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Structuring Emails...


Step One:

Email Subject Line


Step Two:
Email Greeting & Introduction


Step Three:
Email Body & Call to Action


Step Four:

Email Sign Off & Signature

Home >> Email Writing >> How to structure an email >> How to write an email greeting and introduction


Step Two: How to Write an Email Greeting and Introduction


Setting the tone for effective communication


It seems strange that a little word like ‘hi’ could ever cause offence. But for some people, starting an email this way is a cardinal communication sin.


When we’re sending emails to friends or family it’s unlikely they’d be offended if a message started with a phrase like ‘hi’ or ‘how are you’. In fact, they’d probably prefer it. Sending an email to your best friend that opens with the phrase ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Madam’ will probably raise eyebrows to say the least.


But what if you were sending an email to your boss? Or a person who you want to be your boss? Or anyone in a high profile position that you need to impress? Good email etiquette is essential here.


What it all comes down to is choosing the right tone: formal or informal.


Formal greeting = Dear…


Informal greeting = Hello… / Hi…


This should be combined with the recipient’s name. You can either use the person’s first name, or their full title.



Use this flowchart to choose the correct form of address:

Email greeting guide



Once your initial greeting is done, drop down onto a new line and then add your greeting.


The greeting should be a simple phrase or pleasantry to break the ice. It should make the reader feel at ease, but shouldn’t be so long that it delays them actually getting onto the main body of your email.


A good one to use is ‘I hope you’re well’ as it’s friendly, short and neutral. It’s pleasant, but readers aren’t going to get hung up on it.


But consider if this is always appropriate. If you know for a fact that someone has recently had some bad news, saying ‘I hope you’re well’ is going to sound insensitive, or even like you’re mocking the person. In these circumstances it might be more appropriate to skip the greeting altogether.


Step Three:

Once your subject line is finished the next step is writing the email body and call to action.



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