How to begin and end your emails

Not sure which type of salutation or sign-off to employ in your emails? Here are some suggestions.

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So what is the right way to begin or end a simple business correspondence in the digital age? Let’s take a look:


In the rush to move business along, don’t forget the greeting in your email—otherwise, you might come off as rude or brusque. If you wouldn’t say, “Hey there” to your boss or client, don’t do it in your email. At our firm, we like a simple, “Hi, Mary,” or an old fashioned “Dear Jeff.”

For a more professional approach to a group, “Good morning,” or “Greetings” can help strike the balance between too colloquial and too formal.

In my experience, there’s not usually a need to continue adding the greeting if you’re in an email conversation, but circumstances vary. In a negotiation or sensitive conversation in which you’re trying to reach agreement, a formal greeting, or a “thank you for your response” may be appropriate for every exchange.

Cultural norms matter here, too. For example, we work with a Japan-based client, and our emails to them reflect a higher degree of formality than with other client partners.

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