How should I start and end an email?

You will probably send a large number of emails out every day….How many of them do start by saying “Hi”? Now, obviously it’s fine to use “Hi” if you know the recipient well or its to an internal contact, but is it appropriate for an email to a professional client?

Picking the right salutation is every bit as important as the subject line, spelling, grammar and copy. If you get it wrong, it can leave a sour taste in a recipient’s mouth and you can come across as very sloppy. So, how can you tell how you should start an email?

Well, if you receive an email which begins “Dear Mrs Jones”, you should reply by following their lead. If they refer to you by your first name and you feel comfortable doing the same, reply with “Dear Elizabeth” or even just “Elizabeth”.

If you are sending an email to someone you have never spoken to before, saying “Dear Sir/Madam,” can work, but it is better to use their job title if you know it. Starting with “Dear Marketing Manager,” will be better received than the former appellation. However, be aware that due to the vast amount of spam email that many people receive, your email may get deleted if it comes across as impersonal, so it is not a foolproof strategy.

If you get the initial greeting right, it is easier to move into the rest of the email with confidence. Your communication will receive more attention and respect as a result.

Signing off an email is much easier. Using something like “Kind regards,”, “Regards,” or even “Many thanks,” are all fine to use, but choose the one you think is most appropriate according to the recipient and the email content. You wouldn’t say “Cheers,” if you were sending across an important business proposal to a client.

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