Email or Electronic mail is the key communication medium via the internet or telecommunication. It is commonly used all over the world by almost all categories of individuals, be it executives, jobholders, students, and even normal people.
The email was technically the first activity done via the Internet and this hasn’t decreased its popularity.
Nowadays we use email for every purpose. We use it for educational purposes, business purposes, and more. The composition of an email reflects a person’s competence and professionalism. In fact, losing or winning a deal depends on only one email. The way a person communicates through email dictates the person’s attitude and skills.
The opening of an email plays an important role in grabbing the attention of a reader. The typical “I hope this email finds you well” is not always a good opening line for an email. It might be true that you don’t know the recipient but starting with hoping that the recipient is well might lack professionalism and personalization.
So to establish a personal connection with a professional attitude, it is to be noted to start with versatile opening lines that attract the reader. There are much better alternatives to “I hope you are doing well” and they don’t have to be the same all the time.
Why is the opening line of an email important?
The opening to an email reflects the professionalism and communication skills of a person. It shows whether the person is fluent in his or her language. In Fact, a reader can understand the tone of a particular email through the opening line. This is because we are expressing our human thoughts by a computer text.
If we want to establish an impactful personality in the reader’s mind, we have to be clever enough to select eye-catching opening lines that attract the reader’s attention. We have to choose attractive and versatile opening lines that don’t have to be the same all the time.
If you are writing a professional letter or email, you have to write the email in such a way that makes the reader feel as though you are speaking to them in person. The email should be written in such a way that helps the reader decipher the tone of the email.
The opening of an email requires it to be clear and straightforward. Most people opt to write “I hope this email finds you well” but most readers take this tone as negative. Some people take this sentence as contrived and insincere. This changes the entire meaning of an email. In other words, such opening lines create a negative impact in a reader’s mind that might cost you the opportunity to shine.
So it is always ideal to use unique and versatile opening lines other than “I hope this email finds you well”. It helps a reader to picture your personality in their minds.
The opening line also aids them to decide whether to reply to your email even if it is a negative one. In fact, the opening line of an email is a game-changer which means it can either make or break an organization’s reputation.
So to leave a good impression in the receiver’s mind, it is important to choose a distinctive and eccentric opening to an email.
Meaning of “I hope this email finds you well”:
“I hope this email finds you well” is a standard and common opening line recklessly used in most business emails. Well, this sentence is in use for a very long time in obsolete emails. This opening line is mainly used to convey well wishes to the receiver.
This sentence means something like when the email reaches you, you are in sound health and you are having a good life. It is in fact, the sender hopes to find the recipient well in health and mind when the email reaches the recipient’s address. It is generally a cliche aimed for a polite introduction without being overly friendly.
The simpler form to “I hope this email finds you well” is “I hope you are well” But “I hope this email finds you well” holds a deeper meaning. It is an indirect way to maintain formality without addressing casualty or familiarity. This sentence is equivalent to initializing small talk, somewhat a small hint about the content of your email.
Why is it not appropriate to use “I hope this email finds you well”?
“I hope this email finds you well” is still in use in many business letters. Some people take it as a standard opening line while most take it as a nuisance. People take this sentence to be a nuisance because of its excessive and reckless usage.
Due to excess use, this opening line has become dull and boring. It is sometimes taken to be unnecessary. With time, “I hope this email finds you well” is losing its favorability and preference among readers. Nowadays, people look for versatile and unique openings to email, and “I hope this email finds you well” is definitely not one of them.
Even though “I hope this email finds you well” is a classic opening sentence for most business emails for a long time, this sentence is sometimes taken to hold a negative meaning. Some people take it to be insincere and rude. This might entirely change the meaning of your email. Or the recipient might not even reply to you.
Well, if the reader is ill, he or she won’t appreciate such attempts for small talk. In fact, your email would be considered rude and off-putting. On the other hand, this sentence might lighten up the mood of the reader. But you never know for sure.
Recommended highly enough, it is ideal to bring variations in your openings to your email rather than using the same one over and over again.
Why do emails starting with “I hope this email finds you well” land in SPAM?
“I hope this email finds you well” is a generic opening sentence used in most obsolete emails for a very long period. But most email protocols like Gmail or Outlook filter emails with such phrases as “I hope this email finds you well” as spam and place them in the spam folders. This lets the users decide whether the email is SPAM or not.
This opening sentence is said to be mostly used by international scam artists that try to trick people into sending them money or doing any other illegal work. That’s why “I hope this email finds you well” triggers most spam filters. And if your email starts with “I hope this email finds you well”, then unfortunately your email might land in the spam folder.
And as we all know, people don’t check their spam folders more often, therefore your email might not get read by the reader at the instance. If you want to get a response to your email, always try out alternatives to this sentence.
Is “I hope this email finds you well” formal/professional?
Well, Yes. “I hope this email finds you well” is quite professional but not very recommended to use all the time. This sentence is a classic opening line for most emails. But according to modern email etiquette, this sentence holds a negative meaning and is considered to be insincere and rude.
When using this sentence, you must be familiar with the reader’s mentality and standards. Because some people consider this sentence to be cringy and insincere.
If the recipient is ill, this is not the opening line he or she wants to see.
On the other hand, if the recipient is an internal affairs officer dealing with complaints every day, he or she might want to know the real deal of the email rather than your small talk.
Again if you are sending an assignment to your class teacher or writing a formal letter, It is polite to start with standard opening lines.
“I hope this email finds you well” is very common and old-fashioned. The main motive of your email has to be attracting the reader’s attention. In fact, the opening line reflects the tone in your email. On the other hand, a person who receives a lot of emails on a daily basis is familiar with the common opening lines. And “I hope this email finds you well” is considered to be socially mandated and might bring a wrong impression. Thus opening lines are attempts to start small-talk and you must choose the perfect opening lines to match the tone of your email. You must write in such a way as if you are talking to the recipient in person.
If you are writing a professional email, it is ideal not to try to be overly personal and casual with the business associates. Being very casual and personal leads to negative impacts on yourself.
Modern email etiquettes must be kept in mind while writing professional letters or emails since this plays a very important role. If you want to grab the opportunity you want, you must be careful with choosing the right opening lines and contents of your email.
When not to use “I hope this email finds you well”?
There are some scenarios when it is not ideal to use “I hope this email finds you well”. One of the scenarios is that if it is an email introduction or a cold email. In such a case, it might be of a negative impact and rude if you use “I hope this email finds you well”.
On the contrary, It is not professional to use “I hope this email finds you well” in an email you will send to a recruiter or employee. This phrase reflects a casual approach rather than a professional approach that brings a negative impact on your work.
Professional or Formal Alternatives to “I hope this email finds you well” :
For professional purposes, we have narrowed down 5 alternatives that can be used to replace the old and less exciting “ I hope this email finds you well”.
- Start without using “I hope this email finds you well”
You can start your email without any approach to small talk. In fact, start with nothing at all! The HR of a company might receive a lot of emails per day. That means less attention span and less time to read. Thus it will be ideal if you just cut to the chase. You can write your email short and straight to the point. Well, this might sound awkward, but people who receive a lot of emails would like emails to be less time-consuming and frank. So adding “I hope this email finds you well” or “I hope you are well?” or these kinds of opening lines won’t suddenly turn your email into a warm and civilized one. You have to write your email in such a way that it reflects that you respect the recipient’s valuable time and attention.
- “I know you are occupied, so I will summarize”
People who receive a lot of emails like their emails to be short and straight to the point.
But when starting with “I know you are busy, so I will summarize”, remember to keep your email brief. Obviously don’t keep on writing paragraph after paragraph after writing such an opening line. This might create a doubt in the recipient’s mind whether or not you know the meaning of brief.
Thus starting with “I know you are busy, so I will be brief” instead of “I hope this email finds you well” sounds very professional and reflects that you respect the other person’s time.
- Small talks
In the case of writing professional emails or letters, you can start a bit of small talk.
For instance, if you have met the recipient before, you can start with
- I met you at Saint Joseph’s last week, it was such a wonderful time!
- I heard you speak at the Bill Josh Tech Conference last month, it was top-notch.
- We met at the Conference last week and I wanted to share my ideas on marketing strategies that might be useful to you.
For another case, you can start your email with some personal opening lines such as
- Hey, it is Saturday! I hope you have plans for the weekend!
- The 4th of July is approaching, you might be having wonderful plans
- Christmas is around the corner, Hope you are enjoying the holidays.
Use such personal openers in case you know the recipient or have been talking to the person frequently.
- Start with some personal information
Before sending your email, you can do a background check on the recipient. It doesn’t mean that you are stalking the person. You can get some ideas about the person via social media. People love when their work is appreciated. So, instead of “I hope this email finds you well”, you can start with sentences that indicate you are familiar with the person’s work. Some examples of such sentences:
- Congratulations on your book! I am excited to read it.
- I read your article on ‘Impacts on Global warming’, It was very good and informative
- I saw your art at the museum, it was mesmerizing
- I heard that AI chips have upgraded their version, you must be thrilled by it.
In the case of using personal opening lines, use such lines only if they are relevant to your email. People don’t like irrelevant talks in their emails. And also it might get quite awkward.
Note: But when writing an email, always remember that you must not force the conversation. You must try to be polite and professional. Never be over-smart or over-confident, because the recipient might find such attempts negative. Thus writing an email, always keep in mind the email etiquettes and keep your email unique.
Best Alternatives to “I hope this email finds you well”:
“I hope this email finds you well” is a polite opening line that is mostly used in formal correspondence. This opening sentence is in use in almost all generic and obsolete business emails. Due to this, at present, this opening sentence is considered to be insincere and recklessly used. This opening sentence is sometimes perfectly used and misused at the same time. It is suitable for casual emails but not very suitable for professional emails.
Professional emails are preferred short and direct. Casual small talk like “I hope this email finds you well” reflects a negative impact on the user. Although it is commonly used in many business emails, recruiters and employees consider this phrase to be old-fashioned and obsolete.
Again “I hope this email finds you well” means different meanings for different people. Some people take it to be positive while it is also considered to have a negative meaning. To avoid such confusion of coming out as impolite and blunt, it is ideal to use simpler and polite alternatives to this phrase.
In that case, you can rephrase this phrase as “I hope my email is not bothering you” or “I hope I am not writing to you at the wrong time” or “I know you are engaged in work, I will be brief”. These alternative phrases reflect your attempt to uniqueness and respect the recipient’s time.
At present, people look for uniqueness and creativity in emails. And “I hope this email finds you” has lost the spark of uniqueness and creativity. This phrase is considered to be recklessly used. If you want your email to speak for you, you must try to write your email with uniqueness and professionalism.
Here are some of the best alternatives that can be used in place of “I hope this email finds you well”.
- “How are you?” or “How are you doing?”
Well, this is the most basic opening line used in almost all emails. But it is safer to use than “I hope this email finds you well”.Simply not ‘hoping that your email finds the recipient well’ leaves the decision to the recipient whether or not they want to tell how they are doing. Asking the recipient how they are doing gives an impact on humanity and empathy.
How are you doing? This email is a reminder of the seminar scheduled at 10:00 a.m.
- “I hope you are having a great and productive week”
This phrase is both casual and professional at the same time, in other words, you can call it a neutral phrase. It is best to use it in mid-week and when your email is about work productivity.
Dear Ms. Bella,
I hope you are having a productive week. Here are the weekly employee stats and customer reviews for your reference.
- “It is great connecting with you again”
“It’s great connecting with you again” or “It is a pleasure to connect with you again” is a phrase that can be used as alternatives to “I hope this email finds you well” if you have talked or met with the recipient before.
This phrase can be used if you are connecting to a person from the past. For example suppose, your client or business connection has gone silent for a while, and suddenly asks you about some service you provided previously. You can contact him or her by email with this opening line.
It is a pleasure to connect with you again and thank you for your inquiry. Yes, I provide the service you asked for. Please let me know your availability so we can schedule a meeting regarding the service.
- “It was great to see you”
“It was great to see you” is appropriate for circumstances if you have met the recipient in person recently. It might occur that the person might not recognize you at an instance. So it is always important to mention context while using this phrase.
Suppose, you met the recipient at a seminar or conference recently. In such a case, this phrase is an ideal choice.
It was great to see you at the Youth seminar last week. I wanted to discuss the marketing strategies regarding youth employment. Please let me know your availability so we can schedule a meeting
- Congratulations on ….
Congratulating the recipient on a recent success is an excellent way to start an email. It gives different energy allowing the recipient to read your email with full attention and enthusiastic engagement. This always helps you build and maintain a close relationship with the recipient.
Dear Mr. Jones,
Congratulations on being elected as the employee of the month. Here are the weekly employee stats and customer reviews for your reference.
- Happy Monday!
“Happy Monday” is a kind of greeting that is appropriate for recipients with whom you talk frequently and have an intimate relationship. But remember not to use it if you are sending an email to a person for the first time. It might have a negative and awkward meaning.
Happy Monday! I just wanted to remind you about the meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.
- I hope you are having a great day
You cannot assume whether a person is having a great day or not. But saying “I hope you are having a great day” can make a person feel good even though he or she is not having a very good day. You can use it as one of the better alternatives to “I hope this email finds you well”. But it is not ideal to use this phrase if you know the recipient is laid off or resigned from the job.
I hope you are having a great day. The company meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. I hope to see you there.
- I hope I am not ruining your day
“I hope I am not ruining your day” is perfect for scenarios when you are requesting favors in the content of your email. The meaning of the sentence is similar to “I hope this email finds you well” but has a negative impact. It is ideal to use it in case of requests and favors.
I hope I am not ruining your day. I have noticed that you have been busy for the past few days but I was wondering if you could help with the presentation. Please let me know your availability.
- Thank you for your quick response
If the recipient is replying to your email promptly, it is generous to express gratitude for the attention you are receiving. In that scenario, you can say “Thank you for your quick response”
Again if the response wasn’t very quick, you can avoid controversy by saying “Thank you for your response” or “Thank you for the update”.
- I would love to have your feedback on…
If the purpose of your email is for opinion or advice on any matter, you can start by saying “I would love to have your feedback on this issue” without sounding very rude. Asking questions might give a wrong impression, thus it is smart and polite if you used this phrase instead.
Dear Mr. Jones,
I love to have your feedback on the module I made. I look forward to hearing from you.
There are many alternatives that can be used in place of “I hope this email finds you well” such as:
Books That May Help Your Grammar Questions
One of the books I liked for seeking the proper use of openings and closings for new clients and the like is: A Quick Guide to Better Email, Presentations, Telephone Skills, Writing & Grammar (Better Business Communications) it is available for FREE on kindle, or a couple dollars in paper back.
There are many other grammar for English communication books and items available at Amazon. Some favor one way of communication over others. This way you can pick what’s best for you! Click here for a results page on grammar for writing to grammar for email.
In present times, the exchange of emails determines whether you make or break a deal. You have to express your email in such a way as if it feels that you are speaking in person.
Opening sentences in an email play an important role in whether or not the recipient should read the email forward. Opening sentences or openers ensure the initialization of interactions as they reflect the sender’s attitude and ability.
So if you want to shine by your email, you must write emails maintaining modern email etiquettes and uniqueness. Good writing abilities can help you write good emails but you should also keep in mind the scenarios or circumstances you are sending your email. This will help you enrich and build professional relationships with people in business as well as everywhere in the community.