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How to Start an Email: 110 Examples of Email Opening Sentences for Every Occasion

Struggling to kick-start your email? Writing that opening sentence can either make or break your email's effectiveness. At Blinkist, we've gathered 110 ideas for email opening sentences to help you come up with interesting and creative ways to start your emails.
by Vanessa Gibbs | Oct 29 2023

If you’re struggling to start an email and looking for inspiration, you’re not alone. The opening sentence sets the tone for the rest of the message and can make or break your email’s success. In this article, we’ve compiled 110 examples of email opening sentences for every occasion, plus 6 top tips on how to start an email.

Why the Opening Line is Important

The opening sentence is your chance to make a good first impression and engage your reader. Whether you’re emailing a colleague, client, or potential employer, the right words can set the tone and establish a positive relationship.

On the other hand, a poorly crafted opener can turn off your reader and lead to a lackluster response. Get your opening line right, and the rest of your email will benefit. Check out this other article, where we share some advice on how to write better emails.

6 Tips on How to Start an Email

Crafting a solid opening sentence can be tricky, but with a few tips, you can create a professional email that gets results.

1. Keep it short and sweet

Your email opener should be concise and to the point. Avoid lengthy introductions and get straight to the point.

2. Be Polite and Friendly 

Your tone can make all the difference in an effective email opening. Use a friendly and respectful tone to establish a positive relationship with your reader.

3. Avoid Cliches 

Overused phrases like “just checking in” or “as per my last email” can make your email seem impersonal and generic. 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”

4. Consider Your Audience 

Who are you emailing? Your email beginning should be tailored to your recipient’s preferences and expectations. For example when you are asking for a raise via email, timing is the key.

5. Match previous email opening lines

If you’re responding to an email, consider using a similar opening line to the one you received. This can establish a rapport with the sender.

6. When in doubt, go formal

If you’re unsure about the tone of your email, it’s better to err on the side of formality. A polite and respectful email greeting is always appropriate, especially if you are wondering how to write an email to a professor, or your boss.

110 Examples of Email Opening Sentences

Now that you know the basic email greeting strategies, it’s time to start writing. Here are 110 examples of email opening sentences for every occasion:

How to Start a Formal Email

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

1. Dear [Recipient’s Name],

2. To Whom It May Concern,

3. Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening [Recipient’s Name],

4.  I hope this email finds you well,

5. Greetings,

6. I am writing to inquire about,

7. Thank you for your time and consideration,

8. I am pleased to inform you that,

9. I would like to bring to your attention,

10. In reference to our previous conversation,

11.  I am writing to follow up on,

12. I appreciated our recent meeting,

13. I hope this message finds you in good health,

14. It was a pleasure speaking with you earlier,

15. I am writing to request,

16. I am reaching out to you regarding,

17. I hope this email finds you having a great day,

18. I am writing to introduce myself and my company,

19. I am following up on our recent correspondence,

20. I wanted to touch base with you regarding.

Opening Sentences for Informal Emails 

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: 

21. I hope you’re doing well!

22. I hope you’re all good! 

23. I hope everything’s going well on your end.  

24. How’s it going? 

25. How have you been? 

26. How are things over in Seattle? 

27. Thanks for this! 

28. Ty for all this info. 

29. Just checking in on…

30. Friendly reminder to… 

31. Quick question… 

32. Happy humpday 

33. TGIF!

34. Great presentation today! 

35. Great to see your name in my inbox!

36. Super quick thing… 

37. Long time no talk. 

38. I hope you’re doing well despite *gestures vaguely at world events* 

39. It’s been too long. 

40. Almost the weekend (yay!), but one more question before you go. 

How to Write an Email to your 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 email opening lines in the future if you build a closer relationship with them. 

41. I hope you’re well. 

42. I hope you’re having a great week. 

43. I hope you had a lovely weekend.

44. Thanks for sending over this info. 

45. Thanks for the quick response.  

46. Thanks for your help.

47. I’m emailing about… 

48. I’ve got a quick question about…

49. Thanks for our one-on-one today. 

50. Here’s an update on… 

51. Good [morning/afternoon/evening] [Manager/Boss’s Name], how are you doing today?

52. Dear [Manager/Boss’s Name], I hope this email finds you well.

53. Hi [Manager/Boss’s Name], I wanted to follow up with you regarding [topic].

54. I hope your day is treating you well, [Manager/Boss’s Name].

55. Hi [Manager/Boss’s Name], I just wanted to touch base with you about [topic].

56. Dear [Manager/Boss’s Name], I am writing to request your assistance with [topic].

57. Hi [Manager/Boss’s Name], I wanted to provide you with an update on [topic].

58. I hope this email finds you in good spirits, [Manager/Boss’s Name].

59. Dear [Manager/Boss’s Name], I am writing to express my appreciation for your support with [topic].

60. Hi [Manager/Boss’s Name], I wanted to share some exciting news with you about [topic].

If you ever feel like you’ve crossed boundaries with your boss, consider checking out this article on how to apologize to your boss, you know, just in case.

How to Write a 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.  

61. Hello [Recipient’s Name], I hope this email finds you well.

62. Good [morning/afternoon/evening] [Recipient’s Name], I hope you’re having a great day so far!

63. My name is [Your Name], and I wanted to introduce myself as [Your Job Role] at [Your Company Name].

64. I am reaching out to you because [Reason for Email].

65. I noticed [Something You Found Interesting About the Recipient or Their Business].

66. Hi [Recipient’s Name], my name is [Your Name] and I wanted to get in touch with you about [Topic].

67. I hope you don’t mind me reaching out to you directly, but I came across your [Website/Portfolio/LinkedIn Profile] and was really impressed by [Something You Liked or Found Interesting].

68. Hello [Recipient’s Name], I was referred to you by [Referral Source] and wanted to introduce myself and my company, [Your Company Name].

69. I hope this email finds you well, [Recipient’s Name]. I am writing to discuss [Topic] with you and explore how we can help [Recipient’s Company Name].

70. Good [morning/afternoon/evening] [Recipient’s Name], I hope you are doing well. I saw your [Website/Portfolio/LinkedIn Profile] and noticed [Something You Could Help With]. 

By the way, are you interested in improving your writing skills? Whether it’s composing quarterly reports, crafting compelling presentations, or perfecting your emails and resumes, we’ve got you covered.

Dive into the timeless wisdom of “Writing That Works”, the definitive guide to effective business writing. Discover with just one click how to make your business communications clear, compelling, and concise.


Opening Sentences for a 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 how to start a follow-up email:

71. I just wanted to follow up on…

72. Just bumping this to the top of your inbox in case it got lost. 

73. I know inboxes are busy places, so I wanted to send a gentle reminder about…

74. Just checking in on…

75. Can I get an update on…

76. Do you have an estimate for when X will be done? 

77. I haven’t heard anything about x. Did you have any questions? 

78. As we discussed in our call today…

79. As promised, here is… 

80. I sent an introduction 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].

How to Start an Email to a 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: 

81. Me again! Just following up on that report.

82. Don’t mind me; just clogging up your inbox some more.

83. Ping! I knew you’d have your notifications on.

84. I can smell your tuna sandwich from my side of the office. 

85. So close to the weekend, but one more thing before we get out of here. 

86. Quick question (I promise) 

87. One quick ask…

88. Urgent help needed. 

89. Congrats on making it to Friday!

90. So glad you’re back from vacation (I’m sure you’re equally as happy about that!) 

Email Salutations and Greeting Strategies to a Not-So-Close Colleague  

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

91. I hope you’re well. 

92. I hope you’re having a great week.

93. I hope you had a great weekend. 

94. I’m emailing about…

95. I’m reaching out about…

96. I’m [your name]; I work in the X team. 

97. I’ve got a question about… 

98. Could I get your opinion on…

99. Thanks for your help with…

100. I’ve got a quick request for…

How to Start an Email to a Professor 

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

101. I hope you’re well. 

102. I hope you’re having a great week. 

103. I hope you had a great weekend.

104. Great class today. 

105. Thanks for sending out the assignment notes. 

106. Thanks for all this information. 

107. Thanks for the quick response. 

108. I have a quick question about…

109. Can I get your advice on…

110. I’m reaching out about…

In conclusion, crafting the perfect email opening sentence can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By keeping it short, polite, and tailored to your audience, you can set the right tone for your message. Use these examples, learn how to start an email and and watch your communication skills improve.

We know emailing is the state-of-the-art, but if you’re interested in refining your written communication further, consider learning how to write a letter in your business too. A well-written letter can make a world of difference. And here’s how to write a business letter that will make you stand out and get your points across.

Are you ready to step up your communication skills? Why not try Blinkist’s 7-day free trial? Explore key takeaways from over 7,500 books in just 15 minutes.

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