Email salutations are dreaded for a reason. They are the first thing your recipient will read and will determine the tone of your email. People often ask us how to start an email in an elegant way, well it’s a dangerous game as you can sound too friendly and informal to a client with a “Hey there!” and a “Dear Reader” doesn’t fit when you’re talking to a friend. We’ve talked about these basic notions on our previous guide on email closings, which you should read as they really do have a lot in common. We’ve also written an article about subject lines that is sure to help you too! Let’s start.
How To Start An Email
First of all there are two different styles on how to start an email – professional (formal) or personal (informal).
It’s fairly easy to know which one is more suited to your needs as they have stark differences.
After that, as we’ve said in our previous guide, the key element is:
Assessing the level of closeness.
By determining the level of closeness you have with the person you’re going to write to, you gain the power to write the perfect start to your email.
If it’s a close relative for example, your style should be informal and radiate a warm and caring tone so a “Dearest” would be the perfect fit.
If it’s a business contact on the other hand, like a potential client or even your boss, the style has got to be formal and very professional. You always have to maintain a professional tone, if you write in a friendly and close way it can be off putting and disrespectful for the reader. That said, a great opener would be “To whom it may concern” or a classic “Dear Mr”/”Dear Ms”.
Now that you know the basic notions and rules on how to start an email, you need to head to the next step in order to deepen your knowledge, read the best examples and master both styles.
We’ll see you there!