The schools in India often had questions in language papers (Especially English) on Letter Writing. As we grew up, a new variety came up, i.e., Email writing. As usual, many students grew up with the spoon-fed start of “I hope this letter finds you in the pink of your health”. Then came the email revolution after school life. Most office communications and some of the significant college communications among colleagues and students became a scripted start of familiar ubiquitous greetings.
Some of them as in;
- Hi! I hope this email finds you well.
- I hope you are doing well.
- I hope you’re having a great week.
- I hope all is well.
Sometimes it feels that this family of phrases are too much relied upon. Occasionally, it feels like a memo with small talk. And when it gets repetitive, the primary benefit of this phrase in work-related emails finally wears off. We all, including me, have sent “I hope you’re doing well” to many people but rarely expect or wish anyone replying to that in a very serious or formal email chain conversation. Over the past few years, reading promotional, formal and casual emails made me conclude that there is more to it. A simple substitution can save a dime in the time. Here are some suggestions on ways to improvise an email or formal communication start.
1) “I know you are busy, so I’ll be brief.”
Sometimes openers like this feel scammed, for we expected a “to-the-point” email. But at the same time, it meant that the email’s beginning brought some relief initially to the busy recipient. So it goes with a straightforward rule, “short and sweet”. Otherwise, the sender may presume you are confused with the word brief.
2) Sometimes, Nothing means a Lot
After reading paragraphs and paragraphs of emails, sender names and respective subject lines, a simple straight to business email body feels like gold. Thanks to digital media and social sites, attention deficit has become a significant factor in response rate. Thus lucid email under one hundred words, spectacular response rates.
3) Trip to memory lane
It never hurts saying to tell the recipient where you met them before. Though not a scope for buttering, even when a recipient does not remember but the fact that you did, it works a long way to establish a rapport. But this won’t be the case if you had no conversation relevant to the theme or objective of the email. A simple bump during a feast or party doesn’t mean you start connecting the dots for your gain.
4) Admire to ask
Familiarisation with the recipient’s work and its relevance to your email may help you give a personal touch to the start of the email. Though not meant to be too personal (to come off as creepy) as you start, a simple show-off of your homework regarding the recipient may give your pitch extra credit. A healthy admiration or positive criticism of their latest work or project, relevant to the field of your work and scope of your email, done with the proper garnishing, brings out the professional you.
In the end, it is always, “choose your favourite dress, use your comfy garnish“.
Snack body, nibble size talk.
Based on the scenario, imagine what you need to speak about and how personal you meant to be, had you two had a face-to-face conversation. Sometimes getting personal on relevant aspects and getting professional need not tell a conversation having the length of the railway track. But the most important rule to an email conversation is “do not force yourself”. It always becomes evident to the reader of a conversation without a soul. So next time you send an email, maybe this article does some magic!