Get this: Over 205 billion emails were sent per day in 2015. And that number is expected to jump to over 246 billion by the end of 2019, according to the technology-research firm Radicati. Still, how many of them actually get a response?
That’s what a team at Quartz set out to discover. Using over 300,000 public emails, they analyzed which of the five most popular email introductions were the most likely to receive a reply. After compiling the data, they found that one particular word rose slightly above the rest. (Think twice before starting a sentence with these 10 phrases, though.)
Just 47.5 percent of all emails received a response at all, according to the findings. Out of those, emails that started with “hey” got replies 64 percent of the time. “Hello” and “hey” had a 63.6 percent and 62.7 percent response rate, respectively, while “greetings” had a 57.2 percent response rate. Meanwhile, starting an email with “dear” only received a reply 56.5 percent of the time.
Granted, this doesn’t mean you should start every email with a casual “hey,” the site warns. If the email has a more formal purpose—like when you are applying for a job or reaching out to a high-profile client—you’re probably better off with “dear,” or simply stating their name. Make sure to avoid bad email habits you probably have, too.