Oh, Hello Branding Group
“I hope this email finds you well.”
How quickly did your eyes glaze over? We know. We feel your pain. That dull, exhausted phrase floods our inboxes daily, too.
If you’re anything like us, you get a lot of emails. And you probably write a lot, too. It’s easy to fall into the bad habit of sending generic emails to your contacts, especially when you have to write many of them. We’re also guilty.
But putting in the extra effort is worth it. Creative, meaningful email openers will show the reader that you put time and thought into reaching out to them. You’ll leave a memorable impression, and they’ll most likely keep reading (and even respond) to your message.
Whether you're writing to a long-time client or reaching out to a prospect, you don't want your message to get lost in the crowd. First, scrub these over-used (not to mention bland) phrases from your emails to stand out. Then check out some exciting alternatives you can use to quickly grab — and keep — your reader's attention.
1. “I hope this email finds you well.”
Let’s start with the most infamous phrase of all, shall we? When people use this one-liner, they often intend to be compassionate, but it's become so worn out that it has the opposite effect: it's not thoughtful at all.
To acknowledge your reader, bring up something specific to them. Maybe they recently rescued a dog and shared photos on Instagram:
“I just loved seeing the photos of your new pup. She’s adorable!”
Or maybe they were recently in the news for opening a new business:
“Congratulations on opening your boutique! I know how excited you must be. Can’t wait to pop in and check it out soon.”
If you don’t know your reader very well, or at all, you can still open with a line about how the two of you are connected:
“Ben mentioned your company would be a great fit for our software.”
“We met in Chicago last month at a trade show. Are you still digging through all of your swag like I am?”
2. “I’m just circling back…”
There are few things in life as frustrating as someone ghosting you. Not getting an email response is annoying, of course, but it’s also worth asking yourself if your message warrants a reply in the first place. If so, then we suggest being clear and direct:
“Our client expects this project to be wrapped up by Friday; I’d love to get your team’s feedback by Thursday afternoon.”
3. “I just wanted to quickly follow up on…”
See above. This is just a longer way of saying "circling back", which makes it even less effective.
4. “I’m sorry for the delayed response.”
The beauty of email is that no one usually expects an immediate response. Everyone knows emailing isn’t for urgent matters — that’s why we have phones and instant messaging (even if we just send GIFs back and forth).
You can typically cut this phrase completely; many of us apologize unnecessarily and too often. But, if you did drop the ball, we suggest writing something clever or replacing “I’m sorry” with “Thank you.”
“I am so sorry that I’m just getting to this now. There were four other people on this email chain and I was hoping one of them would answer and I could just keep living my life.”
“Thanks for your patience! Things have been pretty hectic lately, but I’d still love to catch up over coffee next week.”
*Warning: We advise writing the first response only if you already have a great rapport with the reader.
5. "If not, no worries."
Oh, the iconic millennial phrase. It's 2022 — it is OK to need and ask for help in the workplace. You're not demanding; you're just being honest with your needs and expectations.
Here’s what you shouldn’t do:
“Could we get your order in by Tuesday morning? If not, no worries!”
Here’s what we suggest you try:
“We’re looking to finalize our promo orders early next week, so if you’re still down, let me know by Tuesday morning.”
Sure, the second example is longer than the first. But you’re allowed to take up more space.
6. “Looking forward to your response.”
It’s kind of obvious. You wouldn’t be writing an email if you didn’t expect a reply, right? This phrase is unnecessary, and it’s easy to cut. If you need a timely response, give your reason and include a time frame. That will nudge the reader and get you exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.
Emailing clients and prospects can be exhausting, but it doesn’t have to completely drag you down. Adopt a few of these writing tips when you reach out to your contacts. You'll improve your communication, establish meaningful connections, and become an emailing pro in no time.
If you need more email or marketing tips, we've got you. Reach out for a free 30-minute consultation to see how we can help boost your marketing efforts and get you in front of the eyes of your dream customers. Let's chat!