“I hope this finds you well …”
Raise your hand if you’ve ever started an email out this way. It’s okay, there’s no guilt here.
Now raise your hand if you wanted that email to actually get read – or in the case of making an important contact with someone, such as networking during your job search – if you wanted it to stand out and leave a favorable impression.
Well, hope this finds you well, but if that’s the case, you’re gonna need a much better opener than that! Here are some suggestions, so you can leave this tired cliché of a greeting behind and get future messages off to a stronger start:
- Introduce yourself.
If you’re emailing someone who doesn’t know you or who may not immediately recognize your name, clear up that question for them immediately. Then, they can focus on your message without the distraction of trying to remember you. For this – and for all the emails you send – keep your content brief and to the point.
- Example: “I’m Sarah Jones and we met at the PRSA conference in Louisville last month.”
- Give more specific well wishes.
If you really are concerned with how your recipient is doing, make your opening message more personal. Refer to a shared experience or situation, or ask about something specific to a work project.
- Example: “Hi. I hope your ad campaign for the new line of holiday items is on track.”
- Pay a compliment.
Start off on a positive note by recognizing your recipient for an accomplishment or something they’ve done well.
- Example: I just read your article in the PRSA chapter newsletter. Awesome job! It will be so helpful when I work on my next video news release.”
- Start with small talk.
That would be meaningful small talk, just in case you’re wondering why “I hope this finds you well” doesn’t qualify. The more familiar you are with your recipient, the better this works. Ask about or refer to something you know they truly care about.
- Example: “How about those Wildcats? Think they have a chance to win it all this year?”
- Get right to the point.
In other words, skip the intro all together. It won’t sound rude; in fact, in most cases, your recipient will appreciate your brevity. People are busy. If they want to talk at length, meet them for coffee or schedule a call. Plus: research confirms that shorter emails are more likely to get a response. Which is really the whole point, right?
At PrideStaff Northern Kentucky, we’re all about building your career and making you the best professional you can be. Communications and effective networking are just part of the total package. Think of us as your career counselor, experienced resource and networker extraordinaire, all rolled into one. Reach out to us today so we can tell you more.
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