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Here is the perfect way to start an email, and 19 greetings you should usually avoid. Also here is the perfect way to end an email.

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Winner: 'Hi [name], ...'

If you want to make it a little more formal, you can always use the person's last name: "Hi Mrs. Smith, ..."

"The reason I like this one is that it's perfectly friendly and innocuous," says Schwalbe.

It's also Pachter's favorite. She says it's a safe and familiar way to address someone, whether you know them or not.

So when in doubt, go with "Hi."

The perfect way to end an email and 26 sign-offs to avoid:

The winner: 'Best'

All three experts agree that "best" is among the safest possible choices, inoffensive, and almost universally appropriate.

So when in doubt, go with "best."

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