Here is the perfect way to start an email - and 20 greetings you should usually avoid


email concentration

mikhail Mokhrushin/Flickr

"To whom it may concern" is a big no-no ... but is it the worst?

Figuring out how to start an email can be a real challenge.


"Many people have strong feelings about what you do to their names and how you address them," Barbara Pachter, a business-etiquette expert, tells Business Insider. "If you offend someone in the salutation, that person may not read any further. It may also affect that person's opinion of you."

We had Will Schwalbe, coauthor of "Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better," and Pachter weigh in on a handful of common email greetings.

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The perfect way to start an email will depend on whom you're writing to, but in general, when you're writing a business email to someone you don't know well or at all, the experts say there's one safe choice - and a bunch you should usually avoid: