Why No Greetings?

Without a nice greeting (Hello, Hi, G’Day, Hey) at the beginning of your e-mail, you risk your e-mail being perceived as demanding or terse. When you call someone on the phone, you don’t just start talking without a greeting. In off-line letters you do the same. Why is it then that in e-mail so many feel this little courtesy doesn’t apply?

It can’t be because it takes too much time or effort can it? Typing a simple Hello and a name takes negligible time and effort. So why do so many skip this step?

Business e-mail communications are not the same as text messaging but many treat these important relationship and networking communications as if they were. Short, terse, no basic courtesies.

I’ve found over the years that many think general writing rules and skills do not come into play with e-mail. It’s an informal communication tool, yes, but that doesn’t negate the need for courtesy or when it comes to business being perceived as an educated professional.

There is nothing informal about building relationships, promoting your brand or growing your network! Skip the steps necessary to you being perceived as a courteous and educated person who knows how to communicate with the written word and you do so knowing competitors can easily out do you.

Here’s an example…

Without a greeting:

I want you to follow-up on my last memo and make sure that everyone noted received their copy. John

With a greeting:

Hello, Jane: Can you please follow-up on my last memo and make sure that everyone noted received their copy? Thank you!


Of course, the added “Thank You!” is always a nice touch when asking for someone to do something on your behalf.

Over time, negating to use a greeting can cause the other side to cringe when they see your name in their inbox wondering what bossy request you may have next.

And to think… This perception can easily be avoided by simply taking the time to add a little: “Hello,”.