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Email Drafting Tips: Effective Ways to Begin an Email

Welcome to the first part of my effective email drafting series. In this blog post I'm focusing on effective ways to begin an email.

Writing an email to a potential client or business contact can seem daunting. But, writing an email becomes easy when you follow a few simple steps.

The two most important things to consider when drafting an email are

1. Who your recipient is, and

2. The purpose of your email.

By figuring these things out and using my guide below, you can quickly and effectively draft emails to important clients and business contacts.

1. Who are you emailing?

Casual: Are you emailing someone you've already talked to and are comfortable with? If so, you can start your email with Hi [Name], or Hello [Name],.

Professional: If you'd like to take a more professional tone you can begin your email with Dear [Name]. While you might feel tempted to call your email recipient Mr./Mrs./Miss [Last Name] to stay professional, using first names can help break down barriers and start a comfortable professional relationship. If your recipient is uncomfortable being called by their first name, they can let you know in their response.

Group of People: If you're emailing more than one person, can either address each recipient individually (Hi [Name] and [Name]). If the group is more than 2-3 people, it's easier to use a group greeting instead. Some options are Hi everyone, and Hi team,. Reserve Hey guys, for a more casual email with friends, or just stick with the other options.

2. Remember Your Goal

Connecting with a Reference: If you're emailing someone that a friend or colleague referred to you, let that person know! Lead with that information so your recipient has a reason to keep reading your email.

Hi [Name],

My name is [Name], [Mutual Friend] recommended I reach out to you because [reason] ...

Reaching Out to a New Business Contact: It's important to put your best foot forward when emailing a new business contact. Double check spelling and grammar errors. Let your recipient know why you're emailing them from the get-go so they have a reason to keep reading your email.

Dear [Name],

Good afternoon. My name is [Name] and I saw that you [information]. [Reason why information is relevant]...

Following up with a Client or Contact: Not everyone replies to emails in a timely manner. If you think you need to reach back out to a client or contact, you can begin your email with:

Hi [Name],

I hope you've been well. I wanted to reconnect on [topic] and ...

More Tips

What to Avoid:

  • To Whom It May Concern: Don't use this unless you absolutely have to. It's always best to have a specific person you're reaching out to, but sometimes that information isn't readily available.

  • Hey! Unless you're emailing a friend, stick to Hi, Hello, or Dear.

  • Nicknames. Don't use nicknames unless you already have been using a nickname with someone. Don't use a nickname that you found online unless you see that your recipient always uses this nickname in professional settings.

  • Too Many Exclamation Points. An exclamation point here and there can show enthusiasm, but if you use too many you run the risk of looking unprofessional. If you like to use exclamation points, try to stick to only a few per email. Just like Coco Chanel believed with her accessories, exclamation points are best used in moderation.

"Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." - Coco Chanel

Always Remember:

  • Never misspell your recipient's name. Always double check that you spelled someone's name correctly. Misspelling a name is a red flag that says you don't pay attention to detail.

  • Lead with your important information. Did someone recommend you reach out to this person? Do you have similar professional goals? Give your email recipient a reason to open and keep reading your email.

  • Be personable. You can be personable while staying professional! If you aren't familiar with your recipient, you can open your email with a cherry Good morning., Good Afternoon., or I hope you had a nice weekend. If you know your recipient, you can ask them about a recent event or topic you discussed.

  • Use first names. Use first names to build a comfortable professional relationship with your email recipient. If the recipient doesn't want to be called by his first name, he can let you know. If you are asked not to use someone's first name, always refer to them using their preferred name.

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