Should You Avoid The “I Am Writing” Opening?

Email Introductions

For many business professionals, writing emails can often feel like second nature. With the requirement to send out many emails daily, it can be easy to feel like you are repeating the same sentiments in every message. 

One of the main introduction lines that many writers use is “I am writing to . . .” This line brings up a lot of debate around what should go into emails and what shouldn’t. 

Why You Shouldn’t Use “I Am Writing” In Your Emails 

In short, you shouldn’t have to use “I am writing” to start your emails. It is a redundant piece of information, as your reader can tell you are writing just because you sent an email. Think of it like saying “I am calling” as your first line in every phone conversation; it’s just awkward! 

With emails, simplicity is often the best answer. No one wants to be sifting through piles of long emails only to find the same opening line: “I am writing to. . .” If you can’t think of a good opener other than this, simply don’t use one and get straight to the important details of your message. 

If starting with “I am writing” is the only way to get your creative juices flowing, then have at it, but possibly try to edit it out when you proofread your email! 

Examples Of Swapping Out “I Am Writing”

Even though it may sound simple, swapping out the ever-so-used “I am writing” can be challenging. If you are having trouble doing it within your writing, consider looking at these examples that can give you some inspiration: 

  • Dear Barbara, I am writing you because I have a few questions about payroll.
  • Dear Barbara, I have a few questions to ask you about payroll.
  • Dear Barbara, I hope you are doing well! I have a few questions to ask you about payroll.

As shown in the examples, you can replace the dreaded “I am writing” with a kind greeting. Additionally, you are even able to drop it altogether! 

Related: We have an entire article dedicated to starting an email titled “Opening Sentences for Global Email.” Also, here is an article on how NOT to start an email – “10 Wrong Ways to Start an Email.” 

Here is a list of greeting alternatives:

  1. I hope you are enjoying the season.
  2. I hope all is well.
  3. How are you? I hope you are healthy and happy.
  4. I hope you are doing well.
  5. I hope you are fine.
  6. I hope you and your coworkers are fine.
  7. I trust you are doing splendidly and enjoying the season.
  8. We send you our best wishes.
  9. I send you and your esteemed colleagues my warm wishes.
  10. Greetings from all of us at _________ [fill in organization name].
  11. Greetings from _____ [fill in a person’s name] and me.
  12. Greetings to you and your coworkers.
  13. Best wishes to you and your family.
  14. It is a pleasure to be in touch with you again.
  15. It was a delight to see you in ____.
  16. I hope you enjoyed your trip to ____.
  17. Welcome back to work! I hope you had a wonderful vacation.

Summary

In the end, “I am writing” seems a great way to open emails. However, it is far from it! Using it can quickly become redundant and make you look less professional/thoughtful in a formal email. 

The main rule here is simply to avoid using it altogether. To do this, you can swap in a greeting like “I hope you are doing well” or “I wanted to get started by asking. . .” If you can’t think of a different opener (or you simply don’t want one), you can just drop the “I am writing” and jump straight into the details of your message.


Want to sharpen your business writing skills? Discover our acclaimed online courses at syntaxtraining.com Whether you want to learn about taking taking meeting notes, become a master proofreader, master punctuation or tune-up your business writing skills, our courses are here to help you.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here