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Email Introduction

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Email Introduction

A critical part of an email is the introduction. The introduction is the first thing a recipient reads, which makes it an important skill for email best practice.

Best Email Introduction

To introduce something is to make it known.

In an email introduction, a writer makes themselves and their purpose known.

To ensure the recipient reads the whole email and sends an appropriate response, the writer should be succinct and considerate.

The best email introductions are straightforward and polite. In general, email introductions start with a greeting. Then comes a polite opening phrase, followed by the main topic of the email.

For example, say a high school student wants to ask a college admission representative about a program. Instead of jumping right into their questions, they should say something like "I hope this email finds you well" first. Then the student could introduce who they are and why they are writing. This shows that the writer is respectful and values the reader's time.

Email Introduction, Email, StudySmarterFig. 1 - An email's introduction is important because it is the first part of the email a reader reads.

Before writing the introduction to an email, writers need to write an appropriate subject line. The subject line of an email goes in the subject box above the email itself. The subject line tells the recipient the topic of the email in about ten words or less. It is clear, concise, and specific and sums up the general topic without too much detail.

For instance, say a student is emailing a college admissions director with a specific question. The subject line would not say: "I am writing to ask a question about box three on the application to the Engineering program. Instead, it might state: "Question regarding Engineering application." This tells the advisor the general idea of the email, and then they can read the specific question in the email itself.

Formal Email Introduction

Writers should write formal emails when communicating with someone they have a professional relationship with or someone they do not know. For instance, emails to professors and colleagues are typically always formal emails.

When writing a formal email, one should open with a formal introductory phrase from the chart below, such as "To whom it may concern." Then the writer should use at least one sentence that establishes respect or appreciation for the recipient, such as "I hope you are doing well."

If it is the first time a writer sends a formal email to a person or group of people, they should introduce themselves with their full name and their relationship. For instance, a student in a large college class might introduce themselves to their professor in the following way:

Subject: Question about course requirements

Dear Professor Roberts,

I hope you had a wonderful winter holiday. My name is John Smith, and I am a student in your Introduction to European Art History course. I am writing to inquire about the requirements for this course…

Writers should start a new line after the greeting to make the body of the email separate.

When writing formal emails, writers should also avoid using unprofessional words or images. Therefore, writers should not use emojis, slang, or text lingo. They also should not go into too much detail about personal information or stories they would not mention in the workplace.

Casual Email Introduction

When writing a casual email, writers do not have to use the same formal language as in a formal email. However, writers should still be respectful and appreciative. Writers write casual emails to people they already know, such as friends, family members, and acquaintances.

Writers can also use an informal tone when writing a casual email. Informal vocabulary, punctuation, and sentence structure shape this tone. Casual emails can be more straightforward and may include personal information. For instance, if someone is writing an email to their best friend, they would not have to make a formal statement such as "I hope this email finds you well" and would instead write something like the following:

Subject: Checking up!

Hey Katie!

I miss you so much! How's the family? Will you all be in town again this December?

In an informal email, writers can include the informal elements they need to avoid in formal emails. They can include elements like emojis, text lingo, inside jokes, and personal anecdotes, especially if they know the recipient well. However, they should still demonstrate respect for the recipient by using kind language and maintaining clarity to ensure the recipient can easily understand the text.

Formal vs. Informal Subject Lines

The same rules of formality apply to the subject lines of formal emails. When writing to a recipient in a professional context, writers need to be as clear as possible in the subject line. They should be specific so that the recipient knows what to expect when they open the email. Writers should also maintain a professional tone in the subject line and avoid using informal language. In contrast, writers can be a bit more casual in subject lines for informal emails. The following chart demonstrates the difference between formal and informal subject lines on similar topics.

FormalInformal

Inquiry Re: Yesterday's Exam

Questions about that hard exam yesterday

Invitation to our barbecue. Sat. April 10th

Barbecue this Saturday-you coming?

Thank you for your time today!

Thanks!

In an email subject line, "re:" is short for "regarding."

Email Introduction Phrases

The phrases one should use in an email introduction will depend on whether the email is formal or casual and on the overall subject of the email. However, the following is a list of general phrases one can use to open an email politely:

Greetings:

FormalCasual

To whom it may concern,

Hey!

Dear —,

Hi!

Hello,

How's it going?

Good morning,

Happy Monday!

Good afternoon,

What's up!

Good evening,

Hello!

When writing a formal email, writers should use a situation before the recipient's name, such as Mr., Ms., or Dr. For instance, if writing an email to someone named John Smith, a person should write "Dear Mr. Smith." Using salutations is a polite way to address the recipient and establish an appropriate tone.

Email Introduction, Greeting, StudySmarterFig. 2 - The greeting of an email sets the tone.

First Lines:

FormalCasual

I hope this email finds you well.

How's it going?

I hope you are doing well.

Long time, no see!

It was wonderful to meet you!

It was great to see ya!

Thank you for your message.

Thanks for the message!

Writers should always make sure they proofread emails for grammar and spelling mistakes. Proofreading ensures that the recipient understands the message. Writing an email without grammar and spelling errors also helps ensure the writer appears professional in a formal email.

Email Introduction Example

The following is an example of a formal email that a high school student might send to a teacher regarding their feedback on an essay.

Subject: Feedback Meeting Request

Dear Professor Smith,

I hope this email finds you well. Thank you for taking the time to write detailed comments on my literary analysis paper. I am writing to ask if I can set up a meeting to discuss your feedback….

Responding to an Email

The same rules of formality and tone apply when responding to an email. After receiving an email, one should respond by expressing gratitude for the email or acknowledging its importance. Then they should move on to discussing the subject of their response. For instance, a writer could start a formal response to an email with the following lines:

Dear —, Thank you for your message. I appreciate you taking the time to help me with this process. I am still a bit confused regarding step two. Is it possible for you to send more resources on that step?

A writer crafting an informal email on the same topic could use a more casual tone and write something like this:

Hi —, Thanks for helping me! I still don't really get it though. What is step two asking me? Do you have any more info on this?

Note how the writer of the second email got straight to the point. Writers can be a bit more candid in informal emails because they know the recipient. However, the writer still respected the recipient by expressing gratitude in the informal email.

Email Introduction - Key Takeaways

  • The introduction is the first part of an email that the reader reads.
  • A casual email is an email a writer sends to someone they know.
  • A formal email is an email that a writer sends to someone they do not know.
  • In email introductions, writers should use words and phrases that set a respectful tone.
  • Emails should begin with a greeting, an opening statement, and then the reason for the email.

Frequently Asked Questions about Email Introduction

To write an email introduction a writer should open with a greeting, a polite phrase, introduce themselves, and then state the purpose of their email. 

A good email introduction addresses the recipient with respect, expresses appreciation for their time, and gets to the point. 

Writers should start an email sentence with polite language such as “I hope you are doing well.” 

To respond to an introduction email one should show appreciation for the original email and then address the main point of the email. 

To write an introduction email writers should start with a polite greeting and phrase. Then they should introduce themselves and the topic of their email. 






Final Email Introduction Quiz

Question

Which of the following establishes a formal tone?


Show answer

Answer

To whom it may concern,

Show question

Question

A student wants to write an email to her high school English teacher. Which type of email should she use?


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Answer

Formal

Show question

Question

True or False. Writers should open a formal email by immediately asking for what they want. 


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Answer

False. To show respect to the recipient writers should include a polite phrase first, such as “I hope you are doing well.” 

Show question

Question

A high school student wants to write an email to the basketball coach at her prospective university, Susan Jenkins. Which of the following greetings should she use?


Show answer

Answer

Dear Coach Jenkins, 

Show question

Question

True or False. The first line of an email goes in the same line as the greeting.


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Answer

False. Writers should start a new line after the greeting for the first sentence of their email. 

Show question

Question

What is the main difference between a casual email and a formal email?


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Answer

Tone 

Show question

Question

Is the following first line formal or casual?

How’s it going?


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Answer

Casual 

Show question

Question

True or False. Writers should include a salutation (such as Mrs., Dr., etc.) before the recipient’s name in a formal email. 


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Answer

True. 

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Question

Jenna is writing several emails. Which recipient should she send a casual email to?


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Answer

Her brother 

Show question

Question

What is the maximum number of words for an email's subject line?

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Answer

Ten

Show question

Question

Which establish a formal tone?

Show answer

Answer

Good morning, 

Show question

Question

Which establish a formal tone?

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Answer

Good afternoon, 

Show question

Question

Which establish an informal tone?

Show answer

Answer

What's up?

Show question

Question

When should you use a title like "Mr." or "Ms."?

Show answer

Answer

Formal emails

Show question

Question

It is a polite way to address the recipient and establish an appropriate tone. 

Show answer

Answer

A salutation

Show question

Question

Which establish a formal tone?

Show answer

Answer

I hope this email finds you well.

Show question

Question

The same rules of formality and tone apply when responding to an email. 

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Answer

True

Show question

Question

After receiving an email, one should respond by expressing gratitude for the email or acknowledging its importance.

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

What do you include last of the three?

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Answer

Purpose of email

Show question

Question

Informal emails have their own relatively strict code, not dissimilar to formal emails.

Show answer

Answer

False. Informal emails are much less strict.

Show question

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