5 Laws of Writing the Best Letter Greetings

If you’re concerned with proper email and letter communication, then you’ve probably wondered how you should start them. In the recent years, greetings in business letters and emails have been changing; for example, “Hi” has overshadowed “Dear,” which was considered as the most common and accepted salutation for many years.

How the rest of the world approaches letter greetings? What is the best way to address others in emails? How to avoid using the ones that come off as weird?

This article reviews the five laws of writing the best letter (and email) greetings so you kick start your messages in the right way.

  1. Determine whether the Letter is Formal or Informal

Before you begin writing the greeting, ask yourself why you’re writing it and who will be receiving it (you can even check whether the email you’re writing to exists with Email Checker). According to workplace email etiquette rules, the end user determines the style of writing, and therefore, plays a critical role in how you write a greeting.

For example, you wouldn’t want to use “Hi” in an email to a CEO you’re approaching cold or another executive that you don’t know. If you use that, they might not perceive you as a serious business person. On the other hand, it’s perfectly fine to greet an email subscriber with “Hi” because you want them to feel comfortable while communicating with your company.

  1. Address the Recipient with a Courtesy Title and Last Name

“Since the greeting is the first thing that the recipient will see, you have to demonstrate an appropriate level of respect of respect and professional attitude to business correspondence,” explains Matt Macpherson, a writing coach at Proessaywriting. “Therefore, it’s recommended to use “Dear” rather than “Hi” in a formal letter.”

“Dear” should be followed by the title and the man of the recipient. Try to determine this information before writing the letter; however, if you’re unsure of the title preference or the recipient’s gender, feel free to include the full name (or position) and omit the title. If you don’t know the person you’re writing to, then the best option would be to use “Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.”

For example:

Dear Mr. Thompson,

Dear Matt Thompson,

Dear Sir/Madam,

Dear HR Manager,

Dear Company Name Recruiter,

Also keep in mind that “Dear” works well for the first point of a formal letter/email, so it may be best to switch to other options in subsequent messages.

  1. Use Established Formal Greetings

There are a plethora of formal greetings that you could use for your letters to switch from “Dear.” The list of the most common ones for different situations includes:

  • I hope you’re well
  • Hello again
  • Hope this email finds you well
  • I’m reaching out about
  • Good morning/afternoon
  • Allow me to introduce myself
  • I hope you enjoyed your weekend
  • It’s great to hear from you
  • Thank you for a prompt reply
  1. Use Established Informal Greetings

Since informal letters are those you send to friends and people you know, the main purpose of the greetings would be to convey courtesy and friendliness. For example, instead of “Dear,” you can use “Hello” or “Hi” and add the name of the person you’re addressing. If you’re writing to a bunch of people you know, feel free to begin your letter with “Hi, everyone.”

Here’s the list of established informal greetings that you can use in your emails today.

  • Hello, name
  • Hi, name
  • Hi there
  • Congratulations on [achievement]
  • It was great to see you at [event]
  • Hi, name, it’s me again
  • I’ll keep this letter short
  • Hello from the other side
  • I loved your recent [blog post, social media post, photo]
  • I’m getting back to you about.
  1. Avoid the Worst Greetings

There are many greetings that people don’t like to see in emails they receive because of many reasons. Take a look at the following list of greetings with concise explanations of why you should avoid them.

  • Hey!: could be too intimate and eager, should be used only with close friends
  • Hi friend: this one simply sounds too creepy
  • All: too cold greeting, try “Hi everyone” instead
  • Yo!: simply impolite
  • To whom it may concern: only use this one if you don’t have any information on the person receiving your letter
  • [Name]!: too off-putting
  • Gentlemen: this greeting is too old-fashioned (in fact, the use of ladies and gentlemen in public life has been declining in the recent decade).

Final Thoughts

In this article, we covered the five laws of writing the best letter greetings that you need to follow to write effective greetings. It’s important to begin your letter with a strong note to increase the chance that the recipient will read it to the end and respond favorably. As you can see, you’ll need to choose a greeting – informal or formal – and the choice depends on whom you’re emailing and what your relationship is like with that person.

News Reporter

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