The Perfect Way To Begin An Email And 15 Greetings You Should Typically Avoid

Writing and receiving emails has become an inevitable part of everyday life, both in private and business correspondence. When writing an email to your family or friends, you may be as casual as you want. But wait, are you sure you can write a proper business letter to your boss or a client? There are some business email etiquette rules that everyone is required to follow, even if you are a non-native English speaker.

Writing a formal email can seem like a daunting task since email is so often used for personal and informal purposes. If you need to write an email to a teacher, boss, business contact, government agency, or other recipients that requires formality, just follow a few simple guidelines. Keep your message clear and to the point while following the expectations for style, tone, and formatting. Finally, proofread and review the content of your email before sending it.

The perfect way to begin an email is to make it simple and using the proper greetings. A simple beginning will make sense rather than a lengthy and flowery one. A proper greeting is necessary especially if you are writing a formal email for a client or an investor.

With that in mind, here is the perfect way to begin an email and 15 greetings you should typically avoid:

1. Misspelled Name

Don’t misspell your recipient’s name. Ever. Double-check the spelling of the person’s name and either get it right or omit it and use a generic greeting like “Hello”. Although a nonspecific greeting may come off as impersonal, a misspelled name is a red flag that says you’re careless.

2. “Hi”

This is one to avoid if it stops at “Hi”. It’s abrupt and while it’s to the point, it may come across as aggressive or short. The best tip is to just avoid it completely!

3. ‘Greetings, …’

This comes off strange and is extremely weird in most email circumstances. I don’t recommend using the word ‘Greetings’ in any formal email.

4. “To Whom It May Concern”

Does anyone actually say this anymore? The most common place it appears is probably on cover letters – but in that instance, job applicants should really research to whom they are really writing and address the letter to them by name.

5. “Dear Sir or Madam”

Not only is this salutation stiff and formal, it shows that you couldn’t be bothered to look up a contact name and address someone specific.

6. Happy Friday!!! Or Welcome to Monday!

If you’re a golden retriever, you might be able to get away with a greeting this exuberant. Otherwise, you’ll come across as trying too hard. Forget the cutesy greetings, or at least save them for the most informal correspondence between you and your close friends.

7.  ‘Hey!’

This is fine to use with your friends, but the very informal salutation should stay out of the workplace. It’s not professional, especially if you’re writing to someone you’ve never met.

8. “First name!”

The exclamation mark is just not necessary. Also, this sounds like you’re shouting the recipient’s name at them. Why? It is far better to stick to the classic, “Hi [name]”.

9. Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (last name), …’

The ‘Dear’ family name is tricky because it’s not always terrible or wrong to use, but it can sometimes come off as a bit too formal.

10. “Dear friend”

Are you really a friend? If so, why don’t you know your friend’s name? If you aren’t actually their friend, don’t use the word – it just points out how unfamiliar you are with the recipient.

11. “Good morning/afternoon/evening”

You don’t know at what time the recipient will read your email, so why guess? If you’re just saying it because that’s what time you’re at, it’s better to leave off because it adds nothing to your email.

12. ‘Yo!’

Do NOT use this one unless you are sending an email to your friends.

13. Gentlemen

This is too old-fashioned which should be avoided. It is better to address everyone individually by name or to come up with a different greeting.

14. ‘Dear [Job Title], …’

Granted, addressing your email to the position your recipient is better than going with ‘To whom it may concern, …’ — it shows that you put in some effort. This is a generic greeting and it’s recommended to research the name of the person you are emailing.

15.  ‘Hey Y’all, …’

A colloquial expression that’s best avoided in a professional email. Another one that you should probably save for your friends.


Writing an email is the most used way of communication nowadays. A simple beginning often works and best to avoid informal greetings. In this post, I shared with you the perfect way to begin an email and 15 greetings you should typically avoid.

Spread the love
Post a Reply