By February 23, 2012 Read More →

And what about email greetings?

And what about email greetings?Yesterday I asked about your favourite email sign-off, and I’m still getting your replies and opinions, so thank you for all the feedback. The winner by a mile is ‘Kind regards’ or ‘Regards’, trailed some way off by ‘Best wishes’ or ‘Best’.

I like the message Andy Bailey of Commentluv uses on his iPhone and iPad – ‘Sent from my iPad. Please excuse brevity and typos’. Very neat. And I love the promise implicit in Phil’s ‘Yours etc’ – ‘leaving the recipient to make up their own mind as to what the “etcetera” actually represents!’ I hope you have an answer for the day that someone asks, Phil!

A couple of people commented that they find starting an email more problematic than the sign-off, and Andy remarked he’s not keen on people missing out a greeting altogether and just using his first name. I find ‘Dear’ sounds like a relic of the letter writing age and far too formal. I used to be a bit uncomfortable about ‘Hi’ but now use it all the time.

Sometimes I’ll go for ‘Good morning’, in the possibly mistaken hope that it comes across as cheerful and jaunty. If there’s an exchange of emails going on during one day I often start subsequent ones with ‘Hello again’.

What about those times when you either don’t know the person or haven’t been in touch with them for ages and have to email to ask for something? It feels too awkward to just jump in and immediately ask, and starting off with ‘I hope you’re well‘ or some other anodyne greeting feels lame and purely paying lip-service, but what alternative is there?

Interestingly, nobody mentioned any sign-offs they loathe, or that would put them off the sender, which leads me to believe that although we may all wonder whether we’re getting it horribly wrong, in fact as recipients we’re pretty relaxed. Perhaps we’re now all so practised at reading emails that we just scan the content and don’t even particularly register the greeting and sign-off.

Kind regards

Posted in: Routine

8 Comments on "And what about email greetings?"

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  1. I tend to go with Kind Regards, but I also take a clue from how they sign their email and emulate it. However I am surprised at the use of x, after someone’s name, to indicate a kiss. I tend to think that this should be saved for friends and not business emails, but I refer to my first sentence and do use it sometimes!

  2. Brian says:

    I use “hello” quite often with people I don’t know personally. Otherwise it’s always “hi.”

    Greetings I dislike, hmmm… I guess those would be the ones where a total stranger tells me “Hi Brian” as if we’re buddies.

    About the “hope you’re doing well” to long lost friends or anyone I haven’t been in contact with for months or years, I tend to stay away from that because their child or spouse could have died or any other number of unspeakable terrible events could have occurred. That’s very uncomfortable when it happens.

    • Judy says:

      Oops, now there’s a parallel with your eating pizza in England experience – I thought a ‘Hi Brian’ greeting was standard in the US whether you know the person or not :-/

  3. Ruth Slavid says:

    I agree Hi gets easier and easier, but where still not comfortable, especially with overseas strangers, I go with hello. But do receive some more formal greetings from overseas, especially non-native English speakers. And sign-offs saying ‘yours cordially’.

  4. Judy says:

    Now that one I don’t think I’ve ever come across, Ruth. I rather like it, though!