20+ email greeting examples to use in your next cold email

September 13, 2023

If you start your emails with generic, non-personalized phrases, there is a high chance you won't hook prospects to read the rest of your email.

An email greeting is a word or phrase at the beginning of your cold email that can help you leave a good impression. That's why you should always pick an appropriate one, as you don't want to sound too official or informal.

But, many salespeople use inappropriate greetings that make prospects close emails before reading them.

So, how can you start your cold email without pushing your prospects away?

Discover 20 email greeting examples in this article to ensure prospects book a meeting with you!

20 best email greeting examples for cold emails

This is your ultimate list of email greetings to help you hit the right tone and make an immediate connection with the recipient.

We’ve separated out the greetings into 4 categories:

  • first contact greetings
  • follow-up greetings
  • greetings for replies
  • greetings to avoid

Here are the best ways for you to start a cold email:

6 cold email greeting examples for the first cold email

Use these email greeting examples when you're reaching out for the first time to your prospects and aren't sure about the appropriate tone.

1. Hello {{firstName}}

One of the best cold email greetings if you are unsure of what tone of voice to take with the prospect, “Hello {{firstName}}” breaks the ice without sounding too formal or too casual.

2. Hi / Hey {{firstName}}

If your recipient is open to a more casual tone, starting with a simple greeting like “Hi” or “Hey” is a great way to get the conversation going. When it comes to cold email copywriting, it’s best to write as you talk, and starting an email like this sounds like you’re addressing a friend.

3. I hope you're having a great week, {{firstName}}

A more informal greeting, this example gets a bit of the small talk out of the way from the start. This way, you can warm up your prospect in the greeting, then jump straight to the point in your cold email opening line.

4. {{firstName}}, I'm reaching out to…

If you’d like to deliver your message as directly as possible, start your email with this greeting.

You show a personal touch by using your prospect’s first name, so it doesn’t come off as too blunt or impersonal. At the same time, there’s no fluff: your prospect sees immediately why you’re contacting them.

5. Good morning/afternoon/evening {{firstName}}

A polite, time-based greeting, this option is good for emailing large groups of people at specific moments during the day.

Note: If you’re sending messages in bulk via cold outreach platforms, the times that your messages are sent will likely be staggered over the course of the day, to prevent deliverability issues. In this case, it’s best to use one of the greetings that is not based on a specific time of day.

6. {{name}} suggested that I reach out to you (…)

Ideal for creating a rapport with prospects you’ve never spoken to before, this greeting starts off with a mutual connection, like a mentor or one of their colleagues. With this kind of greeting, it is easy to transition the rest of the message into a conversation.

The prospect sees it as an implicit recommendation from the mutual connection, which lends you extra credibility.

7 email greeting examples for follow-up emails

Use these email greeting examples to follow up on your first email and encourage your prospects to reply. (Yes, it is a good idea to follow up even after no response!)

1. Following up on my last email {{firstName}}...

To the point, this greeting helps you keep the conversation going, while providing context on why you’re sending a new email. Use a greeting like this in the same thread as your first email, so that the reader can easily reference what you’re following up on.

2. As promised {{firstName}}, here's...

If you’ve already spoken once and promised a specific deliverable or piece of advice, use this greeting. It reminds your lead that you already have an established connection and gives value to your interaction.

3. I'm writing to you {{firstName}} to check in on..

A more formal option, you can use this greeting after your first email didn’t get a response, or to check on a deliverable that the recipient had promised to give to you. In either case, it’s direct and jumps straight into the message, without fluff.

4. Following up on our meeting, {{firstName}}...

A great greeting for when you’ve already met in person, this one is good for introducing a summary of what you and the lead discussed, plus the next steps.

5. {{firstName}}, can you please update me on ...

If you have already met this person and they have agreed to follow up with you, this is a salutation to use to check in on their progress.

You keep it polite with the “please” but show right away what your expectations are with the message: to be kept up to date on what the two of you have already discussed.

6. Here's more information {{firstName}} on ...

Perfect for delivering value, which the data shows is the best way to start an email, this greeting gives you an opportunity to build credibility with your prospect. Just make sure that you back it up with real research that is relevant to the recipient.

7. {{firstName}}, it was great to have you at...

Use this greeting to follow up with prospects who have attended an in-person or virtual event that you’ve hosted. They’ve shown an interest in what you have to offer, and this greeting helps you reach out to them to strengthen the connection.

7 email greeting examples for cold email replies

Once your prospects have replied to your first cold emails, use these email greeting examples to thank them for their time and to continue the conversation.

1. Thanks for the quick response {{firstName}}...

This greeting is simple and slightly more formal, showing your prospect that you respect the time it took for them to reach out.

2. Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it, {{firstName}}...

A more casual version of the previous greeting, this is a good option to add an extra layer of appreciation and help you establish a friendly, conversational tone.

3. Thanks for getting back to me {{firstName}}...

Especially if your first email was the first point of contact with your prospect, greetings like this help turn that cold outreach into a warm back-and-forth.

4. Thanks for the update {{firstName}}...

If the recipient has given you some in-depth information or details on a question you’ve sent, use this greeting to acknowledge the information they’ve sent before you follow up on it.

5. Great to hear from you {{firstName}}...

A casual and clear follow-up greeting, this option gives the tone of two friends catching up - which helps you build a stronger relationship with your prospects.

6. Thanks for getting in touch {{firstName}}...

This greeting is good for situations when an inbound lead has reached out to you first. Thank them for having you in mind, then continue with the rest of your email.

7. Thanks for keeping me in the loop, {{firstName}}...

Here is a good follow up greeting for longer conversations that require a few back-and-forth exchanges to keep everybody up to date.

7 email greeting examples to avoid

Finally, here are some popular email greeting examples that you shouldn't use if you want to get replies to your cold emails.

❌ To Whom It May Concern

This greeting is simply too formal - in cold email outreach, you should write like you talk. The greeting “to whom it may concern” sounds like a generic, stuffy start to an email that the recipient won’t want to read.

❌ Dear Sir or Madam

Again, this greeting is too formal, and not personal enough. Speak directly to the recipient, using their first name, and don’t refer to them with a title like “sir” or “madam.”

❌ Ladies and Gentleman

Your email will be sent to individual inboxes, meaning a greeting like this one, in addition to being overly formal, will fall flat as each individual person reads it. Write each of your greetings to one person in particular, using the {{firstName}} variable.

❌ Hi *misspelled name*

This seems obvious, but is easy to miss: double-check that you’ve correctly spelled each prospect’s name. And while we’re at it, check your email’s grammar as well.

❌ I know you're busy...

A greeting like this neither delivers value to the recipient nor builds a friendly rapport. Especially if you use it as a follow-up to an email that did not get a response, this greeting feels more like a guilt trip than a reasonable opener.

❌ Allow me to introduce myself...

You should always start your cold emails by focusing on the recipient. Beginning the email by talking about yourself gives them no reason to keep reading.

❌ Can I ask you for a favor?

Again, this greeting has no focus on the prospect and is all about you. Without establishing a connection first, they won’t want to go out of their way to follow up on your request.

The ultimate greeting checklist

Your cold email structure should push prospects to open your email, read it, and reply. But, to book meetings with your target audience, your greetings should be catchy and in the right tone.

Here are 3 tips for writing successful email greetings:

#1 Align your email greeting to your prospects' tone of voice

#2 Personalize your greeting with the prospects' name

#3 Match your greeting with your email's context

Ultimately, the key to any cold outreach campaign is to personalize the message to every prospect. With a tool like lemlist, you can personalize at scale with FirstName and other text variables, as well as custom images and videos. Give lemlist a try right now, for free.

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