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40 Better Ways to Open an Email

Is “Hope you are well” the “Have a nice day” of business email? Is there a better way?

“Hope you are well” has become a ubiquitous opener for many emailers who, understandably, don’t want to just launch into the point of their missive without any sort of nicety. Something like “Hi – when do you think you’ll have that report?” feels cold and abrupt, like walking into someone’s office and stating your business without any sort of preliminary.

Emailing had become a primary form of communication even before working from home made it a necessity, but now it’s bigger than ever. Maybe we’re also feeling a greater need to warm things up, to make it a little more human. After all, in real life we have a number of well-meaning but meaningless ways of greeting each other. When you pass someone in a hallway and ask, “How are you?” you don’t really want them to stop and tell you exactly how they are, do you? It’s just a pleasantry, a slightly warmer way of saying hello.

So, we look for an opening line that’s congenial and tells the recipient that we’re not just contacting them because we want something. And after all, don’t we truly hope they are well? I certainly hope so.

But there has to be a better way of opening an email than with this empty nicety that’s so overused.

Turns out there are lots of ways, which I found at The Muse, a business-research platform that helps companies understand their workplace culture. The author offers an extensive list of alternatives to another well-worn greeting, “Happy Monday!” – which is not only over-used, but raises the question, what do you do the rest of the week?

Next time you need an opening line that feels more original and authentic to your recipient, try one of these 40 Email Opening Lines That Are So Much Better Than “Happy Monday!”

Meanwhile, I do hope you are well.