The greeting in your first email to the audience is your digital smile – Marketing – – Marketing

The greeting in your first email to the audience is your digital smile – Marketing – – Marketing
The greeting in your first email to the audience is your digital smile – Marketing – – Marketing

How do you know whether to include a friendly comment at the beginning of a business email? You know, the one that hopes the reader has a nice day or congratulates them on the home team’s football victory. Opening your email sets the tone for your message, so you want to get it right.

Writing for work requires us to discover the situations when a salutation is necessary. Now that so much work is done remotely, creating relationships in writing is more important than ever. Your greeting is your digital smile and your opening comment is your virtual handshake. These polite gestures are essential to certain people – skip them at your peril.

“I hope you have a nice day” will never win you a Pulitzer, but it humanizes your interactions with many readers. Personalizing our communications creates powerful connections.

If your email is the first in an exchange, then adding a note might be the right move. For example, in an initial email to a client or someone you don’t know well, you might include a nice season’s greeting. However, it would be strange if you wrote, “Hi Harold, I hope you are having a good day. Will this report be ready by 5:00 in the afternoon?” and get a reply: “Hi Fred, Hope you’re having a great day. I’ll have it ready by 1:00 in the afternoon”. It would be enough to write back: “Hello, the report will be ready at 1:00 in the afternoon”.

When writing to clients or people of higher rank, the extra formality of the greeting can be an appropriate sign of respect. If you’ve interacted with this person before and they always include a comment with a happy face, copy their style by making a kind statement.

When to skip greeting?

If the message is very urgent, skip straight to the question. If the assembly line needs to stop, say so on the first line without commenting on the time. If you’re in an email exchange, treat it like a conversation. If you’re writing to someone who never offers a friendly comment, match their style.

When considering adding the salutation, keep your reader’s personality in mind. We all want to be treated kindly, but some of us care about social cues more than others. Many people enjoy the social courtesy of breaking the ice in a business email. I call this group the people having a nice day. Such people will resent the lack of a friendly comment and may be less receptive to your message if you fail to include one.

Another group of readers, however, don’t care if you wish them a good day. They don’t even care if they’re having a good day. They just want you to make your point and make your request or promise at the top of your email so they can get back to the hundreds of other tasks that require their attention. For these people, the digital greeting is an obstacle they overcome in their desire to find meaning in the email. I call this group, which often includes CEOs and entrepreneurs, people who get to the point.

Roland Crane, former CEO and current CEO of Peer-Advisory Groups, notes, “Many CEOs just want to get to the point. Start with the action you need from them.” Some CEOs may be nice people by nature, but their work forces them into the mold of the individual who gets the job done.

If you’re writing to the top manager in your company, you probably know what kind of person they are. If they always greet you, say hello back. If they always get straight to the point, stop the friendly greetings.

You won’t always know if your reader is someone having a nice day or someone rushing to get to the point. Also, people change. Someone who appreciates a greeting one day may be under pressure another day and want you to jump straight to the point.

Let your previous communications with the individual be your guide and remember that when in doubt, politeness is king. The worst that can happen is that a busy reader will skim past your salutation in search of your key question.

Source: Elizabeth Danzinger, founder of Worktalk Communications Consulting, for

Translation and editing: Neli Todorova

The article is in bulgaria

Tags: greeting email audience digital smile Marketing manager .bg Marketing

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