Let’s face it. How often does an email “find you well”? What does it even mean? 🤔
I can think of a dozen times when I’ve opened an email and skipped over this phrase. I think it might be doing more harm than good, as it often feels insincere or forced. If you cannot personalize your message to your recipient, why are you emailing them?
In today’s fast world, “Hope this email finds you well” is simply most often a useless phrase that can be substituted for something better, in order to keep the email short and sweet.
So if you are looking for synonyms to “I hope this email finds you well” and how to use them, use our list of alternate phrases and best tips below!
Tips to consider before using “I hope this email finds you well”
1. Keep your email short
Let’s face it, we all have more things on our minds, to-do lists and plates that we can ever complete. Thus it’s critical to learn how to distill your message into a short email.
In fact you should keep your emails to 50 - 125 words. Boomerang analysed 40 million emails and found out that this is the most effective length, if you want a response (and who doesn’t?).
2. Make the email personal
Instead of using a generic phrase like “I hope this email finds you well”, can you think of something more personal and creative?
Here are some ideas:
- If you met at an event, mention something that happened there like a conversation, the food or a great or horrible speech
- If you recently had a conversation, mention something you talked about
- Iif you went to the same school mention a professor, building or sports team (a true classic)
- If you share common acquintances, mention a colleague of friend,
3. Be clear and concise
Tell the recipient four things:
- who you are
- what you want
- what they need to do
- why your are contacting them
If you're writing to inform them of something, explain that upfront and cut to the point.
4. Get to the point fast
This follows the points 1 and 3 above. It’s better to get straight to the point and get your message across first thing in the email.
If you’re requesting your recipient to do something, add a clear call to action and next steps to follow. If it's urgent, remember to include a deadline. You can also let them know when you'll follow up with them.
If your matter is really urgent, it’s okay to let them know, but do it professionally and don’t be rude.
10 super simple (and better) alternatives for “I hope this email finds you well”
Okay, so here are our best alternatives. We’ve divided them into two sections: formal and friendly substitute phrases.
Formal alternatives to “I hope this email finds you well”
1. How are you doing?
If you want to catch up with a colleague or haven’t talked in awhile.
2. Are we on track to meet the deadline?
3. Are you attending (insert event)?
If you are about to attend an event and know that they will also be there.
4. Invitation to (insert event)
If you are inviting them to an event or party.
5. Thank you for discussion on (insert topic)!
If you recently met an a networking event or had a conversation.
Friendly alternatives to “I hope this email finds you well”
6. I know you’re busy, here’s the summary
If you are reporting on progress or writing a project status update.
7. Can I help you out?
8. How is life?
If you are emailing a friend or colleague who you know well.
9. Can you help me with (insert details)?
If you are asking a colleague or a friend for help.
10. Another one
If you are good friends you can use a more informal greeting like this, or some of these:
- I hope the week was only mildly boring.
- Just what you want: another email.
- Happy Not-Monday!
- I hope you're surviving another work week.
- I promise this email isn't as long as the previous one.
- Only <number> more days until Friday!
- I hope your morning coffee was as strong as mine.
- Sorry for sabotaging your inbox zero, but…
- I promise that this is the last email you'll receive from me. This week.
- Yep – you guessed right. It's me again.
What does “I hope this email finds you well” mean?
Well, this is a good question. Some speculate that the phrase might be a remnant from the early days of email.
In the beginning of time, I mean internet, people didn’t trust technology to be as reliable as it is these days. Thus it was somewhat reasonable to be concerned about your email actually even “finding its way” to the recipient. Hence people used “I hope this email finds you well” in their emails.
Whether this was a the case, it’s most often not a good phrase to use in email these days.
Should you use it at all? Well…
Can you say “I hope this email finds you well”?
Short answer is yes, but mind the intention and context of the email.
In some contexts, especially in the academic world, it could be customary to to use it. So if you’re emailing a professor, you can consider using the phrase.
In business context, the phrase is most often unnecessary or even counterproductive. If you’re, however, joking around with friends or colleagues, you might use the phrase for comedic effect.
What’s wrong with “I hope this email finds you well”?
As we covered in the tips above, it’s best practice to keep your email short and to the point. Thus adding the phrase “I hope this email finds you well” is most often redundant.
It does not necessarily add anything to the email, thus it’s best to remove it and use some of the alternatives we listed above instead.
I hope this article finds you well… (final thoughts)
So that’s about it. I hope you learned how and when (if ever) to use the phrase “I hope this email finds you well” and what better alternatives there are.
Email writing is not rocket science and if you need help writing better emails, we cover a bunch of topics on our blog.
If you’re interested in writing emails much faster, check this out:
Flowrite is the new way to write on the web, helping thousands of professionals work productively.
We leave you with one more tip: sign up today!
Supercharge your communication with Flowrite
Write emails and messages faster across Google Chrome.
Share this article