How To Start A Business Email

How To Start A Business Email

When it comes to writing a business email, there is no one right way to start it, but there are plenty of wrong ways. 

Billions of business emails are sent each day and some have more impact than others. Do you want your business emails to have the impact they deserve? It only takes a few key details to turn your bland and unexciting email into one which will dazzle whoever you are sending it to. 

We are here to help. We have some tips to make your email professional and stylish. Let’s get started. 

Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience 

Before you can start your email, you need to know your target audience. Who are you writing to? Is it an individual or a group? Is it someone who you have never met or a friend you have known for some time? 

Your target audience is going to influence your writing style. Think about your known audience vs. your unknown audience. If you know the name of the person you are writing to, then use it. If you do not know the name, then do some research and find it. People are more likely to respond when you use their name in an email. 

If you do not know the name of the person you are emailing, then open with something friendly and not formal. ‘Hello’ sounds a lot better than ‘To Whom it may Concern.’ If you are emailing a friend, you can be less formal than if you are emailing someone you barely know. 

What about groups vs. individuals? 

You should try wherever you can to address your email to an individual, but that is not always possible. If you are emailing a group, then try to think about the common characteristics of the group. If you are emailing a bunch of executives, a formal opening would be more suited. But, if you are emailing a bunch of students, then a friendly opening would work better. 


When you are starting your email, you should also watch your tone. When you are writing, you know how your email is supposed to come across, but your recipient does not. A lack of body language and vocal tone can change the intended meaning. 

Are you business-like and get straight to the point? That may look good in your head, but it can come across unfriendly. Think about how well you know the person and imagine reading the email out loud to them. How does it sound? It is never a bad thing to add a friendly remark near the start of your email. 

Three Things 

The perfect email opening consists of three key elements: the subject, the greeting, and the opening line. 

The Subject Line 

When your email reaches its destination, it is going to be competing with a lot of other emails in your recipient’s inbox. Your subject line needs to grab attention and result in the email being opened. So, how do you do this? 

A good subject line is relevant to the person who is opening it, is specific enough to tell the recipient what is contained in the email, and is personalized as much as possible. The best subject lines are the ones which do not demand false attention. Avoid using exclamation marks or words like ‘urgent.’ 


We recommend two main greetings. If you know the person, then ‘hello’ is appropriate; if you do not know the person, then ‘dear’ is a better option. Do not swap the two freely or you can come across too informal or too formal, depending on the person you are addressing. You should avoid using informal greetings which are usually used in texts, such as ‘hey,’ ‘yo,’ or anything else. 

The Opening Line

Always use the name of the person where you can, and avoid using ‘sir’ or ‘madam.’ These terms can be offensive, especially if your email ends up in the hands of someone of the opposite gender. You should also avoid ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs’ as marital status is not relevant to your email. 

If you are using the person’s name, always, and I mean always, ensure that you have the name spelled correctly. There is no better way to turn someone off than by misspelling their name. 

The Opening Line 

The final part of your email opening is the opening line. You have your greeting, what do you write next? 

If you don’t know the person you are writing to, then it is a good idea to include your connection to them. Have you been to one of their presentations or admire their work? If there is no connection, then do not pretend that there is one. 

Do not start by introducing yourself. This makes the email about you. Introduce yourself later in the email, after you have caught their attention. A question is always a good place to start. Relate the question to the content of the email. 

Put all of these things together, and you have the perfect start to an email. Make sure to do a little research if you do not know the person or group that you are emailing. Think about your tone and start with a killer line.

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