Hello, Aloha, Bonjour, Hola, Ni Hao, Ciao, Konnichiwa, Sawubona, Guten Tag…

There are so many ways of saying ‘hi’ that when it comes to writing a professional email, you’re spoilt for choice… or are you? The phrase you choose can not only determine whether the recipient will read your email; it says a lot about the kind of professional you are. So, what does your preferred email greeting say about you?

1. Dear Sir/Madam

You appear conservative and a little old fashioned. You don’t mean to come off as uptight or impersonal (but you kind of do).  A stodgy and formal greeting more suited to romantic letter writing, “Dear” has became more of an invitation to delete your email. It might seem professional, but what strikes you as proper etiquette appears to others as outdated and more indicative of spam than manners.

2. To Whom It May Concern

You like the fast paced lifestyle and expect quick results. There’s no time to conduct thorough research into the name of the email’s recipient. You’ve got a lot of jobs to do and this email is just one of many you’ve sent out, and it’s noticeable. If you’re really hoping to open the doors of communication, it’s worth addressing the person by name, or if that isn’t possible, the position they hold (or department with which you wish to correspond).


3. Hi

Sometimes the simple way is the best way, or so you think. You don’t want to come off too formal but at the same time, you don’t want your calm demeanour to come off as insincere or overly relaxed. You try to hit the middle ground, and people appreciate that.

4. Hey

You’re a casual, easy going kind of person, but there’s a risk that in a corporate environment you’ll rub people the wrong way with your carefree attitude. You don’t mean to come off as cavalier, but it’s always worth taking your target audience into consideration.

 Smart training for hungry businesses


5. [Insert Name Here]

Assertive, confident and direct, people often respect that you get straight to the point, and generally it gets people’s attention. Sometimes your upfront approach and commanding nature can be disconcerting for people not familiar with you and it can take them by surprise.

6. Congratulations/Well done/Nice to hear from you

Conversation comes easily to you. You’re relaxed socially and confident professionally. The people you interact with feed off of your positivity and feel like you actually take notice of them. In turn, it then makes them more willing to listen to what you have to say.

Are you happy with how your business email greeting reflects on you?


When it comes down to it, choosing the best business email greeting is about balancing what you write to make sure it’s right for your audience and genuinely expresses your personality. Learn more about Email Skills from Canity here.