How You Start or End Your Emails Could Be Costing You at Work

Writing emails on a laptop
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Writing the perfect email can be a delicate process in the workplace. And it’s not just figuring out when it’s OK to reply all.

Boomerang data scientist Brendan Greenley looked at over 350,000 emails and found that many people in the workforce don’t exactly know how to strike the right tone in their messages — which can decrease the likelihood of getting a reply.

The biggest issue with email messages came down to two things: greetings and signatures. How you start and end an email can strongly affect your job.

But there’s a very simple solution. Greenley suggests that friendly and somewhat casual headers rule the day.

“Perhaps we should move past the era of formal salutations," Greenley noted in a blog post. "Messages that struck a more informal, conversational tone from the start got more responses."

Messages that began with a simple “hi” or “hello” got a relative 33 percent response rate increase compared to formal greetings like “dear.” And you should definitely avoid starting your email with “greetings.”

As for your signature, the same rule applied, but Greenley also suggests using one that has a more “thankful” tone.

Emails that closed with “thank you,” “thanks,” or “thanks in advance” received a relative 36 percent increase in responses, whereas closing like “cheers” or “best regards” only received aroound 11 to 14 percent.

The worst closing, according to Greenley's research, was using just the word “best” at the end of your email.

But most importantly, Greenley writes that you should always use an opening and a closing in an email, especially if you want to get a reply.

It’s the little things that matter when you want to get ahead at work.

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