over.

Business Contacts

Hey (Name),
Hope thins are going well? I saw (Their company) on (Research something that they have been on TV, news article) last week. 
Great coverage!

One of the hardest parts of networking is keeping in touch with someone after an event or meet up. Especially when you don’t want anything or don’t have anything to offer.

You don’t want to come across as being annoying.

One thing you can do is to send relevant material or information that the person will appreciate.

This isn’t an “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” situation. It’s all about keeping and building a relationship and genuinely helping them out.

3 Key Tips To Professionally Start An Email To A Business Contact

In the example, I have given it’s so important that your start on a personal note. It shows that you have been paying attention to their company. More importantly to them.

If you are sending over a link for example. Don’t just say “here is an article I think you’d find interesting”. Give your thoughts about it and how that relates to the person you are emailing.

Give them some exciting news about yourself, professionally speaking of course. Make sure it doesn’t require anything from them. This gives them something to look forward to and it also gives you an excuse to email them again.

Best Practices To Follow To Professionally Start An Email

Here are my top 4 tips that you can use when professionally starting an email

Open With A Proper Greeting

Even in these less formal times. Starting a professional email in a proper way shows you in a better light.

Always address the person with a ‘Hey’, ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’.

If you have a really professional relationship with your recipient, then you MAY start with ‘Hello Mr. (Surname).’ or ‘Hello Mrs. (Surname).’

A word of warning with this, you must be 100% sure that they are comfortable with being addressed with a Mr or Mrs or Ms. If not just start with Hello.

Make sure that the first letter of the name is always in caps.

If you have a more casual professional relationship, then go ahead and use their first name while addressing them.

Manners Cost Nothing, Thank Them

Adding a thank you line is always a good way to end an email. Although this is optional.

If you are emailing someone for the first time I always like to end with

“Thanks for reading this far”

The old “I look forward to hearing from you” is a no go for me. It assumes that they are going to reply. As well as putting pressure on them to make a decision.

Ending with “Thanks for reading this far” show them you appreciate them taking time out of their day to read the email. But shows you don’t expect anything from them.

If you have contacted someone a few times. Or they have replied to your prospecting email.

Then adding a thank you along the line of “Thank you for contacting (Me/My Company).

It’s straight forward to change this line depending on the situation.

I recommend adding the thank you line just before you wrap up and close the email.

Clear Purpose For The Email

This is the most important part of a professional email.

Make sure the email contains the message you are trying to get across.

Be clear and direct. The person will like that. Don’t try to pad your email out with too many words. This will just make the email look fuzzy.

Like I said before “A confused mind always says no”.

To help you with this I will give you a KISS.

More specifically K.I.S.S = Keep It Simple Stupid.

Closing The Email

The last part of your email should close the email with your signature and the designation.

This can be anything from ‘Regards’ to ‘Cheers’. As long as you make sure that it fits in with the style of your email.

Do you want to know what I recipient does with your email after you click send?

Conclusion

There you have it, that’s how you can professionally start an email.

Email is a huge part of our day-to-day life and has become key in business and professional communication.

Becoming great at writing email isn’t that hard. You just need a framework and a bit of practice.

Use a bit of care and attention, just fire out the email. Who knows what could happen?

You may land that client, the amazing job, get that promotion you deserve. All because you crafted a professionally worded email.

So, go ahead and use the tips mentioned above and write that amazing email.

Oh, once you start an email professionally, you’ll also have to end it professionally.

Check out our blog on how to Professionally End an Email as well.

And don’t forget to comment on this post with some tips if you have mastered the art of emailing!

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