Best Email Greetings

Best Way to Start an Email – Based on Science

300,000 Messages Studied

Are you using…. Dear,   Hi,   Hey,   Hello

Recent research by Brendan Greenley says the following greetings generate the best email response rate:

  • Hey:           64 percent
  • Hello:         63.6 percent
  • Hi:               62.7 percent
  • Greetings: 57.2 percent
  • Dear:          56.5 percent
  • All emails: 47.5 percent

Think about this…… by changing your greeting you have the potential of getting one more out of 10 people to respond to you.  Whether you are cold emailing, trying to connect, or simply asking a friend for a favor, the right greeting can make a difference.

Do not underestimate the small difference in percentages.  These small differences can make a big difference.

So what should you do?

Using “Dear” in email sounds too formal.  It sounds like the sender is about to ask for a favor, or about to apologize for a mistake.


First, always include a greeting when you start an email chain.  Having a greeting out performs not having a greeting; so always include a greeting with your emails.

Once you’re in response mode, it’s fine to skip the greeting. If you and I have been emailing back and forth all morning, there’s no need to say, “Hey, Tyler” every time.

Then, start your emails with “Hi,”   “Hey,”   or   “Hello.”

– Use “Hi” for people you don’t know well or haven’t emailed in a long time.

-Use “Hey” for people you know well or have recently corresponded with.