Or is it Hello reader?
What about Greetings reader?
I suppose it doesn’t matter because you’re here already, but if you’re trying to ensure people actually respond to your emails then listen up.
Over on Quartz they’ve analysed more than 300 000 emails, looking at the first line of each and working out how often they resulted in a reply.
The top five opening lines each occurred with great regularity, and here’s a little graph representing how often each of them nailed a response:
A quick conclusion to draw from that – less than half of all the emails received a reply, and three of the more common opening lines resulted in a more than 60% response rate.
Basically, greet people. Seems to be common sense, but you wouldn’t believe the number of PR releases we receive that don’t contain so much as a “how u”.
Still, informal seems to work:
Perhaps we should move past the era of formal salutations, as messages that struck a more informal, conversational tone from the start got more responses. Using a conversational opening like “Hey,” “Hello,” or “Hi” yielded more responses than starting with a formal opening like “Dear” or “Greetings.” Interestingly enough, research cites that formality tends to be higher when there’s less shared context, as well as when speakers dislike each other, neither of which are ideal if you need a reply!
I would stop short of “howzit boet”, but we’re pretty relaxed around these parts.
One more piece of advice from Quartz before we hit send:
…check out Respondable, a free feature built into Boomerang for Gmail and Boomerang for Outlook. Respondable analyzes your email in real-time and lets you know about changes that might help you get a reply.
ATTENTION – those of you who spam your press database with your clients’ latest releases, and can’t even be arsed to insert a name before hitting send, please do better.
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