🐈 Community
» Forums » Freelancers » Why is it said that "Hi there" is preferable ...
Page options

Why is it said that "Hi there" is preferable to use than "Dear sir/ma" when writing a proposal?

When writing a proposal, I would love to know why “Hi there” is preferable to use than “Dear sir/ma” and what made it so.

What is the best solution if you do not know the client's name and there's no hint on the client's profile, or it involves a team instead of a person.


Less formal I guess

Both are bad introductions. Use their name or nothing.

And please in a case where you do not know their names, or you can't find it among the client's history, what then is the solution?

Just "Hello" or "Hi there" and the old way of "Dear Sir/Madam".  Or even leave it blank.

Thank you, but I had asked why “Hello” or “Hi there” Is said to have a chance of getting a response than “Dear Sir/Ma”

In the U.S., "Dear Sir or Madam" is something people learned in secretarial school in the 1950s. It's perceived as very old-fashioned, stiff, and formal. You want your communications to reflect the way you'll interact with your clients, which in the vast majority of cases will be much more informal than that type of greeting would suggest.

It is better to write Hello! 

Then discuss the points that need to be clarified based on the client's post. You may showcase your work by giving a link to your website or webpage. 

Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it.

William, I agree with you.  But this phrase may go well within the younger community.  So, it might hold on!

I think "Dear Sir or Madam" is best used if you do not know the name of the person to whose post you are replying to for a job.


However; "Dear sir/ma" does not sound good, and "Hi there" sounds a bit too casual and unprofessional when writing a proposal.


Utimately it all boils down to a  matter of personal preference on your part and what you feel most comfortable using.

Thank you for your response, automatically are you saying that both goes and there's no issue with any?


No one in Australia uses Sir or Madam - I think it comes down to a cultural thing.

Hmmm, nice point, so what's the best solution then? Because it seems clients look at this first to be able to continue reading your proposal.

I don't use a greeting at all. I just go straight to the hook in those first couple of lines.


I just use "Hi," and then continue with my introduction

Thank you for your response.

It's really about communication style. I would say that I have no doubt some client would prefer the information 'hi there!'. While others might see that as unprofessional.


Just like when I get a messages filled with errors and spelling mistakes, it shines a light on who I am talking to.


Also how I know that using ".." in place of the "..." drives me bonkers.




Keep trucking,



"Dear sir/madam" is relative and some may even find it offensive if they are gender-sensitive.


I think it's best to stick with a more general salutation like "Hi," "hello," or maybe "Dear hiring officer/manager."


Also, I recommend starting your proposals with a catchy title tailored to the job. For instance, "I'm a B2B writer that has worked and got results for clients in a totally matched industry!"


I hope this helps.

Thank you so much Finidi

You just want to be friendly yet formal and professional 

There's actually no direct answer to this.

This is what I do:
1) I check the Location of the person who posted the Job to see what works in the country, like Kristy said
2) I read the Job post very well to see if I can detect the tone used in writing the Job post and try to return that kind of energy.
"Hey" works well when the Client's communication is somehow energetic.


I also heard this from a Business owner

"I’m far more interested in reading an email that starts with Hey Bryan"


Your options are between Hi, Hello and Hey


When it comes to writing a professional letter, avoid using "Dear" if you do not know the person at all.

Thank you so much, I am learning a lot and this was very much helpful.


Dear Sir/Madam makes it a very formal way of writing a proposal. Only banks use these phrases now..

I suggest go with simple "HI" and showcase yourself as a good friend of client and instead of introducing your skill set in detail start explaining how you would solve his problem.



Thanks a lot Ahmad


"Dear Sir/Madam" is way too formal.  Just say "Hi, I'd love to work with you on this project etc."

By the way, Upwork please make all client names visible so we can address them by name and not worry about this.

I agree with you Nick. knowing the person's name makes this introduction easier and more acceptable after the hi.

Even though Upwork hides the client names you can often work it out by reading the feedback on a client's previous jobs 😉

I'm sure different people respond differently, but as a client I consider this an overreach and a little creepy and it starts me out with a negative view of the freelancer.

I agree. If the client puts their name at the end of the job posting, I think it's OK to address them by it when you make a proposal. But addressing them by name when they didn't reveal it in the posting is being over-familiar. Also, of course, it may not be the right name, because the client account may have multiple users.

Many client accounts are companies that may have more than one person working on them or be handed off from one person to another based on who is filling a role in the company. 




Ideally, on Upwork, you won't waste any space on something generic like that. The client only sees a couple of lines of your proposal in a preview--put something in that space that makes them want to open it.

Wow, thank you, Tiffany, I had no idea about something like this. What would you suggest further please, I would love to learn from you as I am a newbie on Upwork.


  • Start with "to my perspective client"

Definitely don't do that.


If you must use that phrase, use the correct term, which is "prospective." Perspective means something else entirely. 


I always love to use "Hey San".


Please if I may ask, what is San? If it's a name then what if I do not know the client's name?



I know that including a client's name is more preferable than not including it at all. In makes the client interested in your proposal.


Proposals are both casual communications, emphasizing brevity, and formal.

A simple "Hello", or "Hi there", is sufficient.

Dear Sir is way too generic and annoying greetings of the day. Inappropriate and not of this century.


"Hi, John" or “Dear John” is the correct way to address a proposal. If you say “dear John sir”, it would sound condescending and disrespectful.

Using a person’s name shows that you respect him. Addressing someone with Mr., Mrs. or Ms. is usually a sign of respect.

If you do not know a person’s name, use their title, like “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam”.

If you are unsure of a person’s gender, use Mr., Ms., or Mrs. For example, you can say “Dear Sir or Madam”.


I hope now it's clear to you.




Hi, Henrietta.


I have written well in excess of 250 proposals each year for many years here on Upwork and its predecessor Elance.


If I am responding to a prospective client's invitation or offer to me, I start my proposal with "Hi, ______," using the first name indicated in their message to me. I then go on to something like, "Thank you for inviting me to submit a proposal on your Upwork project."


For unsolicited proposals I send on jobs I've otherwise found on Upwork, I include no greeting at all. 


I stay as busy as I want on Upwork, so that approach appears to be working fine.

Thank you Will