6 Opening Sentences for E-mail (With Tips and FAQs)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 19, 2022

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.

When sending your e-mail, the opening sentence helps the reader form a perception of you. It also informs them of the nature of the message and helps them decide how to respond to the rest of the message. Understanding how to write openings for e-mails can help you demonstrate professionalism and draft better e-mails. In this article, we explore opening sentences for e-mails, list six creative opening sentences, highlight general e-mail writing tips, and answer some frequently asked questions.

What are opening sentences for e-mail?

Opening sentences for e-mail are phrases you can use to start conversations when drafting your e-mail messages. As a professional, e-mails are one of the most common means of communication in the workplace. When communicating with your colleagues or managers at work, you can select an e-mail opening depending on the purpose of the mail, nature of the project, or level of professional relationship with the recipient.

Read more: The Best Ways to Start an E-mail for the Desired Response

6 effective opening sentences for e-mail

Some of the e-mail openings you can use in the workplace are:

1. I hope you're enjoying [the season, the holidays, the weather].

Discussing season and weather breaks is an interesting way to begin a conversation, as most people feel excited to talk about their changing plans for the coming seasons. You may also introduce a conversation about the present or coming holidays while asking if they have any plans. This e-mail introduction works best in a more relaxed environment with no immediate deadlines and when you want to initiate a cordial or informal discussion. In addition, it helps set the tone of the e-mail, as you may ease into a more formal discussion while discussing the weather.

2. You know me from….

You can use this e-mail introduction when messaging someone for the first time. The opening allows you to introduce yourself and provide key information as a basis for future conversations. For example, you can start with your name, address, job role, and company, then explain how you met or got their e-mail address.

3. I'm contacting you because...

When you begin your e-mail by stating your purpose in the first two lines or sentences, it helps you save time and get to the point faster. It's also the best e-mail opening for an occupied and task-oriented reader. You may state the purpose of the e-mail concisely and include a call to action to encourage an immediate response.

4. I know you're busy, so I've decided to be brief.

This e-mail heading is useful when messaging someone with a busy schedule. It's important to understand that your reader has a tight schedule and let them know that you value their time. The e-mail introduction also helps you appear respectful and unique while letting the reader know it's urgent.

5. Congratulations on your recent [promotion, job, or relationship].

Beginning your e-mail with a congratulatory note is exciting. It shows that you care about their work or personal life, which can make them more willing to offer any help or feedback that you require. You can congratulate the reader on various accomplishments, like getting a new house, launching or completing a project, getting an award or recognition, moving to a new office location, or getting a promotion. It also makes it more likely for you to get a response as the reader acknowledges the congratulation.

6. I hope [a specific project or task] is going well. Let me know if you need any help.

When working with a fellow employee on a similar task, you may ask about their project and any update they may have. If you're their manager, team lead, or supervisor asking for work updates, you can use this e-mail opening. It can be a friendly reminder of the project while telling them you're still expecting their deliverables on a specific date. As a fellow employee working on the same project, you can start with this e-mail opening to offer assistance if you feel the reader is experiencing some challenges and requires help.

Offering assistance as a manager or a fellow employee helps improve your work relationship and makes the reader more responsive. It also facilitates further communications as the employee highlights areas where they may require help. In addition, it eliminates the need for pleasantries when communicating subsequently.

Read more: A Complete Guide for How to Write an E-mail to Your Manager

Other e-mail writing tips

Here are some tips you can apply when writing your e-mail:

Go straight to the point

When sending a professional e-mail, which may be urgent or time-sensitive, it's important to delve into the purpose of the e-mail. Removing unnecessary pleasantries from your e-mails may make them shorter and easier for the recipient to read. In addition, e-mails without unnecessary pleasantries allow the reader to identify the purpose of the message easily, increasing the chances of getting a prompt response.

If your e-mail is part of an ongoing project or communication, being straightforward can make it easier to locate important information. You can be more professional by avoiding personal questions and keeping your e-mail between 75 and 100 characters.

Ask a friendly question

You can consider asking short, friendly questions to engage and inspire your recipient. For example, you can ask such questions as How are you?, What have you been up to since we last spoke?, or What's going on with you? These questions are important when beginning a new line of conversation or when you wish to be cordial with the recipient.

Read more: How to Write an E-mail Requesting Something (With Samples)

Note a personal connection

An alternative way to begin an e-mail is to note a personal connection with the recipient. You can mention something you have in common to help gain their attention. For instance, you can mention that you work in the same department, attend the same gym, or plan to attend a conference together. This introduction helps the reader to remember you as it makes your e-mail unique.

Ask for or provide a recap

You may ask for or provide a life or work update if it's been a while since you last communicated with someone. In providing updates, you may discuss a new job, promotion, career switch, or change of location. You can also ask about their well-being, work, personal life, and any exciting office event. Asking for updates from the reader begins the conversation and helps you establish a connection. This e-mail opening makes the reader more comfortable communicating with you before easing into the purpose of the e-mail.

Customize your presentation

When sending your e-mail, it's important to tailor the opening and the subject according to your relationship and business with the reader. First, you may consider the purpose of the e-mail and decide if it's casual, professional, or urgent. Next, evaluating your relationship with the reader can help you decide whether to keep the e-mail strictly professional or use a more informal tone. Your readers may also appreciate any personal additions to your e-mail, like highlighting a previous conversation or an idea that you both share.

FAQs when writing e-mails

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions when drafting e-mails and their answers:

What can you prioritize in your e-mail opening lines?

When sending an e-mail, it's important to prioritize using the appropriate language and tone. In addition, you may ensure your e-mail openings contain relevant information to the reader. You can then evaluate your options to decide which opening works best for your audience.

What is the best e-mail opening to use for multiple recipients?

When sending an e-mail to multiple recipients, you may first evaluate the relationship between you and the recipients and their relationship with themselves. Next, it's important to determine whether to write more professionally or cordially. If there's a single professional relationship, you may consider using an e-mail heading that's strictly professional.

In addition, you may determine whether you're all working on the same project and check that all team members have the most updated information. If not, you may want to begin your e-mail with a quick recap before going into the purpose of the e-mail. If your e-mail continues previous communications, you can go straight to the point. You can also make each recipient comfortable by referring to them by their names and asking for individual feedback or opinions.

Related: How to Write an Email Asking for Job Openings (With Samples)

What do I do if the recipient doesn't open my e-mail?

When a recipient doesn't reply to your e-mail, you can determine a timeline after which to send a follow-up message. You can determine this timeline depending on the nature of your relationship or the project you're working on together. For example, if the purpose of the e-mail is urgent, you may wait for some hours before sending a follow-up mail.

Otherwise, if the purpose requires some delay, such as a job interview, you can wait two weeks before sending a follow-up e-mail. In sending your follow-up e-mail, it's important to remain professional and refer to the previous text. In addition, you may tell the reader that you value their time and are still expecting a response.

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