When it comes to starting an email, it’s essential to set the right tone and make a positive first impression. The way you begin an email has a significant bearing on how the receiver will receive it and react to it. How to start an email? If you act too casually, your audience can be less impressed with you, your job, or your offer. If you act overly official, folks can think you’re stuffy and stiff. If you are overly pushy with your pitch, people could tune you out, but if you aren’t, they might miss your offer. You get the picture.
How to start an email? Begin with a courteous and professional greeting, such as “Dear [Recipient’s Name],” if you know the person’s name, or “Hello,” if you are less familiar. If you’re unsure about the recipient’s preferred form of address, a neutral option like “Greetings” can be used. Next, express a brief and friendly opening sentence that captures attention and establishes a connection. It could be a reference to a previous conversation, a shared interest, or a simple acknowledgment of the recipient’s expertise. Starting an email with a warm and engaging tone will lay the foundation for effective communication.
The ideal approach to start an email relies on what you want to accomplish with that particular email, so keep that in mind when you’re confused on how to start one.
How to Start an Email: Best Salutations & Opening Lines
An email beginning that would be too slick for a first-contact cold email might be the ideal method to introduce your newest item to a warm audience. But every successful email opening has a few essential components, and those are:
- An engaging greeting
- A strong hook
The probability that your receiver will perform the action you want them to do is increased when an email is started off correctly. It can also boost the open rates of your next emails by proving that they include high-quality content. People will make sure to check your emails each time after they realize they are worthwhile.
The salutation and the introductory line are the two sections of an email opening. The salutation may occasionally continue over the first line and into the following phrase or two, but it never does so into the email’s opening paragraph.
Every email starts with a salutation. Depending on the welcome you choose, here is where you contact your receiver directly and have the opportunity to quickly establish a relationship or break one.
Typical salutations for emails include:
- Hi [recipient name]
- Dear [recipient name]
- Hello [recipient name]
- Greetings [recipient name]
Emails occasionally begin with the recipient’s name alone. For instance:
Rude opening line
This style of greeting is quite straightforward and could come out as unpleasant or condescending. Although we don’t advise it for cold emails, colleagues often use this method of communication in some workplaces. Depending on the corporate culture, this greeting may or may not be suitable for interoffice communications.
Here is where you draw the reader in. Getting your reader’s attention and piqueing their interest in an email so they want to read the remainder of it is known as “hooking” your reader. Since efficient emails are usually quick, your beginning line should be to the point. Here are a few illustrations of effective starting sentences:
- I know you probably get this a lot, but I was curious about your history.
- Apologies but I couldn’t get your phone number earlier today. I called to talk about [a quick summary of the offer].
- I hope all is well with you
- Hope your week is off to a great start
- Hope you had an amazing weekend
As you can see from these examples, it’s usual for a business email—as well as many informal greetings—to open with some variant of “I hope all is well with you.” This is a typical technique employed in interpersonal emails to feel more approachable and leave a positive impression on the receiver. Cold emails, on the other hand, are less likely to utilize it since it can come out as being too familiar.
Use it when you already know the receiver and it feels right to address them in this manner. To put it another way, if it’s something you’d say to the recipient in person, it can be included in your email beginning. Otherwise, get to the point quickly.
Good Introductions that Work
Effective greetings and unsuccessful ones may be distinguished by one factor: personalisation.
Having a personalized greeting does not guarantee that an email will be effective; many personalized emails have low conversion rates because they have other problems. Sending a good cold email requires at the very least personalizing the emails you send.
What then constitutes a strong, individualized email greeting? That all depends on the goal of your email. An appropriate salutation can sound something like this if you’re emailing to explain how your product or service alleviates a particular recipient pain point:
The most successful email beginning to utilize when your objective is to match a recruiter with the right candidate for their advertised job position may be something like:
In our extensive Hunter Templates library, you may discover ideas for just about any type of email opener.
With Hunter Campaigns, customizing massive quantities of cold emails is simple. Simply compile a list of potential customers (hint, hint: tools like Email Finder and Domain Search make this a cinch).
You may acquire a list of the employees of a firm, complete with emails, job titles, and social media accounts, by entering the domain of the company, for instance, in Domain Search.
Add the email addresses of your prospects to a CSV file before importing it into Hunter Leads, a straightforward CRM application that lets you organize prospect data.
Note: You may store this information straight to Leads if you utilize Hunter to identify the email addresses of your prospects.
Greetings to Avoid
It’s generally not a good idea to begin an email with simply the recipient’s name. But that’s not the only welcome you should try to avoid. Others consist of:
It may worry whoever. This welcome comes out as cold and indifferent, almost as if you were sending an email that you weren’t really interested in.
Dear Sir or Lady. You make it apparent that you don’t know the recipient’s name by using this greeting. In the age of cold email customization, it’s simple to add a touch of personality to your correspondence. Even if you don’t know the recipient’s name, there are still better approaches you can take, such as calling them by their position.
Bad cold email opening
Dear friend. Even though a certain amount of familiarity might be helpful in casual greetings, addressing an email recipient as “dear friend” comes out as an awkward blend of official and informal. While “friend” and “dear” imply informality and a close relationship, respectively, you would address the receiver by name if you had a close relationship. It just feels awkward to use this salutation and variants on it, such “Hi friend” and “Dear recipient.”
Bad cold email opening
Then there are some words and phrases that are never appropriate for your opening sentence. These consist of:
Apologies. If you must apologize through email for a true error on your side, do so after the first line. In any other email, beginning with an apology (for spamming their inbox, wasting their time, not getting in touch sooner, etc.) gives the impression that you are feeling guilty and sets the tone for your conversation negatively.
A startling fact or statistic. Even if it is pertinent to the goal of your email, wording it in this way may cause it to read more like an essay or a pitch than a conversation.
Any argument that is unrelated to the email’s core subject or otherwise takes attention away from it. Don’t begin your email with a promotional coupon that is only good for the next 24 hours, for instance, if it is intended to promote a new feature on your website. This is known as “buying the lede,” which involves masking the email’s main content with less significant material.
How Does the Subject Line Compare?
There is a subject line for each email you send. Although the receiver sees this first in your email, it is not strictly a part of the email opening. It’s a special element that significantly affects whether the receiver opens your email. As a result, you must create subject lines that work.
There are several strategies to improve the subject lines of your cold emails to increase conversion rates. Effective cold email subject lines that you may modify for your brand and the particular emails you send are covered in-depth in one of our blog posts. Effective subject lines take a lot of work to create, and often the best ones are:
- Personalized to the recipient
The same guidelines apply for a follow-up email, but there are a few crucial tactics that, as opposed to your original emails, perform better in follow-ups.
Consider how each potential subject line will go with the opening sentences of your email as you come up with them. Before the receiver even opens the email, many email providers provide email snippets, the first line or two of the message.
Should I Personalize or Should I Not?
Yes, you do need to customise your email opens, as was already explained. Additionally, personalizing each cold email you send is quite simple with Hunter Campaigns. In fact, there is no excuse for not personalizing your emails, since doing so will only reflect negatively on your business and your offer and reduce the likelihood that receivers will continue to interact with you.
Beyond addressing your email recipients by name, personalization goes farther. You may mention certain businesses, coworkers, occasions, and even rival organizations in the emails you send by using Hunter’s tools and templates. Your reader can determine whether your email is a tailored message designed especially to interest them within seconds of opening it. Sending emails that prompt dialogue rather than emails that feel like the electronic equivalent of junk mail can help you establish each connection on the proper foot.
See a handful of the several ways you may automate your cold email personalisation by looking at these customized email examples:
What Happens If I Don’t Know Who the Recipient Is?
There may be times when you are unable to remember the recipient’s name.
How do you behave?
You’ve probably heard that beginning your email with “Dear Editor,” “Dear Hiring Manager,” or a variant of these is acceptable. When there is no other choice, it is.
That, however, ought to be your final resort. Do everything in your power to find the recipient’s name before beginning your email with this type of welcome. You can employ a few different tactics, such as:
- Check the search results for the email address to check whether a person’s name is listed. Similar to other social networking sites, you may look for the email address on LinkedIn.
- Identify the recipient’s name based on the email’s formatting. For instance, it is clear who the receiver is if the email address is [email protected].
- If the [email protected] format or another pattern is used in the email address, you can infer at least a portion of the recipient’s name from the address. This is preferable to a standard welcome, even if you can only discover their last name and must address them as Mr. or Ms. Lastname.
- You will receive the whole name of your prospect for each email address you locate using Domain Search.
Selecting the Appropriate Opening for Your Recipient
We previously discussed that you should customize every cold email you send and create an opening that speaks specifically to the issue or objective you’re attempting to accomplish with the receiver. The first two elements of creating a strong opening are those two.
Set the ideal tone for your email as the third element. The tone of your entire email is established in the start, so getting the tone exactly right is crucial to whether or not your email converts. To observe two distinct tones in action, contrast these two email openings:
Observe how the second email’s introduction just has a more casual air than the first one, as if it were a coworker stopping by your desk rather than a new contact reaching out following a first encounter. Both emails were carefully written to convey the proper tenor for the circumstances they were used in.
So how do you pick the appropriate voice for your email? Consider the following:
- What is the nature of my connection to the recipient? Is this the first time they’ve ever received a cold email from me, a follow-up, or a series?
- To whom am I addressing this email?
- In what ways am I providing this email?
- What do I ask of the receiver? Do I want a registration, a purchase, an email, or something else in return?
- Who am I as a brand, exactly?
- How well-versed in my brand is the recipient?
Then, picture yourself and the receiver having a face-to-face conversation as you are drafting the email. And how would you address them? Your tone is as follows. You can choose a tone that is informal, formal, or in between.
How do you convey it when you’ve chosen the appropriate tone? Your reader’s interpretation of the message is influenced by the words you choose and the way you use language, including when you purposely break standards for style. Review the examples from earlier. Although they both use the recipient’s first name, one of them says “hi” and the other says “hey.” “Dear” is on the other extreme of the formality scale from “hey.” Check out this email that begins with “dear”:
Using the salutation “dear” gives your email a professional or more official air. “Hey” might be the ideal salutation when it’s a casual communication that presumes the receiver is familiar with your business. And “hi” or “hello” are your best options when the tone of your email has to fall between the two.
Start Every Email Off Right
A great email doesn’t end with a powerful opener. It establishes the mood and creates the first bond, but it’s only one element of an email that increases engagement and increases conversions. Once you’ve established a connection, your email must provide a worthwhile message or offer before concluding in a way that closes the deal and invites the reader to continue the discussion.