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101 Opening Sentences for Email to Kick Them Off the Right Way

Writing an email and don’t know how to start it? Here’s how to craft the perfect opening sentence for emails, plus 101 examples to get you inspired.
by Vanessa Gibbs | Sep 22 2022

Many of us write emails every day, but that doesn’t make writing them any easier. And sometimes it’s the simplest parts that can take the longest. Take the opening sentence of an email for example. This only makes up a few words, and yet it can make or break the tone of your email and how the recipient responds. 

Looking to start your email off the right way? We’ve rounded up the best advice for opening an email and shared 101 examples of opening sentences for every email occasion. 

What is the Opening Sentence for an Email?

The opening sentence for an email is exactly what it sounds like: the first sentence of your message. This is often something like “hope you’re well” or “happy Friday.” 

It’s easy to gloss over the email opener and get to the all-important email body, but the first line sets the tone of your email. 

If you’re giving feedback to a direct report, for example, a polite and friendly opening sentence softens the blow. 

If you’re reaching out to a prospect you’ve never spoken to before, the opener makes your message more personable and less like you’re just asking something of them without trying to make a connection first. 

Get your opening line right, and the rest of your email will benefit. 

We’ve shared advice on how to write better emails in general.

How to Write a Good Opening Sentence for Email? 

Once you’ve got your email greeting out of the way, it’s time for the opening sentence. Here’s how to craft the perfect one. 

1. Keep it Short 

While an email opening is important, you don’t want to write a long one. After all, you’ve probably got important information to share in your email or a question you need answering, and this is the key part of your email. 

The main goal of your email opening line is to get the reader to keep on reading! 

2. Be Polite and Friendly 

Your tone can come across differently in an email than it would in real life. After all, the recipient can’t see your facial expressions or hear your tone of voice. 

So, avoid overly blunt email openers that could come across as rude or anything humorous that the recipient might not find funny. 

And while a smiley-face emoji might make your opener look great, make sure it’ll be well received. With close colleagues an emoji is fine, but you might want to skip this in more serious emails or in emails to your boss or a recruiter, for example. 

3. Avoid the Cliches 

According to a survey from Perkbox, the most-hated email cliches include: 

  • “Just looping in…” 
  • “As per my last email” 
  • “Any updates on this”
  • “Just checking in” 
  • “Confirming receipt” / “confirming that I have received this”

While these phrases are sometimes needed, avoid the obvious cliches in your email opener. 

4. Think About Your Audience 

What you say in your opening line will all depend on who you’re emailing. How you open an email to a close colleague you grab coffee with regularly will be very different from how you address your boss or a sales lead, for example. 

This advice applies outside of work, too. An email opener to a lawyer or a professor might be more on the formal side, while emails to a tour company about your upcoming trip can be more casual. 

5. Match Previous Email Opening Lines 

If you’re responding to an email, one easy way to get the perfect opening line is to write the same one, or a similar one, in the email you’ve already received. 

For example, if someone senior to you at work reaches out and starts an email with “hope you’re well,” you can respond with the same or something similar in tone. 

If you know your boss always kicks off an email with “hope you’re having a great week,” they’d probably respond warmly to receiving the same from you. 

6. When in Doubt, Go Formal 

For those times when you really don’t know how to start an email, lean towards being more formal. It’s always better to come across a little more formal and polite, than too casual and potentially unprofessional. 

You can always adjust your tone and email openers in future messages if needed. 

Examples of Opening Sentences for Emails 

Now you know what makes and breaks an email opener, it’s time to write yours. Here are some examples for every kind of recipient to get you started. 

Opening Sentence for Email Formal 

Writing a formal email to your boss, a senior colleague, a client, a sales lead, or a lawyer? Here’s how to start it: 

  1. I hope you’re well. 
  2. I hope this email finds you well. 
  3. Hope you’re having a great week so far. 
  4. Hope you had a lovely weekend.
  5. Hope you had a lovely vacation. 
  6. Thanks for letting me know. 
  7. Thanks for reaching out. 
  8. Thanks for getting in touch. 
  9. Thanks for this information. 
  10. It’s great to hear from you. 
  11.  I’m emailing about…
  12. I’m [your name], I’m a [job role] at [company]. 
  13. Thanks for your email. 
  14. Thanks for the update. 
  15. Thanks for the quick response. 
  16. It was great to meet you today.
  17. Thanks for our call earlier today.
  18. Great to connect. 
  19. Thanks for getting back to me on this. 
  20. Happy New Year.
  21. Happy holidays.  

Opening Sentence for Email Informal 

Writing an email to a close colleague or friend? You can relax a little in your opening line. Here are some examples of what we mean: 

  1. Hope you’re doing well!
  2. Hope you’re all good! 
  3. Hope everything’s going well on your end.  
  4. How’s it going? 
  5. How have you been? 
  6. How are things over in Seattle? 
  7. Thanks for this! 
  8. Ty for all this info. 
  9. Just checking in on…
  10. Friendly reminder to… 
  11. Quick question… 
  12. Happy humpday 
  13. TGIF!
  14. Great presentation today! 
  15. Great to see your name in my inbox!
  16. Super quick thing… 
  17. Long time, no talk. 
  18. Hope you’re doing well despite *gestures vaguely at world events* 
  19. It’s been too long. 
  20. Almost the weekend (yay!), but one more question before you go. 

Opening Sentence for Email to Boss

How you start an email to your boss will all depend on how close you are with them, how formal your relationship is, and potentially which type of industry you work in. 

If in doubt, err on the side of caution and be more formal and professional. You can always start using more casual opening lines in the future if you build a closer relationship with them. 

Examples include: 

  1. I hope you’re well. 
  2. Hope you’re having a great week. 
  3. Hope you had a lovely weekend.
  4. Thanks for sending over this info. 
  5. Thanks for the quick response.  
  6. Thanks for your help.
  7. I’m emailing about… 
  8. I’ve got a quick question about…
  9. Thanks for our one-on-one today. 
  10. Here’s an update on… 

Opening Sentence for Cold Email 

Reaching out to a potential sales lead or pitching your services to someone you don’t know? Keep your opening line professional yet friendly.  

Examples include: 

  1. I hope you’re well. 
  2. Hope you’re having a great week. 
  3. My name’s [your name], I work for [your company and job role]… 
  4. I’m emailing about… 
  5. I’m reaching out about… 
  6. I noticed…[a blog post they wrote, something on their website they could improve, a process your company could help them with]
  7. Allow me to introduce myself. 
  8. X gave me your email address. 
  9. I hope you don’t mind me reaching out directly. 
  10. I just came across your website/portfolio/LinkedIn…   

Opening Sentence for Follow-Up Email  

If you didn’t get a response to your cold email or to a pitch, or you’re reaching back out to a colleague who hasn’t responded to your message, here’s what to say: 

  1. I just wanted to follow up on…
  2. Just bumping this to the top of your inbox in case it got lost. 
  3. I know inboxes are busy places, so I wanted to send a gentle reminder about…
  4. Just checking in on…
  5. Can I get an update on…
  6. Do you have an estimate for when X will be done? 
  7. I haven’t heard anything about x, did you have any questions? 
  8. As we discussed in our call today…
  9. As promised, here is… 
  10. I sent an introduction through last week and just wanted to check back in to see if you needed a freelance writer to help with any content marketing at [their company name].

Opening Sentence for Email to Close Colleague  

Of course, if you’re writing an email to a friend or a close colleague at work, you can drop the “I hope this email finds you well” and opt for a more casual opening. 

Here are some ideas for funny email opening lines: 

  1. Me again! Just following up on that report.
  2. Don’t mind me, just clogging up your inbox some more.
  3. Ping! I knew you’d have your notifications on.
  4. I can smell your tuna sandwich from my side of the office. 
  5. So close to the weekend, but one more thing before we get out of here. 
  6. Quick question (I promise) 
  7. One quick ask…
  8. Urgent help needed. 
  9. Congrats on making it to Friday!
  10. So glad you’re back from vacation (I’m sure you’re equally as happy about that!) 

Opening Sentence for Email to Not-So-Close Colleague  

If you’re emailing someone at work who isn’t your boss, but it’s a close friend, either, it’s better to be more formal. How exactly you start the email will all depend on your company culture and the type of industry you work in. 

Plus, if you’re emailing someone who’s much more senior than you are, you might be more formal than usual. 

Here’s what you can say: 

  1. I hope you’re well. 
  2. Hope you’re having a great week.
  3. Hope you had a great weekend. 
  4. I’m emailing about…
  5. I’m reaching out about…
  6. I’m [your name], I work in the X team. 
  7. I’ve got a question about… 
  8. Could I get your opinion on…
  9. Thanks for your help with…
  10. I’ve got a quick request for…

Opening Sentence for Email to Professor 

If you’re emailing a professor you want to keep your opening line more on the formal side. Try something like: 

  1. I hope you’re well. 
  2. Hope you’re having a great week. 
  3. Hope you had a great weekend.
  4. Great class today. 
  5. Thanks for sending out the assignment notes. 
  6. Thanks for all this information. 
  7. Thanks for the quick response. 
  8. I have a quick question about…
  9. Can I get your advice on…
  10. I’m reaching out about…

And there you have it, 101 email opening sentences to get your email off to a great start, no matter who you’re sending it to. 

Remember: keep your email openers short and polite, and think about how formal or casual you need to be. 

With the right opening line, you’ll be well on your way to crafting the perfect email. 


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