Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
I know this has been torturing people.
I know because almost three years ago I wrote about it and people have kept reading it every day.
(Thank you, by the way.)
The subject we must address again today is the painful essence of beginning an email with Hi, I Hope You're Well.
Those almost three years ago, I offered marginally amused help.
I'm going to be serious now.
And if you believe that, I hope you're well.
But just as you've been pained by the matter, I've given it some thought too. Really.
Here we go.
1. Just Don't Say Hi.
Think of how many times a day those you're writing to hear the word Hi, never mind see it.
It's surely a sign of your creativity if you find your own say of saying hello. Even if you decide to spell it Hullo.
Why can't you make your greeting your signature? We're in the self-branding world, after all.
2. Create a Greeting That Feels Custom-Made
I'm almost charmed when people write Happy Wednesday to me.
Especially on a Thursday.
But why not start an email with This Rain's a Pain, Isn't It?
If it's raining, that is.
Or how about: I'm Going To Be As Brief As I Can to someone who you know has little to no patience?
I know that Hi, I Hope You're Well is easy, but have you ever thought that if you really want someone's attention, try getting it from the very beginning?
3. Make a Joke About 'Hi, I Hope You're Well.'
The first thing that comes to mind is this: Hi, Only Read This If You're Well.
That would surely raise a smile.
It would also show that you've thought about the way businesspeople communicate with each other and tried to solve the problem.
4. Don't Have Any Greeting At All.
A little abrupt, you might think.
But if you're writing to someone you already know, why bother with the formality and the accompanying banality?
Why not show them that you're all about the business?
It can't annoy them more than Hi, I Hope You're Well.
5. Just Start With An Emoji.
I confess to astonishment at how many people actively prefer emojis to words.
It's almost made me want to write a whole column in Emoji and see if anyone understood it.
What's most surprising -- to me, at least -- is that it isn't just the young who enjoy these graphic pictograms.
Older sorts seem genuinely enthralled by their abilities to type a little cartoon picture.
You'll wonder whether this is businesslike. Have you seen what passes for businesslike these days?
And think of all the possibilities for you to capture your reader's attention.
Especially if you offer the purple devil-face. Or the ping-pong bat and ball.