The Template

Every week, I maintain THE TEMPLATE, an award-winningWinner of the 2015 Plank Center Award (public relations org.) for commitment to mentorship. blog that's been viewed more than 1.5 million times by people all over the world. In every column, I provide step-by-step instruction to help you become a stronger communicator. Like I always say, "Write well, open doors!"

Should I Use “Hi” , “Hello” or “Hey” in Business Email Greetings?

hi hello hey email greetings

You will notice throughout my blog, THE TEMPLATE, that I often begin emails with:

Hi ____,

Technically, I should also put a comma after “Hi” so it would be:

Hi, ____,

Looks weird, right? I know. The two commas throw me off.

Now maybe an English teacher would disagree, but this is where I “learn the rules and break them.”

I think it’s cleaner and less distracting to go with:

Hi ____,

Rules and structure matter, but so does readability. And you don’t want to distract the email recipient right from the jump.

For me, it’s “Hi” and then the person’s name followed by a comma.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

And finally…why do I use “Hi”? Again, it’s a gut feeling on the best “intro” word for the majority of business situations.

The other options don’t feel right.

Hello: too flat and impersonal
Hey: too comfortable
Dear: too formal
Hey Hey: don’t even think about it

And if I don’t have the person’s name, I go with “Hi there,”

Safe, courteous and won’t rub the person the wrong way.

Class dismissed!


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