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There are some pretty bad opening lines out there – and we’re not talking about the kind you hear at a bar.

It’s easy to recognize a bad opening line overheard from some guy (or gal) trying to break the ice. It’s a little more difficult — but not impossible — in business or sales emails.

We try to be polite, starting the email with a nice greeting or salutation. But using phrases like, “I hope you’re well…” to start an email, according to Geoffrey James, contributing editor at Inc.com, is the “absolute worst way to begin an email.”

Here’s why. These types of opening lines are trite and overused and often convey insincerity. Additionally, they can seem spammy. In fact, many spambots use opening lines like this to appear as if sent from a real person.

Instead, learn about your recipient and try to communicate in a genuine and relevant way.

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