Career Development

How To Start an Email: Best Introductions and Examples

Beginning an email with the right greeting is important because it sets the tone for the rest of the message. Using a professional and clear introduction in your email helps you create a positive tone and a good first impression. The right greeting can interest the recipient enough to read the rest of the email. In this article, you’ll learn the best ways to start an email in different situations with examples.

How to start an email

Follow these steps to learn how to start an email for your career and work:

1. First, consider an informal greeting for an email if it’s appropriate

Unless you’re writing a formal email, using ‘Hi’ is one of the best introductions because it’s direct, simple and friendly.

Since this is an informal salutation, you probably don’t need to add commas between ‘Hi’ and the person’s name. 

You can also use just the recipient’s first name for a casual tone. If you don’t know the person, be sure to check that you spell their name correctly while reviewing your message for errors. It will show that you respect them and value their time.

Example of informal greeting in an email:

‘Hi Blair,

I hope this email finds you well. I’m eager to get your advice on a project I’m currently working on…’

2. Second, use the recipient’s name in the email if you’re able to

If you’re already familiar with your email recipient, you can skip formal greetings and use their first name in your introduction. You can then use a concise sentence to let them know why you’re writing.

Example of using the recipient’s name in an email:

‘Jesse,

I’m writing to introduce you to the newest member of our administrative assistance team…’

3. Third, select a formal greeting if that is more appropriate for the email you’re sending

If you’re writing an email that’s more formal, ‘Dear’ is an appropriate way to start your message. For a formal business message, such as a cover letter or resume, you can use ‘Dear’ with a title of respect and their last name. If you’re not sure about your recipient’s gender, use their full name. Also, keep in mind that it’s better to use ‘Ms.’ unless you know the woman would like to be addressed as ‘Mrs.’

Examples of formal greetings in an email:

‘Dear Ms. Jones,

As we discussed in our call, I’m sending you a copy of my resume for your open sales position…’

Or,

‘Dear Terry Johnson,

I’m contacting you about the marketing position open at your company…’

4. Fourth, choose a balance between casual and formal when possible

A good compromise between the more casual ‘Hi’ and the more formal ‘Dear’ is to start your email introduction with ‘Hello.’

Example:

‘Hello Dana,

As promised, I’m following up to see if you had any other questions about our conversation last week…’

5. Fifth, use a generic greeting if you’re not sure how to start the email

While the previous examples are good for times when you know the name of the person you’re emailing, you might have occasions when you don’t know your recipient’s name or you’re emailing a general email inbox, such as info@company.com. In this case, using ‘Greetings’ is an acceptable email introduction.

Examples of a generic greeting in an email:

‘Greetings,

I’m reaching out to get information about the inventory management system your company uses…’

Or,

‘Hi there’ is another introduction you can use if you’re sending an email to a general email inbox or you don’t know your recipient’s name. You can also use this introduction if you’re sending your email to a group of people.E

‘Hi there,

I wanted to reach out to follow up on an email I sent last week…’

6. Sixth, select the right greeting for a group of people you’re addressing

If you’d like a different option for an email introduction to a group of people, consider using ‘Hi everyone.’ This introduction is better than a gender-specific greeting, such as ‘Ladies’ or ‘Gentlemen.’ It’s also a better option over a greeting like ‘All,’ which can sometimes feel too abrupt.

Example of a greeting for a group email:

‘Hi everyone,

I hope your day is going well. Can you provide me with an update on the progress of the latest advertising project?’

7. Seventh, choose a greeting for three or more recipients

If you’re writing to three or more recipients, another introduction you can use is ‘Good morning/afternoon/evening.’ Just remember that if your recipients are in a different time zone, you might have to adjust this greeting to make it appropriate.

Example of greeting for three or more recipients:

‘Good afternoon,

I hope your day is going well so far. I’m reaching out to set up a meeting about the latest project…’

8. Last, consider a detailed greeting if possible

You should always do your research to get your recipient’s name so you can personalize your email introduction. If you can also find a specific detail about your recipient, this will make your email stand out even more. If you and your contact have something in common, you can use this in greeting. If you know something particular about them, such as their favorite sport to play, you can also include this in your greeting.

Examples of detailed greetings in an email:

‘Hi fellow dog lover,

I wanted to reach out to you so I could give you some more information about the latest pet care products our company has created…’

Or,

‘Greetings marathon runner,

I hope you’re having a good week. I wanted to send over some information about our latest product for you to review…’

Or,

‘Hi Jamie,

Your professional networking profile mentions you like writing, so I thought I’d reach out to you about our newest opportunity…’

The introduction of your email will often create the first impression your reader has of you. To make sure you always sound professional, you can use one of these best email introductions.