Electronic mailing has become the key communication medium in today’s commercial setting, which augmented the need for good writing skills.
In exchanging emails, a person’s ability in composing an email’s content can either make or break an organization’s reputation.
The way a person communicates through email may reflect the person’s discursive competence, as well as his or her attitude.
One way to establish our professional identity to the receiving party is by how we create email intros, which don’t have to be the same all the time.
So, this post contains a collection of email openers related to “I hope this email finds you well” that will help you leave a good impression on the receiver.
What is meant by “I hope this email finds you well?”
“I hope this email finds you well” is a generic email greeting that has been carried over from obsolete business letters. It is aimed at conveying an act of well-wishing to the email recipient. Because of its formulaic connotation, it may come across as insincere when excessively and recklessly used. To do away from this misperception, we can simply recalibrate the expression into other similar forms by considering the overall context of the ongoing communication process.
I hope this email finds you well: Background and meaning
The expression “I hope this email finds you well” is a go-to email opener commonly used in formal correspondence.
As it is uniquely utilized in rather formalistic email exchanges, a reader may immediately assume that the message may contain an official transaction.
Before emails, printed letters were mainly used in administrative work, which means that the opening remark used to be “I hope this letter finds you well” instead.
With regards to meaning, the expression being discussed is a way to say “I hope you are not bothered by this email.”
This is equivalent to the act of initiating small talk before discussing the main topic in the spoken context, which is a sign of politeness.
However, since the verbiage has been repeatedly used as the classic opener, a slightly negative connotation may also come with it.
When used excessively, it could be interpreted as a bit pretentious or unnecessary, especially when the content is something containing a product or service pitch.
To put it simply, a Business English teacher awaiting the online submission of an assigned reaction paper will be happy to see your proper usage of the greeting.
But, an internal affairs officer who regularly deals with endless complaints may easily likely skip your classic greeting and proceed to the main content right away.
I mean, ironically enough, any person who is “not doing well” upon reading this email greeting may not really appreciate the small talk attempt.
Or, the reader’s mood may also lighten up, especially if you’re the only one who bothered adding a proper greeting among the other email senders that day.
What I’m really saying is that all these arguments point to the default decision which is to always include an email opener when in doubt.
But, apparently enough, it is highly recommended to vary the expressions rather than using the same phrases over and over again.
So, here is a list of ten alternative email openers to “I hope this email finds you well,” together with some examples.
Formal alternative email openers to “I hope this email finds you well”
The use of polite and formal expressions, more technically known as consultative language register, is the default strategy in email correspondence.
We use this type of register in settings that are characterized by relative power imbalances, such as superior-subordinate and professor-student relationships.
Having a consultative tone promotes language politeness and professionalism, and thus, quintessentially unrisky.
Using this tone means avoiding verb contractions, incomplete sentences, and informal expressions.
Here are five alternative email opening messages that can be used when communicating in a consultative or professional tone.
I hope you are doing well
When emailing someone regularly, a quick act of well-wishing through the expression “I hope you are doing well” would suffice.
Especially when we are really sincere with the message, we need not worry about how the receiving party perceives the greeting.
If we know that the person’s plate is always full or perhaps the email is to be sent during a bad economic state, we can also make the greeting a little more personal by adding some details.
I hope you are having a productive week
Another relatively neutral expression is “I hope you are having a productive week,” which sounds very professional and polite at the same time.
It is best to use this opener when sending an email in the middle of the week and when the email’s content is also related to work productivity.
I hope you are having a great day
Although we can’t always assume that the person is having a great day, this greeting may still put a smile on the receiver’s face.
Of course, you can’t use this greeting if you know that the recipient has just been laid off from work or recently filed a bereavement leave.
I hope you have enjoyed your recent holidays
If you are aware that the person has just come back from a recent vacation or non-working holidays, you can use “I hope you have enjoyed your recent holiday” instead.
This email intro is applicable, for example, after Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day.
It’s a pleasure having to connect with you again
“It’s a pleasure having to connect with you again” is a great opener when communicating with a business connection from the past.
For example, you have an ideal client who has gone silent for a while, but he or she suddenly inquires about the service you offered before.
Casual alternative email openers to “I hope this email finds you well”
When communicating with relatively closer people, such as colleagues or associates from other companies, we may use intros containing a lighter tone.
Doing so may diminish the social distance between the writer and the recipient, which could help maintain a friendly atmosphere.
But, bear in mind that staying professional at all times is still the default rule, and thus, using polite language is still necessary.
Being professional and friendly in email writing entails the avoidance of gossips, derogatory words, profanities, and ambiguous language.
No matter how close we think we are to the recipient, it is generally improper to take personal topics into work-related conversations.
Here are five casual email intros that we can use.
When sending an email to a colleague whom we regularly communicate with on the first, or any, day of the week, we can simply say “Happy Monday!” as a greeting.
In the context in which the relationship of the email sender and recipient is quite intimate, using a language that’s too formal may come across as awkward or incongruous.
As emails are expected to be skimmed on, this quick intro can also save your reader time and effort.
How are things going?
Another email intro that we can use is the classic “how are things going” question, which is also common in the spoken context.
To catch up with the other party, a short and simple greeting before going to the main topic is also recommended, especially if you haven’t heard from the person for a while.
Hope you’re surviving the day!
This is another line we could use especially when, again, an intimate bond exists between the sender and the receiver.
You may have to avoid this intro in the initial contact with a prospect or when you’re emailing the CEO of your company.
But, this intro’s tone is leaning towards making a humorous attempt, and thus, the reader may find it amusing as long as the relationship with him or her is quite stable.
Hope I’m not ruining your week
The meaning of this email opener is similar to the previous intro explained, but it is constructed in a negative sentence structure.
We can use this verbiage particularly when the content of the email contains a request, favor, or a product pitch.
I know you’ve got a bigger fish to fry
This one last casual intro denotes some idiomatic meaning, which means non-native English speakers may have the tendency to misunderstand it.
“Having a bigger fish to fry” means having more important matters to attend to or having more responsibilities.
This could be useful when communicating minor issues or concerns to the receiver, but you still need some assistance from him or her.
Frequently Asked Questions on “I hope this email finds you well”
Is it okay to use “I hope this email finds you well” to a professor?
Yes. It is possible to use this email opener to a professor because it contains a professional tone. A professional or formal tone is necessary when there is a power imbalance between the sender and the receiver.
What is a more formal alternative for “I hope this email finds you well?”
For an email content that is related to work productivity, we could use “I hope you are having a productive week.” We can also keep it simpler by saying “I hope you are doing well.”
Is the email intro “I hope this email finds you well” overused?
From the perspective of people who regularly read emails, this opener would likely be interpreted as overused, uncreative, or formulaic. But, a person who doesn’t correspond a lot through email may think otherwise.
Having a bunch of alternative expressions in our linguistic repertoire is useful in adjusting the tone of the message.
Email openers are highly recommended in initial interactions with people because they could establish the writer’s identity.
Hence, good writing skills can enrich and maintain professional relationships with people in society.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.