“Nice to meet you!” It’s a pleasant and familiar way to greet someone you’ve just been introduced to by email. But it’s also enough of a cliché that you may want to change up this stock phrase, especially when the stakes are higher.
Should You Say “Nice to e-meet you?”
When you connect with someone for the first time via email, it can feel strange to say “Nice to meet you.” After all, you’re not exactly shaking hands and making eye contact. Should you acknowledge that this is an online meeting and not in person?
I encounter this situation a lot In public and media relations, where connecting with new contacts by email is an everyday thing. Many people still write “Nice to e-meet you” or “Nice to virtually meet you.” Although it’s a polite and friendly greeting, it feels unnecessary, and even a little old-fashioned, to acknowledge that the meeting is taking place online. It’s as if you’re saying, “You’re not quite a real person to me because we haven’t met IRL.”
Drop the “e-meet” and the “virtual” references. We live and work in a digital world, and it’s time to move forward. Even Forbes agrees!
How can you respond to an introduction in a more original (and less awkward) way?
Other Ways to Say “Nice to meet you” in Email
1 “I’ve heard great things about ___.”
When your new contact’s reputation precedes them (in a good way), it never hurts to let them know you’re aware. We all like to be recognized for our work. When you acknowledge the other person’s experience and skills, you validate them and start the conversation off in a positive way. You’re saying, “I see you.”
If you know specifics, go ahead and be specific. It’ll make your email seem more personal.
I’ve heard great things about your content marketing work at ABC Industries! In fact, I noticed that your team just revitalized the ABC blog, and it looks like things are moving in exciting new directions.
2 “Thanks for the introduction.”
This one works two ways. You can use it when someone else has introduced you to a new contact. You can also use it as a response when someone introduces themselves to you. Saying “thank you” has been proven to enhance our social bonding—a good thing when you’re trying to make new connections!
Saying ‘thank you’ goes beyond good manners. At the end of the day, initiating a social bond can be risky. We need to be selective and choose to invest in those bonds with the highest likelihood of being a good investment. In this context, an expression of gratitude serves as a signal that the expresser is a good candidate for a future social relationship.
—Lisa A. Williams for The Conversation
3 “I’m looking forward to working with you.”
If you’re excited about establishing a new working relationship with someone, go ahead and say so. In fact, feel free to use some variant of “nice to meet you” and follow it up with reasons why you’re pumped about working together.
It’s awesome to meet you. I’ve always been impressed by how well ABC Industries gets its name in front of the press, so I’m excited to work one-on-one with their head of PR.
Meeting new work contacts can be anxiety-inducing. There so many unknowns! A greeting that expresses excitement about the partnership can go a long way toward relieving some of the stress and forging a bond.
4 Just dive right in.
Sure, it’s nice to say something that tells your contact you’re happy to meet them, but it’s also not strictly necessary. In the business world, we all appreciate people getting, well . . . down to business.
The key to skipping the social nicety lies in the context of your email. If your email is strictly business, bypassing the “nice to meet you” portion could make your message sound too abrupt. On the other hand, if you have some positive or upbeat things to say, it makes sense to be direct and cut straight to the exciting details.
5 “Nice to meet you” or a variation.
There’s nothing wrong with saying “Nice to meet you.” It’s one of those social pleasantries that we barely notice when it’s there. And yet, it adds a dash of politeness to your email message. If “nice to meet you” sounds too clichéd, you can try one of these variations on the theme:
- It’s great connecting with you.
- Pleased to meet you.
- Lovely to meet you.
- How do you do? (Formal. Especially in Britain)
- Delighted to make your acquaintance. (Very formal)