Guide on How To Start an Email (With Tips and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 17 September 2022 | Published 27 September 2021

Updated 17 September 2022

Published 27 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Email is one of the most popular means of communication both within and outside the office. The ability to compose a concise, pleasant and professional email is an important skill for every professional. Starting and closing your emails correctly may aid in the development of connections and the completion of tasks. In this article, we explain why starting an email well is important, show how to start an email, describe the format and structure of an email and outline some examples of email openers that you may use in your next correspondence.

Why starting your email well is important

Email, like phone calls and video conferencing, is an important mode of communication. Each email has to be viewed as a chance to build mutual respect with your recipients. You're more likely to make a good first impression if you start your email with a strong opening sentence. Such an impression might persuade your recipients to read the entire message of your email and take any necessary steps.

How to start an email

When writing the opening of your email, you can keep the following recommended practices in mind. Outlined below are tips on how to start an email:

1. Find the recipient's name

Before writing, consider finding your recipient's name to ensure you have the correct spelling. This can help you establish a positive relationship with them and show you respect them. If you've been communicating with someone, their name is probably already in their email or signature. If not, consider doing some research to find their information and confirm you've spelt their name correctly.

2. Think about your target audience

Consider your target audience when writing your email. If you know the recipients well, a more casual greeting may be acceptable. Your greeting may also differ depending on whether you are addressing a single individual, a small group or a large group. Make sure your welcome is appropriate for the individuals to whom you are writing.

3. Add a greeting and salutation

It's recommended that you begin an email with a greeting. Depending on why you're writing and who you're writing to, you may accomplish this in a variety of ways. Be mindful to avoid exclamation points, casual language and overly formal language in your greeting. You may use Dear [First Name], Hi, Hello or Greetings.

Read more: Salutation Examples for Letters

4. Consider adding well wishes

Although optional, you may follow your welcome with a brief, optimistic comment such as, Hope all is well or Hope you had a wonderful weekend. If you haven't written to the receiver in a long time or if you have a close relationship with the recipient, this is suitable. If you know your audience enjoys a brief message with simply the most important information, you may choose to skip this section.

5. Add your purpose of writing

Attach a brief line or two describing why you're writing. Informing the recipient of your email's purpose can assist establish the tone for the rest of your conversation. It also helps the recipient skim through the email and grasp the content more quickly.

Examples of good salutations for an email

Here are a few samples of greetings you may use to begin your email. As mentioned in the preceding recommendations, choose a greeting that is appropriate for your audience and reason for writing:

When writing to one or two recipients

  • Dear [Name],

  • Dear [Name] and [Name],

  • Hi [Name],

  • Hello [Name],

  • [Name],

When writing to three or more recipients

  • Good morning,

  • Good afternoon,

  • Good evening,

  • Hello everyone,

  • Hello team,

  • [Group or team name],

  • Hi team,

  • Hello all,

  • Hi there,

  • Hi all,

  • Hi everyone,

When you are unsure of the recipient's name

  • Greetings,

  • Dear Sir or Madam,

  • Dear Sir,

  • Dear Madam,

  • Hello,

  • Hi,

  • Dear Hiring Manager,

  • To whom it may concern,

Related: How and When to Use the Phrase “To Whom It May Concern”

Different ways to start an email with examples

Here are some samples of how you may begin an email in various circumstances using the guidelines and approaches mentioned above:

Applying for a job

Dear Hiring Manager,

I hope this finds you well. I'm writing regarding your job posting for the Management Associate role….

Concluding an interview

Hi Aimee,

Thank you for taking the time today to speak with me about the Marketing Associate position. I'm sending you the extra information you asked for about my portfolio...

Planning a meeting

Hello team,

I'm contacting you to set up a meeting to discuss the forthcoming project…

Presenting new team members

Sandra,

Good day to you! I'm writing to introduce you to Raymond Lim, the newest addition to our finance team...

Accepting a job offer

Dear Maxon,

Thank you very much for getting back. I'm looking forward to learning more about the offer...

Tips for writing a formal and professional email

Here are some additional tips you can take to write a formal and professional email:

Determine your aim

Before you compose an email, consider what you want the receiver to do after reading it. Once you've identified the objective of your email, you can make sure that everything in it supports that activity. For instance, if you want the receiver to evaluate a proposal you've attached, explain what the proposal entails, why you need them to evaluate it, what kind of input you're looking for and when you need it.

Consider your target audience to determine a tone

When writing an email message, be sure your tone is appropriate for the recipient. If you're contacting a corporate leader you've never met, keep the email professional and clear of informalities. If you're contacting a colleague with whom you have a strong working relationship, you may take a less official, friendlier approach.

Keep it brief

Because your readers may not have much time to read your email, keep it as succinct as possible while still including important information. Avoid addressing too many topics at once since this might make your email excessively long, hard to read and challenging to act on. Remove any material that's unrelated to the issue you're addressing while revising your email. Remove filler words and redundant information from your phrases and use short, concise sentences. Your letter may be shorter and easier to read as a result.

Proofread and review your email

A well-written and error-free email displays attention to detail and professionalism. Take a moment before sending an email to double-check for spelling, grammatical and syntax problems. Also, double-check that any attachments you included in your reply have been attached. If it's an essential email to key stakeholders, you can have your immediate supervisor or a reliable colleague review it before sending it.

Related: How To Write a Professional Email: Professional Email Format and Tips

Follow and practise proper etiquette

To seem friendly and polite, include a respectful welcome and conclusion. Also, remember to be mindful of the receiver and their time. For instance, you might avoid emailing a contact while they're on leave or after working hours.

Be mindful to follow up

Because most individuals receive many emails every day, they may overlook or forget to react to your message. If the receiver has not responded within two working days, you can try sending a pleasant follow-up email. Make sure to use an amicable and professional tone in your follow-up email.

Related: How To Write a Follow-Up Email After an Interview

What is the structure and format of a formal and professional email?

When it comes to email formatting, there are five elements to keep in mind. Consider including these components:

  1. The subject line: This is a brief statement that outlines the purpose of your message or the aim of your communication. When sending a professional email, it's critical to include a subject line to allow your audience to know what to anticipate and can quickly locate the message if necessary.

  2. Formal salutation: This is the opening line of your email and serves as your greeting.

  3. The body: The body is where you write your core message and intent, much like the body of a letter.

  4. Conclusion: This is the last part of your email and serves as a conclusion to your message. You may also repeat any requests you made in the body of your letter here.

  5. Signature: In the signature, you identify yourself by name, job title, contact information and other information pertinent to your correspondence. Most email applications enable you to configure a fixed signature appended to the bottom of each email you send out.


Explore more articles