Have you ever received an email without a salutation or one with your name misspelled? How did you feel? It is important to start your email messages with the appropriate type of greeting according to the context of your message and the recipient you're writing to.
Salutations are a crucial component of emails, setting the tone and establishing the level of formality.
In this article, we will expand on how to start an email, common opening salutations, their importance, guidelines, and how to use the most salutations in formal and informal contexts.
A salutation is a greeting that is used at the beginning of a letter or email. It typically includes a form of address, such as "Dear" or "Hello," followed by the recipient's name or title. Salutations serve as an introduction to the message and set the tone for the rest of the communication.
Salutations are important because they:
If you are unsure how to greet a particular employee or are unsure what is the best salutation you should choose, our recommendation is don't overcomplicate it. Consider these tips:
Tip: We have an in-detail guide about how to write a formal email. The salutation is just one of seven elements of a formal email.
In this section, we expand on examples of formal salutations within business contexts, informal salutations, and friendly salutations you can use with coworkers and friends. Lastly, we will provide a few examples of greetings to avoid because they showcase that you do not follow any business etiquette.
We use formal salutations in professional business contexts when writing to our superiors, new partners, or decision-makers.
Tip: Just after the salutation, you need to add an good opening line to your email. Find 100 email opening examples.
Especially used within internal contexts when communicating with colleagues or close friends:
We speak about friendly salutations, especially when sending a message to our friends, acquittances, and even colleagues we know well.
These salutations might be ok to be used within social media for your close group of friends; however, we don't recommend them for business purposes, so avoid them.
The appropriate way to use a greeting within a business letter is "Dear [Title] [Last Name]:". For example, "Dear Mr. Smith:" or "Dear Dr. Brown:".
Tip: Find out more than 23 business email examples for every situation.
Generally, use a comma (,) after the recipient's name in informal salutations and a colon (:) in formal greetings.
Salutations are essential to written communication - well, emails and letters, setting the tone and conveying respect towards the recipient. When choosing a salute, consider the relationship with the recipient, the level of formality, and the recipient's preferences. Using appropriate greetings and salutations for emails and letters demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail, contributing to a positive impression of yourself and your organization.
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