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Professional Email Greetings and Opening Lines

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You're not alone in your struggle to write professional emails. It’s a common problem that we will help you overcome by helping you get past the first step—starting. Below, we’ll review formal email greetings and opening lines with examples to show you how to use them.

White text over yellow background reads "How To Start a Professional Email."
There are a few professional email greetings you can use to start a formal email.

Often, the hardest part is starting—especially if what you’re starting is an email to your boss. This paralysis by analysis happens because you want to ensure the message is written perfectly and professionally.

We’re here to help you get the ball rolling with a quick, easy-to-follow guide and also show you a paraphrasing tool that will ensure your emails are flawless!

Ready? Let’s begin!

Professional Email Greetings

The first thing you want to do when starting a professional email is to choose a greeting (also known as a salutation). A greeting is a polite and courteous opening phrase used to start an email. These salutations can vary depending on the intended recipient and the tone of the message. But when it comes to writing professional emails, there are only a few that you should use.

Graphic shows someone leaned over a laptop, looking frustrated and tired. Text over it reads "Professional Email Greetings."
Don’t panic—we’ll teach you how to start a professional email.

1. Dear [name],

You can’t go wrong with this classic.

The name that follows depends on the relationship between you and the recipient. If you’re writing to your boss, someone in a higher position, or someone you don’t know very well, you should use Mr., Mrs., Ms., and their last name. If you’re writing to someone you have worked closely with, it’s (usually) acceptable to use their first name.

Additionally, if you’re unsure about the recipient, it’s also okay to address the email to a department. However, you should try your best to find the name of the person receiving the message.

Dear Mr. Kennedy,
Dear Alyssa,
Dear Hiring Department,

2. Good morning/ afternoon/ evening,

Using Good morning, afternoon, or evening is another timeless and foolproof salutation. It’s polite, respectful, and suitable for both formal and casual emails. You can use this salutation on its own or follow it with the recipient’s name.

Good morning Jacob,
Good afternoon,
Good evening Mr. Lewis,

3. Hello [name],

Hello is also an acceptable salutation for formal and informal emails. You can use it when writing to anyone, from the CEO of a company to a coworker. Just make sure you’re using the appropriate name (and that you spell it correctly).

Hello Mrs. Roberson,
Hello Carol,

4. Hi team,

Use this greeting if you’re writing to a group of people, particularly one you’re working closely with. It’s acceptable to use, even if your boss or supervisor is one of the people you’re CC’ing.

Hi team,
I’ve attached the results, and they are surprising!

5. Greetings,

Be careful with this salutation: it’s fine to use it to write to a group of people or someone whose name you’re unsure of. But if you use it with someone you’ve met and worked with, it may come off as a bit cold and distant.

I’m writing about the open position.

How To Start Writing the Body Paragraph

Once you’ve chosen a greeting, it’s time to start writing the body paragraph. Many people decide to open with a polite remark.

I hope you’re having a good day.
I trust you’re having a productive day.
It’s a pleasure to connect with you.
I hope your workweek is running smoothly.
I hope you had a pleasant weekend.
I hope this email finds you well.

While some find these courteous, others prefer to jump straight to the point of the email. If you’re unsure what to do, we’d say you can’t go wrong with a polite opening line. Eventually, you’ll understand the culture of the company you work for and can adjust your emails accordingly.

If you’re looking for something more specific, take a look at the following opening lines.

Introducing Yourself

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is…
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is [name], and I am a [position] at [company name].
My name is [name] and I’m a [position].

Referring to Previous Communication

I’d like to circle back to our previous conversation about…
I’m writing regarding [topic].
I wanted to follow up about [topic].

Informing or Providing Updates

I’m writing to share some important updates about [topic].
Here’s the latest information about [topic]:
There have been some developments about [topic], including…

Meeting Proposal

Would you be available for a meeting on [date] at [time] to discuss [topic]?
Let’s schedule a meeting to go over the details of [topic]. What day are you free?
Let’s meet and discuss this in person. Does [date and time] work for you?

Expressing Gratitude

I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for…
I appreciate…
Thank you for…

Professional Email Example

You see? Starting a professional email can be easy if you follow these steps:

  1. Pick an appropriate greeting.
  2. Decide whether you want to use a generic opening line or jump straight to the point.
  3. Select a line that best fits the point of the email.

If you follow these steps, your email should look something like this:

Dear Mr. Kennedy,

I hope your workweek is running smoothly.

Would you be available for a meeting on Tuesday, the 22nd, at 3:00 PM to discuss yesterday’s presentation? I have plenty of ideas I want to run by you.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Joey Gonzalez
The Most Important Aspect of Writing Professional Emails

You can follow all these steps and adhere to proper etiquette, but if there are spelling and grammar mistakes in your email, they’ll automatically be deemed unprofessional. In today’s technological age, there’s just no excuse for these types of errors.

LanguageTool is a writing assistant that ensures your emails are pristine. As an advanced spell, grammar, and punctuation checker, it also optimizes tone, style, and word choice. Plus, it supports more than 30 languages and dialects, meaning you can write professionally regardless of where your audience is based!

Give it a try today and start emailing like a pro.

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